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Haven't posted in a long time, and have sadly joined the "HCM family"

Cinafina

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I've been absent from the forum for a long time now, but felt the urge to share with people that will understand what I've been through this week...

Yesterday morning I got up to find my beautiful boy Butchie on the couch in the living room, which was odd. His breathing was laboured and when I tried to move him I could see that his hindlegs were semi paralysed. Having read countless threads on here about HCM, I knew straight away what was wrong, but I didn't want to believe it. We rushed him to the vet and they saw him straight away. It didn't take long for the vet to inform us that it was one of 2 things - a saddle thrombus caused by heart disease, or the more unlikely possibility of a spinal injury.

They didn't have the necessary equipment to scan him properly, but did a proBNP blood test, which showed abnormalities suggesting heart disease. They said cats with Butchie's symptoms would often be in severe pain and scream and howl, but Butchie didn't seem to be in that much pain (thankfully!). Nonetheless, they gave him some pain relief and put him on oxygen. After this initial diagnosis they got us in at a 24 hr hospital nearby where he was admitted for ultrasounds and more thorough tests overnight.

I called for an update in the early evening, and was told that he was stable and as comfortable as he could be, and that his breathing was steady. We went to bed and got to sleep for 11pm, but an hour later my phone rang... My husband and I both held our breath and expected the worst. It soon became clear that was not the case, and the vet explained that his breathing had become very laboured again, and after a scan she confirmed there was a lot of fluid around around his lungs. Medicine would not resolve it and it needed to be drained with a syringe - not a complicated procedure, but she needed our permission to sedate him since it'd be riskier in his condition. I of course said to go ahead, and that she didn't need to call back if it all went well. She didn't call back thankfully!!

I called for an update in the morning, but given the last thing we heard was "pleural effusion", I was prepared for more bad news. To my complete amazement, the vet informed me that he was doing sooo much better!!! He was moving about and using his hind legs and could even walk! He was still wobbly of course, but he was back on all fours, and he was eating, purring, craving attention and his breathing was stable. I'm sure you can all understand my relief to get such amazing good news, and the vice around my chest loosened a fair bit!

We asked if we could come for a visit, and went to see him this morning. The thought of not seeing him again was haunting me, in case he suddenly took a turn for the worse. They were just brilliant at the clinic and made it so easy, and we got to spend some time alone with him. There was a visiting specialist at the clinic today, and Butchie was due a thorough heart scan in the afternoon. Still didn't know for sure at that time if we could bring him home today, but the vet called late afternoon to confirm the scan was done and that we could come get him!

The result of the scan wasn't good... He's got a high grade murmur and the walls of his heart are very thick, so it's quite advanced. On the other hand, the vets were quite astounded at his recovery, and it seems for a cat in his condition to WALK out the next day was unusual to say the least! We already knew that he's a tough little fighter, and they realised that too no doubt! He's naturally got some blood thinning medication (Clopidogrel Bisulfate), and a diuretic as well to keep the build up of fluids at bay (Frusemide), but he might not need to stay on the latter depending on how he goes.

He's at home now where he belongs, and I'm kind of amazed he got through this! I know another clot is very likely, and that we don't know how long he has, but I will continue to appreciate every moment of every day with him. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats, and I love them all more than I can say, but truth is that Butchie is my heart and my animal soulmate, and I know him as well as I know myself.

Turned into quite a long tale, so thanks for reading if you made it to the end! xx


20240209_010743.jpg
 

Catzzzmeow

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Oh no, I am so sorry to hear of this news. You came to the right place for any extra emotional support you need. Many of us have experienced this unfortunately and we know the emotional rollercoaster you are on. Butchie has known nothing but your love and that is everything. To this day he is just your happy boy taking in your love and kindness. Just keep loving him hard and are here for you. @Cinafina
 

Cinafina

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Oh no, I am so sorry to hear of this news. You came to the right place for any extra emotional support you need. Many of us have experienced this unfortunately and we know the emotional rollercoaster you are on. Butchie has known nothing but your love and that is everything. To this day he is just your happy boy taking in your love and kindness. Just keep loving him hard and know we are here for you. @Cinafina

@Catzzzmeow Thank you so much for those wonderfully kind words! It really means a lot )(
 

Yoda mom

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@Cinafina , oh my heart, biggest hugs to you and adorable warrior Butchie. {=

reading each line of your post, your deep love and care of Butchie leaps off the page. I hung onto every word and very happy he is home surrounded by so much love. I am part of the HCM/saddle thrombosis club. we are here for you. Butchie only knows love. my girl had no idea what was going on inside. I gave her a head smooch, told her we got this and loved on her everyday. she did good for longer than I imagined. everyday a gift.

(***sharing, Yoda girl had several saddle thrombosis embolism episodes in over a year and pulled through each time in that time period.
My vet gave me a very very strict aspirin therapy routine for 3 days based on weight when I saw the signs of episode coming on.

the first episode rear paralysis, guttural yowl, legs cool to the touch. rushed to vet, event passed and she acted 100% fine. that's when vet and I talked about (F.A.T.E ) and some studies with aspirin therapy.

*** you can ask your vet about it and if it would be indicated in case of emergency and make sure okay. *** never administer meds without vet approval because each sphynx and medical history different.

next episodes she had several over a year's time, I caught early. I saw signs.
she would stretch out her rear legs and shake them, different than the usual litter on paw shake if that makes sense, no vocalization.
her personality noticeably off and slinked slow across floor with still full use of rear legs. I followed my vet's instructions and administered the dosage, contact vet immediately . by the time I called she was already bouncing back within 5 minutes before I got back to the vet.
I lived everyday as a gift.

Team Butchie is on my heart and in my prayers. stay strong little warrior. like mentioned, he only knows your love, mine had no idea what was going on medically inside. Every day a gift and he has the bestest of love and care. he knows

hugs n head smooches to all paws

keep us updated, never hesitate to ask questions. your lair family is here for you and Butchie.
 
Last edited:

babymeow

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I'm so sorry you and Butchie went through this. I hope his health stays stable for a long time. I've had a couple of pets I've loved dearly but only 1 animal soulmate that could never be replaced. Not that she is replaced but I never thought I would find another pet soulmate until I got my Spynx kitten, so I know how difficult it must be. I hope Butchie continues to remain strong!
 

Cinafina

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@Cinafina , oh my heart, biggest hugs to you and adorable warrior Butchie. {=

reading each line of your post, your deep love and care of Butchie leaps off the page. I hung onto every word and very happy he is home surrounded by so much love. I am part of the HCM/saddle thrombosis club. we are here for you. Butchie only knows love. my girl had no idea what was going on inside. I gave her a head smooch, told her we got this and loved on her everyday. she did good for longer than I imagined. everyday a gift.

(***sharing, Yoda girl had several saddle thrombosis embolism episodes in over a year and pulled through each time in that time period.
My vet gave me a very very strict aspirin therapy routine for 3 days based on weight when I saw the signs of episode coming on.

the first episode rear paralysis, guttural yowl, legs cool to the touch. rushed to vet, event passed and she acted 100% fine. that's when vet and I talked about (F.A.T.E ) and some studies with aspirin therapy.

*** you can ask your vet about it and if it would be indicated in case of emergency and make sure okay. *** never administer meds without vet approval because each sphynx and medical history different.

next episodes she had several over a year's time, I caught early. I saw signs.
she would stretch out her rear legs and shake them, different than the usual litter on paw shake if that makes sense, no vocalization.
her personality noticeably off and slinked slow across floor with still full use of rear legs. I followed my vet's instructions and administered the dosage, contact vet immediately . by the time I called she was already bouncing back within 5 minutes before I got back to the vet.
I lived everyday as a gift.

Team Butchie is on my heart and in my prayers. stay strong little warrior. like mentioned, he only knows your love, mine had no idea what was going on medically inside. Every day a gift and he has the bestest of love and care. he knows

hugs n head smooches to all paws

keep us updated, never hesitate to ask questions. your lair family is here for you and Butchie.

@Yoda mom Thank you so much! I'll be sure to watch him closely for any of those signs, and will definitely ask the vet about the aspirin treatment. Did you give Yoda aspirin for humans or did the vet prescribe? Was she on blood thinning meds as well at the time?

It's so reassuring to hear that another episode isn't necessarily the end, which has been worrying me... The thing is though, this episode happened during the night while I was fast asleep. He was in his bed on the top floor as usual when I went to bed. I can only assume that when he felt something was wrong he must have got up, dragged himself down 2 long flights of stairs and across floors, and finally clawed his way up onto the couch in the living room! He had scuff marks on the top of his back paws, not quite bleeding, but almost. Broke my heart to think of him going through that all alone..!

Another thing, he's so thin now! I know of the recipe on here for the GLOP, and was thinking about making some, but I'm just not sure about some of the ingredients... For example, it's says "not Milnot" for the evaporated milk - do I need to check label for certain additives? Also, not sure I can get corn syrup here in UK, and I think glucose syrup is considered the equivalent..? As for the egg yolk, it should be safe since the mixture is heated, I think... And the mayonnaise, again, worried there will be preservatives or such that might not be good? Sorry, so many questions!

Thank you again for your lovely post and support ❤️ It's really appreciated!
 

Catzzzmeow

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Weight loss can occur due to the heart issues as well…they lose muscle tone more quickly I think. I would definitely discuss any diet changes with your vet first. GLOP is usually to help fatten up kittens and full of things that a vet might say to avoid with heart issues.
 

Yoda mom

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@Cinafina, checking in on Team Butchie with continued love and positive vibe head smooches!.

the vet had me use bayer low dose aspirin 81 mg, and gave amount per weight etc . she was not on any other medications.

NOTE: "Aspirin, and a similarly acting drug called clopidogrel (brand name Plavix®), is theoretically beneficial during and after an episode of aortic thromboembolism but should only be used under the direct supervision of your veterinarian."

***
she got one at time of episode and then one every 72 hours that week/ then monitored her and not used till next episode .. she went 6 -8mos before needed it again. some vets will give instructions for 1/4 of 81mg low dose aspirin for 72 hours. **
definitely discuss with your vet if option for Butchie since he is already on clopidogrel. **

and very very strict instructions when I saw episode starting. yeah, it sucked when Yoda girl had episodes at night. she was not on any other meds. as soon as I heard her vocalize I grabbed the low dose aspirin and and followed dosage and instructions from my vet.. she came out of some narly episodes within 5-10 minutes, jumped up and played like nothing happened. I was astonished. I of course would call follow up with vet immediately., for her, the episodes were always over before or while driving to the vet after administering. Each kitty is different, on different meds etc but definitely worth asking of something you should have on hand and instructions for in case of emergency.

I hope warrior Butchie's scuff marks have cleared up. biggest hugs... stay strong mama! we gotcha!

agree, the Glop recipe usually to fatten up kittens.

with my yoda girl and my Yodaman with bad hearts, I looked for ** lower sodium food. you can discuss with your vet. here is a list of foods I found on the hills website which may be useful when chatting with your vet.

my crew to this day are still on on nutrisource cat and kitten food blue/white bag. and hills urinary hairball dry. .. and Yoda girl and Yoda man really did well on the hills urinary. solid poos, no skin or poo issues. they maintained weight. each kitty is different. definitely worth a chat with Butchie's vet about diet for HCM and his weight loss.

side note, my bengal cat with ckd (kidney disease ) lost alot of weight down to 6 lbs. I fattened her up back to normal weight with Hills a/d urgent care wet food. you would have to check with your vet if it would be an option for Butchie . I had nothing to lose with senior 12 yr old Macie Mae. ** hills a/d is supposedly for intermittent use and not long term. but, nothing to lose I personally said screw it and kept her on it. she has bounced back and doing great still eating the hills a/d wet everyday for almost 2 years along with dry nutrisource cat and kitten food ( I know its avail overseas but not sure if in UK. surely vet will have recommendations for warrior Butchie and foods avail in your area.)



much love and hugs, Butchie only knows your love.

ps. I am an old kitty momma here, sharing my Kato Bengal decades ago had bad heart and did very well on meds for longer than expected. I learned how to count his respirations and watched for open mouth breathing. ** keep in mind not every cat with heart disease will throw a clot. just wanted to share what worked for Yoda with her clots


I see Butchie is on clopidogrel already .

NOTE: "Aspirin, and a similarly acting drug called clopidogrel (brand name Plavix®), is theoretically beneficial during and after an episode of aortic thromboembolism but should only be used under the direct supervision of your veterinarian."


I would ask if the aspirin therapy in emergency would be a protocol to have on hand in addition to the clopidogrel.

stay strong warrior Team Butchie. keep us updated often all paws are family.
 
Last edited:

Sheldon13

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I definitely did read the whole thing. When you started writing about the pleural effusion and draining I had to hold my breath. It was like reliving what I went through with Ellie (hers was fluid on the heart aka pericardial effusion). Our outcome was not a good one, so I’m so happy your story had a relatively happy ending and you are getting some more time with your little angel.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

nudebea

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I am truly sorry that you and Butchie are going through this. My Wilson also had HCM/(first diagnosed in 2021) and I can truly understand all the emotions you are feeling. He was also on clopidogrel plus a beta blocker called sotolol (with short periods of a diuretic when necessary) all closely managed by a wonderful cardiac specialist. Remembering the support advice from the brilliant members on this site, we tried to take every day as a moment in time, cherishing what we had, taking lots of pictures and videos, he was also my little buddy and soulmate, a very special little man who is forever in my heart. .Although he did not have any signs of thromboembolism, he did experience episodes of fibrillation and was rushed to the vet but like you Butchie, amazed us with his will to fight .Its a real rollercoaster but love gets you through. With careful management he did have a good quality of life and we are blessed with good memories of the time we had left with him. Hang on in there ,sending both you and Butchie a big special hug, you are in our thoughts. xx
 

Cinafina

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Hmm, I first noticed that he was looking thinner about 2-3 months ago, and it seemed to have been a rather sudden weight loss. I didn't notice any change in appetite or how much he ate, and got him booked in with the vet straight away. They did thorough blood tests that all came back fine, checked his teeth, etc.

They gave him some broad spectrum antibiotics since it could be an infection simmering away, and that was that... Now I'm wondering why they didn't include the proBNP blood test they did after his episode last Wednesday?! Shouldn't it have occurred to them that there might be something else going on, or am I being harsh..?
Weight loss can occur due to the heart issues as well…they lose muscle tone more quickly I think. I would definitely discuss any diet changes with your vet first. GLOP is usually to help fatten up kittens and full of things that a vet might say to avoid with heart issues.
 

Cinafina

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I definitely did read the whole thing. When you started writing about the pleural effusion and draining I had to hold my breath. It was like reliving what I went through with Ellie (hers was fluid on the heart aka pericardial effusion). Our outcome was not a good one, so I’m so happy your story had a relatively happy ending and you are getting some more time with your little angel.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

It's an awful feeling not being able to help them :  ( I'm so thankful we get some more time with him!
 

Cinafina

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I am truly sorry that you and Butchie are going through this. My Wilson also had HCM/(first diagnosed in 2021) and I can truly understand all the emotions you are feeling. He was also on clopidogrel plus a beta blocker called sotolol (with short periods of a diuretic when necessary) all closely managed by a wonderful cardiac specialist. Remembering the support advice from the brilliant members on this site, we tried to take every day as a moment in time, cherishing what we had, taking lots of pictures and videos, he was also my little buddy and soulmate, a very special little man who is forever in my heart. .Although he did not have any signs of thromboembolism, he did experience episodes of fibrillation and was rushed to the vet but like you Butchie, amazed us with his will to fight .Its a real rollercoaster but love gets you through. With careful management he did have a good quality of life and we are blessed with good memories of the time we had left with him. Hang on in there ,sending both you and Butchie a big special hug, you are in our thoughts. xx
Thank you @nudebea I'm sorry you and Wilson had to go through it as well :  ( How old was he when he first had the symptoms? How long after his diagnosis did he pass?
 

Cinafina

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@Cinafina, checking in on Team Butchie with continued love and positive vibe head smooches!.

the vet had me use bayer low dose aspirin 81 mg, and gave amount per weight etc . she was not on any other medications.

NOTE: "Aspirin, and a similarly acting drug called clopidogrel (brand name Plavix®), is theoretically beneficial during and after an episode of aortic thromboembolism but should only be used under the direct supervision of your veterinarian."

***
she got one at time of episode and then one every 72 hours that week/ then monitored her and not used till next episode .. she went 6 -8mos before needed it again. some vets will give instructions for 1/4 of 81mg low dose aspirin for 72 hours. **
definitely discuss with your vet if option for Butchie since he is already on clopidogrel. **

and very very strict instructions when I saw episode starting. yeah, it sucked when Yoda girl had episodes at night. she was not on any other meds. as soon as I heard her vocalize I grabbed the low dose aspirin and and followed dosage and instructions from my vet.. she came out of some narly episodes within 5-10 minutes, jumped up and played like nothing happened. I was astonished. I of course would call follow up with vet immediately., for her, the episodes were always over before or while driving to the vet after administering. Each kitty is different, on different meds etc but definitely worth asking of something you should have on hand and instructions for in case of emergency.

I hope warrior Butchie's scuff marks have cleared up. biggest hugs... stay strong mama! we gotcha!

agree, the Glop recipe usually to fatten up kittens.

with my yoda girl and my Yodaman with bad hearts, I looked for ** lower sodium food. you can discuss with your vet. here is a list of foods I found on the hills website which may be useful when chatting with your vet.

my crew to this day are still on on nutrisource cat and kitten food blue/white bag. and hills urinary hairball dry. .. and Yoda girl and Yoda man really did well on the hills urinary. solid poos, no skin or poo issues. they maintained weight. each kitty is different. definitely worth a chat with Butchie's vet about diet for HCM and his weight loss.

side note, my bengal cat with ckd (kidney disease ) lost alot of weight down to 6 lbs. I fattened her up back to normal weight with Hills a/d urgent care wet food. you would have to check with your vet if it would be an option for Butchie . I had nothing to lose with senior 12 yr old Macie Mae. ** hills a/d is supposedly for intermittent use and not long term. but, nothing to lose I personally said screw it and kept her on it. she has bounced back and doing great still eating the hills a/d wet everyday for almost 2 years along with dry nutrisource cat and kitten food ( I know its avail overseas but not sure if in UK. surely vet will have recommendations for warrior Butchie and foods avail in your area.)



much love and hugs, Butchie only knows your love.

ps. I am an old kitty momma here, sharing my Kato Bengal decades ago had bad heart and did very well on meds for longer than expected. I learned how to count his respirations and watched for open mouth breathing. ** keep in mind not every cat with heart disease will throw a clot. just wanted to share what worked for Yoda with her clots


I see Butchie is on clopidogrel already .

NOTE: "Aspirin, and a similarly acting drug called clopidogrel (brand name Plavix®), is theoretically beneficial during and after an episode of aortic thromboembolism but should only be used under the direct supervision of your veterinarian."


I would ask if the aspirin therapy in emergency would be a protocol to have on hand in addition to the clopidogrel.

stay strong warrior Team Butchie. keep us updated often all paws are family.
Thank you for checking in @Yoda mom {} Butchie has been stable and seems more like himself with each day, apart from being skinnier than I'd like (makes him look fragile)! He's always very inactive during the winter months, and I usually joke that he goes into hibernation in his little heated bed :giggle:
I make sure to keep him close more now though, so we can keep an eye on him, and of course spend more time together..!

He has his 1 week check-up on Friday, so I'll ask about some new food to help get his weight back up, and also if the aspirin can be used in addition to his blood thinners if/when he has another episode. I know it's a "when" scenario as opposed to an "if", but it's hard to think about...
 

Yoda mom

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@Cinafina , thank you for keeping us updated on sweet Butchie. good news he is stable and more like himself each day. all paws crossed for Friday follow up. here for you.. stay strong Team Butchie! he is a little warrior.
mine seem to go into hibernation mode too , sleeping more cuddled in blankets and I am in Florida! I tap them sometimes to make sure they are breathing because my heart is fragile from past experiences. they wake up and give me evil eye like mum.. we are fine let us nap.

Butchie has the best of love and that is all he knows.

just remember will all our babies with known ailments or not, it is always "when".
so we love on them all we can, every day a gift. they truly have no idea what is going on inside or what a report says.

live and love, hugs n head smooches. here for you Team Butchie.. give him a big head smooch from me and the zoo.
 

nudebea

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Thank you @nudebea I'm sorry you and Wilson had to go through it as well :  ( How old was he when he first had the symptoms? How long after his diagnosis did he pass?
Wilson was 7 yrs old when he was first diagnosed, he suddenly collapsed one day gasping ,and we rushed him to the vet. He didn't appear to have any distinctive symptoms prior to that, no weight loss, certainly no slowing down, he was super active. He passed suddenly in June last year of a heart attack. The main consequence of his HCM was atrial fibrillation caused by an enlarged left atrium.. He was 9 yrs old. However this condition can present differently in individual cases. I know from reading members posts over the years that time spans after diagnosis can vary. The initial diagnosis can leave you in shock but thinking too much into the future and imagining scenarios (I guess it's something we all do) can take away the precious moments you have here right now. All Butchie will know is your love. We are here for you xx
 
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