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Severe Juvenile Onset Breed Related Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

GenevaS

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Hello all,

This past Monday night, the 18th, our baby girl Matcha collapsed and seemed to be paralyzed after a stint of playing with her brother. It was absolutely devastating to watch. After about 10 minutes time, she seemed to have walked off the paralysis and was back to acting normal.

The next day we took her to the cat clinic near our house to have tests done. After a couple days of waiting for blood work we were told that she would need to undergo and echocardigram to look deeper in to her heart.

The results were not what we were hoping for and worse than we could have imagined. Matcha was diagnosed with Severe Juvenille Onset Breed Related Hypertrophic Cardiomyopothy. The doctor prescribed her Plavix to help prevent blood clots and Atenolol to slow her heart rate.

We were told by our vet that there was really nothing we could do for her. We were told that she did not have an answer for an estimated amount of time left, only that the fact that the diagnosis was "severe" meant we would really need to keep a close eye. We were told that she could not endure too much high energy playing, which has proven difficult given the fact that she is essentially still a kitten and her brother is very high energy. We decided that to deprive her of all playtime would be diminishing to her quality of life. Knowing that the inevitable was bound to happen no matter what, we want her to enjoy the days that she has left. At this point my fiance and I vowed to give her the best life possible. Whether we had 2 days or 2 years, we wanted to make sure we made the most out of every day.

Fast forward to last night, the 23rd. Matcha had another collapsed episode. She appeared to be in immense amounts of pain, couldn't stand or walk. The episode passed within 10 minutes and she made it through the night.

We need your opinions...Let me please preface this by saying that this girl is our child. We would do anything for her...The vet told us that we just had to wait this out and expect the inevitable. We were told that she could pass in her sleep or have an episode severe enough that would end it all...These episodes very clearly cause her pain. We feel awful and cruel just waiting for these episodes to strike. We don't want our baby to be uncomfortable when she passes.

Please, has anyone gone through something similar? Is this really a thing where we just wait for a heart attack that was worst than the last to take her? Do we put her down, peacefully so that there is no more suffering?

We are truly at a loss. Please help.

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Catzzzmeow

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@GenevaS I am so sorry to read this. I can understand your fears. My boy who is 13 has developed heart disease. A natural progression of his old age and although your baby is a kitten, you are right. Having our babies a week, a month or 13years it is never enough. Our vet has my boy on Atenolol as well and since no signs of clotting my vet said Plavix is not needed. He too has warned it could get hard and he could pass unexpectedly, could eventually throw a clot and be in pain, or develop congestive heart failure. I get weepy thinking of any of those possibilities. I always say follow your gut. You will know when it is time. Through the guidance of your vet and your gut you will just know when it is time. Your attitude about loving her and making every day the best is awesome. They live in the moment and know nothing but the present. No matter what choice you make, you will always wonder and doubt your decision. Was it too early or was it to late. I know I did not give an answer, I am just sharing you are not alone and want you to know this is a community of caring, supportive members. We are here for you and would not judge you. Your baby is a true gift.

Patti
 

GoldHazel

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@GenevaS, Matcha is a stunninly beautiful little girl. My heart absolutely goes out to you. I had a baby girl that was losing her life to Dry FIP and I too struggled with questioning when I should take her out of her misery.

I'm glad I waited a bit and didn't jump right away into having her put down. I waited for hers to give me signs that she had enough. We loved her more and more each day and made every moment count.

Trust your gut, you will know when it's time. No need to rush it if you will have an ounce of regret. Guilt lasts too long. :( Let her eyes speak to you when she's had enough.

Has your breeder been supportive and are you going to have Matcha's brother tested?

My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this horrible time.
 

Toa and Ross

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My heart goes out to you. I have no experience with this so I only chimed in to sent lots of cuddles to Matcha and a big hug to you. I know you and your fiance will give Matcha all the love of the world and the best care there is.
 

Xandria

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This post and thread brought tears to my eyes. I am so very sorry to read about Matcha, who is one of the most stunning Sphynx I've ever seen.

I agree with all the posts above. @Catzzzmeow, @GoldHazel , and @Yoda mom are some of the wisest and longest running Sphynx moms here. Their words are golden.

Please stay connected with us here. This is the best Sphynx support group (in good times and bad) there is. HUGS and sending soothing vibes from my house to yours.
 

Yoda mom

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@GenevaS , oh sweetie I am so sorry to read about Matcha's diagnosis - ((( squeeze hugs))))
I personally have walked in your shoes with the same diagnosis-
The episodes you describe are what I experienced with my baby --phew... I wish I could squeeze this terrible diagnosis away ...

My vet said the my Yoda was experiencing saddle thrombosis embolisms - called F.A.T.E.
Feline Aortic Thromboembolism (FATE) - Mar Vista Animal Medical Center
I never heard of it mentioned until I went thru it with my girl a complication of her bad heart ..
The episodes varied starting at 10 months old - they were mild at first , I wasn't sure what it was - scared the hell out of me and hurt my heart so sad..

I would call your vet and ask if Matcha is experiencing possible saddle thrombosis embolisms with her collapse -
Sounds very much like my girl - my vet give me a very strict baby aspirin therapy regimen with the onset of symptoms-( aspirin is usually contraindicated In cats ) but her condition was so severe my vet prescribed a specific
Dosage to follow ..

*** I will tell you that for us - the aspirin therapy on onset helped *** give us more quality time -
Better than odds I was reading about .

I promised her quality over quanity of time - to be her best friend with unconditional love when she needed it most - we put away the sad thoughts as best we could - no disease was going to ruin whatever time we had left - it was not going to do that - we were going to live and love

** I learned I could tell when an episode was coming on and immediately followed my vets aspirin therapy treatment -

For Yoda , she would start with a rear leg shaking as if to get off litter stuck on her foot -
Then she would freeze in place , with temporary paralysis of the rear legs - one time she lost her bowels (before the aspirin therapy ) and twice the most gutteral howl-

I would immediately administer the baby aspirin dosage ( per my vet for 3 days )
i would calmly talk to Yoda and also tell her sister I was go in to make her feel better and she would come play later -
( just me- I always talk with them amd tell them what I am doing )

I wrapped Yoda in a warm blanket and held her to my chest -
She would relax and I did notice her breathing slowed - scared me a few times -
she cuddled with me like regular bed time sleeping in my arms for 10 , 30 minutes , even an hour plus sleeping in my arms - till it the episode passed - and *all of a sudden , she quickly got up and ran to her food dish to chow down and went about her day
Like nothing happened -

The episodes varied - at first mild one every few months - then almost monthly -
I did what you promised - make the most out of everyday - she only knows your love -
I let her play with my other kitty but not at full blast - just short wiggles on the bed , mind games with a paper bag ..
She needed to still have kitty fun so we did other fun stuff living each day to the fullest -

Matcha is a beautiful girl - what a gorgeous picture of your girl -
who has the best love and care - your baby .. and I know you love her with all your heart n soul..

Take one day at a time, that is all we can do with our human life too - make each day count - do something fun special - she doesn't know a thing g else but your love -

Amd please please PM me anytime ...anytime ...
and give her the biggest head kiss from me - amd an extra for her brother too!
(((Hugs to you amd your fiancé))))
 
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lizzybether

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@GenevaS I am so sorry to hear this report. Sending lots of prayers to you and your fiancé. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through and I hope Matcha is able to live out the rest of her days happy and playing with her two wonderful humans and her silly brother. Please give them both head kisses for me. Know that my husband and I will be thinking of you all
 

Nicolemorgan

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I am so sorry to read of this news. My heart goes out to you.
You have received such wonderful advice, and please just know that no matter what decision you make will be the right decision. You have given her everything and love her so much, and I just know you will do what is the best with her in mind. I absolutely agree with the line that @Catzzzmeow said, animals live in the moment, and know your love, they do not know time like we do.

I am so sorry you have to experience this. But just show her love, and you will know when is the right time.
Sending many healing thoughts and prayers.
 

Hairless Blessing

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Bless her heart. I am so sorry for her and you.
I know your very hurt. You have received great advice.
I think in your heart, you'll know, when, it's time.
Prayer's for her and you. Keep us updated.
 

susi794

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Oh, how posts like this make me cry. But, that's why we are all here--to support each other. You are not alone. You asked what we would do if the choice was ours. I am going to go out on a limb and tell you what I would do if this were me and one of mine. You described what one of the attacks looks like and that you believe she is in immense pain during the episode which is lasting ten minutes or so. What greatly concerns me is that it was only five days between episodes. And that your vet says the HCM is severe.

If the episodes continue to come that close together and there is nothing to be done to ease her pain, like the baby aspirin regimen yodamom used, then I don't think I could watch her suffer and would ease her from this life gently. But if there were any chance the Meds could reverse the damage or make the episodes less severe or less frequent, then I would let Matcha let me know when she's had enough.

My heart aches for you....and someone already said it, but it bears repeating. Any decision you make will be the right one. Because it's made out of love.

So much love and many hugs,
Susi
 
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