Friday, May 27, 2011

Myrna Loy's Heart Still Strong

Myrna Loy saw the cardiologist yesterday and her numbers are still very much the same and the heart is strong, lungs clear.  That's great news.

I had concerns and as always, wrote questions to ask, and details concerning her health this last month, including her constipation/out of the box urination issues from April (read previous posts to see the details about how her colon was pushing on her bladder.)  We discussed that because her medications strip the body of liquid (to prevent congestive heart failure) that it is possible that she might be dehydrated (even though on the outside her gums are pink, skin is perfect.)  She said I could give her water by mouth or in her food, about 3 ccs.  The blood test will detect if she is dehydrated. If so, a bit more water could be tolerated but there would be no change in medication.  I love that at the cardiologists, we have time to discuss events and go over details, time that isn't always available at the regular vet's.

Myrna hasn't had a renal screen since August (blood draw and test to see how her kidneys are functioning while she's on five heart meds-some of which effect kidney function) and hasn't had a CBC/chem panel since last April (CBC-complete blood count and chemical panel detect sodium, sugars, potassium, proteins, etc. all of which show kidney/liver/basic functions and reactions of the body to meds and general health. Also detects extent of hydration/dehydration which effects body function.) So, the doctor did a CBC/chem panel, a partial echo (vet does a full echo only a couple times a year unless she feels there's a reason to do another full), and x-rays.  She also checked the pulse in her back legs to make sure blood flow isn't impeded (if there is a blood clot in a leg, the pulse would be affected and a clot would cause Myra to loose the use of her legs as well as pose a risk to life.)  The echo would also show if there are clots forming in the heart which could travel to parts of the body and cause a risk to life.

But no clots were detected, no change in rhythm, no change in pulse, and lungs are clear. Read previous posts to find her heart numbers and indicators.

Here is the doctor's report:

"Today's evaluation revealed that Myrna's cardiac disease is stable.  There have been no significant changes on her echocardiogram and there is no evidence of current or impending congestive heart failure on her radiographs. Myrna's weight has increased from 4.22 kg (9.3 lbs.) to 4.35 kg (9.6 lbs). This is still a reasonable weight for Myrna."

Remember-echos are necessary to determine the extent and the cause of heart murmurs. Even if your cat only needs one in it's life to rule out cardiac disease, it will be beneficial because it will provide a baseline for any future questions and issues. And if the cat does have heart disease, it must be detected and addressed as soon as possible.

If your cat has breathing problems, seems to cough, or is tired a lot (lethargy), an echo will be able to determine heart disease or rule out the heart.

And if your cat has cardiac disease, vitamins and COQ10 are necessary to supplement the body because heart medications strip the body of nutrients so they must be replaced.  Nutrients help the body be strong and function better.  And COQ10 helps the heart function better and be stronger.  Human heart patients are instructed to take vitamins and COQ10.  So should cats.  Excel makes an excellent vitamin paste. I give Myrna about 1 1/2 inches of it with her food in the morning.  And we give her Nature Made COQ10. We buy 100 mg and we give her one (we pierce the pill and squeeze out the liquid) with each meal mixed in with her wet food.  We also add a couple small drops of fish oil to help with bowel movements (to combat what happened in April.)

Good luck with your cat. Please post information to the Facebook page or comments on the blog about your cat or anything about HCM that you would like to share.

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