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heart disease in cat

October 25th, 2005, 08:46 PM
Hi there,

My baby - Lil'Guy (male cat, 4 years old) was having problems breathing last week and was gagging, so we went to the emergency vet clinic to have him checked out. We had xrays done (Lil'Guy has had heart murmurs since he was a baby) and it showed an enlarged heart and a narrowed trachea. The vet gave him a duretic. The next day he was very lethargic and wouldn't get out of bed or eat. Then the day after, he was back to his normal self and eating just fine. I am sending his xrays to his regular vet and will be going in for a followup. The xrays showed no fluid on the lungs, I heard that was a good sign. Lil'Guys brother Shrimp had the same condition (both from the same litter) and died suddenly last christmas, he showed no signs of the heart condition except for the mumrur.

The emergency clinic recommeded duretics 3 times per day for an undetermined amount of time, then maybe down to once a day for an undetermined amount of time after that as well as heart medication for the rest of his life. I am not sure if that is the way he would want to live. The vet also said that it may not help in the end.

My question is does anyone know much is it to take this course of action? I love my baby more than anything. The vet mentioned that in addition to the xrays that we have already done, he would need an ultrasound and blood work to confirm, then start him on the regime of medication.

My second question is, how do I know if he's hurting? As I mentioned before, I want to do what is best for him and give him a good quality of life and even more sadly, a peaceful passing when his time comes. How do I know? I have spent the weekend crying trying to figure out what is best for him.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks :sad: :sad: :sad:

October 26th, 2005, 09:34 AM
I'm very sorry to hear about your cat. I know EXACTLY what you're going through, I lost my cat Mittens, 2 yrs ago to the same thing.

My cat also had the heart murmur, and when they first heard it, our vet gave us the option of medication, but like your's, didn't think the outcome would be much different.

I decided I did not want my kitty to have that life - a medicated life. My cat lived a wonderful, happy, 12-13 yrs, medication free. We kept her inside, safe, and very very pampered.

When the time came that the heart was posing problems, she did the same, had breathing problems, gagging... etc... we rushed her to the ER and they said her heart was the size of a dog's... at that point I opted for meds, I think because I wasn't ready to let her go. I spent over $500 in one night for meds and time in an oxygen tank.... I got to take her home, but sadly, the meds that reduced her heart, made her kidney's fail, and then I KNEW it was time to help her go.

See what your regular vet has to say - perhaps after that followup, you'll have a clearer idea of which route to take.

I'm sorry, I'm not much help, but I do know what you're going through. My thoughts are with you and your Lil'Guy.

Lucky Rescue
October 26th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Oh, I'm so sorry! I know how you feel. My Stinkerbell died with no warning 2 weeks ago.:(

IF I had known she had a heart problem, I would have given meds that would keep her alive since, like your L'il Guy, she was very young (2yrs)

What I would do if he were my cat is to have the tests done to find out how serious the problem is, then decide how to proceed from there.

My second question is, how do I know if he's hurting?
You'll probably know if he's miserable if he refuses to eat, hides, sits hunched for long periods and won't play or do any of the things he normally enjoys.

Good luck and keep us posted!

October 26th, 2005, 11:51 AM
I am so sorry you are going through this. We lost out kitty Cosmo at the age of 1 due to heart disease, Like Lucky we had no warning, he was fine one day and within 24 hrs gone from us forever.

I am glad your Lil'Guy was able to be checked by a vet and this was caught before it escalated.

Good luck with your baby