Thursday, March 2, 2017

New Drug Shows Promise to Decrease HCM Effects

New drug might help cats with HCM: "The novel drug, MYK-461, proved effective in a study of five cats with a naturally occurring form of inherited hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)...eliminated left ventricular obstruction in five cats with HCM...MYK-461 was already shown to stop the thickening of the ventricle walls in mice."

Here's the paper about the new trial drug discovered for the treatment of HCM. Understand the drug treats obstruction, not something all HCM cats have; and it may not decrease the progression of the disease, just some physical issues of the disease. But only time will tell. Keep an eye on this drug. Let me know if you read more about future developments. I'll try to stay aware of it. "Treatment with MYK-461 reduced contractility, eliminated systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve and relieved LVOT pressure gradients in an exposure-dependent manner. Our findings provide proof of principle that acute reduction in contractility with MYK-461 is sufficient to relieve LVOT obstruction. Further, these studies suggest that feline HCM will be a valuable translational model for the study of disease pathology, particularly LVOT obstruction."

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Roxanne Back to Usual Self

No word yet on bartonella test results. But Roxy did finally begin to pick up starting Friday night and into the weekend. And I would say that as of yesterday, she's back to acting like her usual self. Not sure what happened. But there was definitely a change about her last week.
Roxy when she wasn't feeling well and was sleeping a lot. She's curled up with my favorite childhood doll Grandma (from Sears early 1970s.) She's in the bassinet of toys.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Roxanne Not Feeling Well, Lethargic-Not Sure


Took Roxy to the vet today. She has seemed run down this past week a bit more each day. Still eating but just not as energetic. We are retesting for Bartonella (she had it last summer) and for Feline leukemia (tested negative last summer but just in case) and did a full CBC/chem panel to see if anything shows up in blood work. Bartonella takes two weeks to test which is sad since if she's sick she could use the antibiotics sooner than later. But we will keep an eye on her and see how she does. I will give extra lysine (she gets the powder in her food.) Have cypro in case she needs help eating. She's breathing fine and there was no congestion but I will monitor for any signs of heart issues (none expected but you never know.)


Chalk it up to learning something new everyday. Because Roxy's still run down but the blood work was almost normal except that the creatinine kinase was over 800 (normally way less than 400 and in July for her it was just over 400), we are doing the BNP test. This only requires that IDEXX run her blood work; it does not require another trip to the vet. So, what's new? I've never recommended the test. There are blood tests to detect heart disease-genetic tests and the BNP. I've never recommended BNP because if the cat is showing signs of heart disease, has a heart murmur, or any known issues with the heart, getting the blood BNP is a waste of time since only an echo can tell the vet what's wrong with the heart. The BNP test measures brain natriuretic peptide levels in the blood. There will always be a nominal amount but if the heart is having difficulty or the human or pet has had a heart attack, the BNP will sharply rise. Again, if the pet is having a heart attack, why test the BNP? Have an echo, have the vet treat the issue at hand. And an echo will show a heart attack and damage far better than a blood test. And yet, we're testing her blood. Why? Because she saw the cardio in October; because she's showing no signs of heart disease-no change in breathing rate so far; because her heart was beating normally at the vet; because we already drew blood and can test BNP to rule out any other cause that could raise creatinine kinase. However, I did make an appointment for Friday for the cardio just in case (which I can cancel if BNP is normal.) The other way creatinine kinase can rise is due to a hard physical injury to the body or brain. Did she fall? Not that we are aware of but in this house anything's possible. Here's a link to creatinine kinase and below is the link to the BNP explanation.…/elevated-creatine-kinase


Roxy still a bit run down but the BNP heart test came back normal. Reference range is 0-100 and she's at 24. The cardio said if she's not showing signs (cold feet, fast breathing, not moving, etc.) and the blood test is low, then she is assumed to be fine. So, we will monitor and wait for the bartonella test to come back next week.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jimmy Needs a Prozac Adjustment Again

Once again, after about a month with the increased Prozac (I'm assuming because Prozac can cause aggression), Jimmy is once again attacking his sisters. Never sure of the cause but something happens in his head and he gets angry and attacks. This isn't just swiping and hissing but a full on attack. Fur flies, cats cry, and when two are fighting, they all get involved. And it happens in a flash. So, I will dial down the Prozac-this time to .18-and see if he improves. Problem is, with the lower dose, he then begins to have accidents which we've seen since about September (the last one being 11/26 when he went against a window.) Maybe I'll try a week of a low dose and a week of a high dose and alternate. I could tell a change was coming, though. He has always had these maniac/depressive mood swings when on Prozac. He would spend a couple weeks very happy and then begin to slow down and not be active or involved, and would seem lethargic and disinterested in his environment. So, I would adjust the Prozac. Since September, the depressive mood swing has led to attacks against his sisters (because those are the cats he's near) and going out of the box.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Echos Necessary Before All Surgeries to Detect Heart Health and Avoid Problems

When writing up a medical history list of Bette for the cardio visit, I came across her 2013 dental surgery record. It was written for her and Cooper's dental surgery record which they both had had the same day. I realized in reviewing it that I had not taken either Cooper or Bette to the cardio for a scan prior to surgery. I believe it was because at the time Myrna was so sick, and we were spending so much on her care, and now were faced with $1000 for two dental surgeries, that spending another $600 for cardio echos was going to be out of reach. And yet I wished that I had spent that money.
Cooper had had an echo summer of 2012 and was fine. He had dental surgery a year later in 2013 and afterwards, began to slowly exhibit symptoms of being ill but symptoms I attributed to his reoccurring hypercalcemia (high calcium rate) which we had battled the year before and which had not returned. Blood tests didn't show anything other than a minor increase in calcium. Months later, March of 2014, after another dental surgery, he did not bounce back and we took him to the vet two days later, only to discover he had CHF. We rushed him off to the cardio. He would be on heart meds March-July and die of CHF in July.
If I had taken him to the cardio in June 2013, we may have caught early signs of heart disease. And certainly, he had heart disease by March 2014 which an echo would have caught and we could have avoided dental surgery and the onset of that first CHF-even if the outcome would have been the same in the end.
From now on, every cat gets an echo before surgery.

Bette Davis Visits the Cardiologist Vet for a Checkup

Bette Davis yesterday, finally had a cardio check-up with the famous Dr. D that was Myrna's vet cardio. She was the last one Dr. D had not yet met. Bette passed with flying colors: no issues, and she was well behaved.
Going to the vet cardio's office brings back mixed feelings. First, apprehension over what will be found-the same feeling I had when I took Myrna. Then, memories of being there so many times over the six years with Myrna when she was seeing the cardio, coupled with that feeling of "I should be back in three months which was the routine with Myrna but that routine no longer exists." Then sadness because that building houses the ER where she died.
Assuming no one gets sick, I won't return to the cardio's for a few months. Late next summer, Katharine and Roxy will return for annual check-ups: Katharine has a heart murmur and Roxy has an anomaly that needs monitoring.
Despite the mixed memories and feelings, it is always great to see the staff and chat with Dr. D about her life and family; and talk to Julie, the much respected, talented vet tech who worked with Myrna and me for so many years. She recently and unexpectedly lost a pet dog to cancer. She brought him in for a scan; cancer was discovered in the stomach; and she put him down that day. But there was also joy-her son is now two and she showed me photos and a video.

Jimmy Stewart Update December 2016

Jimmy update: doing well this week on .19 Prozac (up from .17.) The Solequin calming treats may have helped so we'll get more. Urine is free of bacteria, glucose, and crystals which is good. Fructosamine test for blood sugar was in the normal range at 208-although it could be lower. Kidney values-normal but ticking up. Need to keep an eye on him; hydrate more (albumin shows dehydration); and maybe some light kidney support vitamins if I can sneak them into his food.