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My little Aladin has a bad heart

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Hello everyone i'm new here and very happy to have found this site,i'm very sad,about 6 weeks ago,i gave Aladin (9 years old) his weekly bath and about 10 minutes later he collapsed,i put him to bed and watched him all day,he slept and his breathing was not normal,the next day i rushed him to the vet and after a quick exam,x-ray and blood tests the vet told me he had an enlarged heart and water on the lungs ( i cried for a week),he put him on Fortekor for his heart and Furosemide for his lungs,after 3 weeks he is feeling much much better,my question is what am i to expect,the vet cannot tell me much,she says he may go in a couple of months or he may be still here in 2 years,hoping to get some good news best regards and happy x=mas to all.
 

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heather

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Hi and welcome. Very sorry to hear that news. It is heartbreaking when our kitties are sick.

Do you have a veterinary cardiologist that you go to? Maybe a specialist can give you more information?
 
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Hello everyone i'm new here and very happy to have found this site,i'm very sad,about 6 weeks ago,i gave Aladin (9 years old) his weekly bath and about 10 minutes later he collapsed,i put him to bed and watched him all day,he slept and his breathing was not normal,the next day i rushed him to the vet and after a quick exam,x-ray and blood tests the vet told me he had an enlarged heart and water on the lungs ( i cried for a week),he put him on Fortekor for his heart and Furosemide for his lungs,after 3 weeks he is feeling much much better,my question is what am i to expect,the vet cannot tell me much,she says he may go in a couple of months or he may be still here in 2 years,hoping to get some good news best regards and happy x=mas to all.
Hi Sphynx Lover, welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry you've come to us under these circumstances. It appears as though your boy has HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and CHF (congestive heart failure). The only true way to diagnose HCM is with an echocardiogram, but given those symptoms and the fact that he has CHF (fluid on the lungs) and that HCM is a common hereditary condition in this breed, it's safe to assume that's what he has. I will say that you're very lucky he's made it to 9 years - perhaps that's an indication that he had a milder case of HCM. Cats with treatment can live very long, normal lives with it. The difficult part comes when they go into heart failure - and your vet is right, every cat is different, there's no way to know how much time they have after that happens. It could be days, months or years.

I lost my boy, Harold, last March to HCM, 31 days after he went into congestive heart failure. Tomorrow would have been his 7th birthday. The prognosis is usually 3 months after heart failure. BUT, I personally know people with cats who have gone into CHF and gone on to live for years (are still alive, actually!) and doing well. Every cat is different. The way each cat responds to the medication is different. The best you can do for your boy is to get him to a cardiologist, have an echocardiogram or ultrasound done to determine exactly what's going on with his heart. A veterinary cardiologist will be better equipped to treat your boy and give him the absolute best chance.

In the meantime, some things to expect:

Thirst & Urination: With his medication, the furosemide (lasix or salix) is a diuretic used to pull the fluid from his lungs. This is going to make him drink A LOT of water, and also make him urinate a lot. Make sure he's got water available at all times and don't be alarmed by the amount of urine, that's normal. Make sure your vet checks his potassium levels. This won't be a problem right away, but in time (another month or two) all the urinating will deplete his potassium and this can cause kidney failure, so he will require potassium supplements. If he continues to do well, you might be better off switching him to an alternative diuretic call spironolactone, because it doesn't deplete their potassium. This is why a cardiologist would be good to go to, because they're more equipped to make these decisions for you than a regular vet.

Diet: Did your vet recommend a low sodium diet? What are you feeding Aladin right now? He would benefit greatly by being on a restricted diet, and I'd be happy to give you some recommendations. There are prescription diets you can get from the vet, but there are better quality foods available with no added salt that you can buy at pet stores.

Restricted activity: At age 9 and with a bad heart, Aladin has probably already restricted his activity. Chances are he's had this for quite some time. Cats are notorious for hiding illness, and by the time they actually show us they're sick, it's often really bad...as in the case with your boy. But, if he has still been very active, now is the time to take away some of the things that get him very excited. If you live in a 2-story house, try to keep him from climbing stairs too much, move his litter box closer to where he hangs out most of the time so he doesn't have to travel too far to get to it...at least for now, until he's recovered a bit more. Do whatever you can to eliminate stress.

I went through exactly what you're going through right now. My heart breaks a little bit more every time I hear about another cat with HCM. PM me if you have any questions at all or just need to chat. Good luck to you and your sweet boy. Give him a kiss on the head for me. :Sweet-angel:
 
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Sphynx lover, I can't add much to what Brooke mentioned, she did a great job--she's been through this before with her own pet. I'm sorry to hear that your companion has been diagnosed with a poor working heart, it's an unfortunately common problem in this breed.

Something Brooke didn't discuss, with the potential for HCM, is the risk of Saddle Thrombus or "Thromboembolism" which is where a clot of blood travels from the heart of the cat and either goes:

1) to the brain
2) to the lungs
3) to the legs

1 and 2 cause immediate death. The blood clot that travels to the legs (specifically known as Saddle Thrombus because most cats lose entire capability of BOTH back legs) becomes wedged in the large blood vessel that runs down the median of the body and splits to go to each leg. Most owners find their cat alive, but dragging its rear. Unfortunately, it's extremely painful for most cats and there is absolutely no treatment universally available. Euthanasia is the most humane option for those that do not improve within 24 hours with what care we can provide. For some cats, who are treated promptly (within hours), may recover some use with aspirin or heparin therapy. However, even the best cardiologists will tell you that there is no hope of ever surviving saddle thrombus and even the best of cases, which do recover some use, will likely embolise again within the following 21 days.

The average survival time for heart conditions like HCM that are causing such symptoms as you're seeing is 2 weeks to 6 months. Cats that are only in CHF can live many years, however having HCM and being in CHF cuts the expected span drastically down.

Suffice to say, if Aladin has another collapsing spell...don't wait overnight to see what will come. Take him promptly to receive care. The greatest chances of the longest-term of survival does not lay in monitoring at home, it lays with the pet that is seen and receives treatment promptly.

Best of luck! Keep us posted!
 

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Hi Sphynxlover welcome to Sphynxlair! Im sorry to hear about Aladin:Cry: I hope the information you will receive here helps. We have a lot of smart friendly members that have very useful information. Just remember as Pitrottmommy said if he gets worse see your vet immediately. If you dont feel comfortable with your vet, do some research and find another.
Good Luck,
Admin
 

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Welcome Sphynx Lover, Sorry to here about Aladin. I would try to look at the bright side of things and with good treatment hope that you get lots of time with your Aladin! Just remember as with any disease wether human or pet there are always going to be statistics and as we all have had sick relatives or pets in our lives, we have witnessed not all statistics hold to be true. So just keep your head up, and love your kitty and give him proper treatment and hopefully good things will come.:Laugh:
 

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Hi Sphynx Lover,

Welcome! I'm very sorry and sad to hear about your baby. Your post brings tears to my eyes as I lost one of my kitties to HCM about a year ago and my girl has recently started treatment for it as well :Cry:

There are some VERY knowledgable people on this board who can give you great advice regarding treatment, but unfortunately I'm not one of them. However, if you need an ear, I am there for you.

I hope you get a lot out of this forum. You've definitely come to the right place!

Kathy
 
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If you dont feel comfortable with your vet, do some research and find another.
And do it now...not tomorrow. You never know when you'll need a GOOD vet's advice and you may wind up having to settle with a BAD vet because you haven't yet found another vet. Brooke can follow up further on this, she had a bad experience with a bad vet regarding her dog, Virgil (RIP).
 

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Hi Sphynxlover,
I can add nothing as far as advice is concerned--Brooke and PitRottMommy have done a great job of that--I can add that you and Aladin will be in my prayers. Sweet little Aladin for comfort and healing and you for the strength to enjoy whatever time you are given with your little angel. They truly are gifts of love and it hurts us all when one is sick. Please remember that we are all willing to lend as much advice as we have, a shoulder to cry on if you need it, or just someone to talk to. You are among friends.
 
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Thank you very much everyone,i am very very touched by all of you,Aladin is feeling much better today,i can say that he is back to his old self,he even started to anoy,tease and bug his old friend Picasso (14 year old blue point siamese),Picasso was very happy that Aladin was sick lolllllllllll,even last night after supper Aladin was in the kitchen sink going through the dishes to find bits of food lollllllll what a cat,to answer a couple of questions,his main diet is Royal Canin Mature 27,he and Picasso have benn on this diet for years and they both still have all their teeths,at night to give him his medication i mix his water pill with a spoonfull of Fancy Feast minced turkey,for the heart pill no problem it is flavoured,i just ordered a couple of bottles of Taurine supplement,is this a good idea??? for him and Picasso ???,thanks again to all,it is very conforting for me to have found this site you are all great,best regards to all Daniel.
Ps here is a picture of Picasso,not bad for 14.
 

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Thank you very much everyone,i am very very touched by all of you,Aladin is feeling much better today,i can say that he is back to his old self,he even started to anoy,tease and bug his old friend Picasso (14 year old blue point siamese),Picasso was very happy that Aladin was sick lolllllllllll,even last night after supper Aladin was in the kitchen sink going through the dishes to find bits of food lollllllll what a cat,to answer a couple of questions,his main diet is Royal Canin Mature 27,he and Picasso have benn on this diet for years and they both still have all their teeths,at night to give him his medication i mix his water pill with a spoonfull of Fancy Feast minced turkey,for the heart pill no problem it is flavoured,i just ordered a couple of bottles of Taurine supplement,is this a good idea??? for him and Picasso ???,thanks again to all,it is very conforting for me to have found this site you are all great,best regards to all Daniel.
Ps here is a picture of Picasso,not bad for 14.
Hi Daniel,
So glad to hear that Aladin is feeling better. With an HCM/CHF kitty, you'll grow to cherish these good days, and I hope you have many, many more of them!

I would highly recommend a slow diet change for Aladin. The Royal Canin is not too high with salt, but Fancy Feast has very high salt content, which is going to make him retain fluid that furosemide is working so hard to reduce. As I mentioned in my previous post, you can get a prescription diet from your vet, or you can get a premium food from local pet stores, but look for one that does not have "salt" or "sodium chloride" in the ingredient list. Also, be very aware of the ingredients in any treats you give him, as they tend to be very high in salt, too.

Taurine supplements will be good for him. I know his food does have taurine in it, but couldn't find the amount listed on their website. He should have 500-1000 mg of taurine per day. When you give him the taurine, introduce it slowly, a little bit at a time at first to avoid giving him diarrhea.

He might also benefit from adding fish oil to his food (I prefer salmon oil) and that dose is also 500-1000mg per day. Fish oil (a source of omega-3 fatty acids) has been shown to be beneficial for heart health in both humans and animals.

Some other things I thought of today that might help:

Monitoring his breathing rate:
This is one of the things I learned early on with my boy. It was an early indicator of how well Harold was doing, and one of the first signs that something might not be right. For example, if his breathing rate was higher than normal, a call to the vet might mean increasing his lasix dose for 2-3 days because he'd built up more fluid on his lungs...

So, here's how you measure his breathing rate... Without disturbing him, and while he's at rest, count the number of breaths he takes in 15 seconds. Multiply that number by 4 and you'll have the breaths per minute. Usually it should be less than 30 breaths per minute. If you notice this breathing rate is increasing persistently over a couple of days, or if you count and his breathing rate is extremely high, that may indicate fluid on his lungs (that's called pulmonary edema, btw) and he will need to go to the vet.

Medications
Not sure if your vet discussed this with you, but it's imperative that you give Aladin his medications at the same time every day, or as close to it as possible. Missing a single dose can cause him to go back into CHF. I was giving Harold 4 different medications, 4 times a day, so I found it helpful to keep a log book and wrote down each time I gave him his meds. I also used this to write down his breathing rate so I'd notice if it was increasing at all, or to write down anything my vet might find useful, even if I didn't know if it meant anything at the time.

Again, I cannot stress the importance of having a vet that you're comfortable with and one that can fully understand what's going on with Aladin's heart. A cardiologist will give him the absolute best chance at survival. They have the tools to evaluate his condition that just cannot be done with x-rays and blood work alone.

Please continue to keep us posted on Aladin's progress. I'll be keeping you both in my thoughts. And don't hesitate to ask any questions!
 
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I am so sorry for you.
I almost know what you are going through.
Decibel gave us quit a scare two weeks ago.
My husband had taken her to the vet to get her fixed after she had been in heat for the first time.
The vet listened to her heart and then she looked weird and asked my husband to listen.
She told him that Decibel had a bad heart, she wouldn't operate and we should contact the breeder.
So we did. The breeder asked us to get her heart scanned to see what was wrong and how bad it was.
Both my husband and I was convinced it had to be HCM even though Decibel was only 11 month old.
We got her heart scanned last thursday on the 10. of december.
Decibel hasnt got HCM. She has a small hole in her heart and so far its benign.
We have to get her scanned again in 2-3 years, but its still the best christmasgift I could ever get. :BigSmile:

So to get back to the point. My thoughts go out to you and your beloved Aladin. May he have a lot of good years still. :Smile:
 
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Hello and thank you,i hope Decibel is feeling better and Aladin wishes her a very Merry Christmas for many many years to come.
 
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:BigSmile:Well i received Aladin's Taurine supplement tablets,hope it will help a bit.
Very good! Remember, introduce taurine slowly, a little bit at a time to build up to the full dose to avoid possible diarrhea. Sending positive vibes your way!

Please keep us posted on your sweet boy!
 
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:Cry:Hello everyone,i've been crying since march third,the vet had to send Aladin to heaven,his breathing was getting worse and after x-rays he had water in the lungs again and water around the lungs also,the vet said that he was at the maximum dosage and he could not do anything more,he was my best friend and the house is so empty without him,i really don't know what to do but cry:Cry:
 
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