Sunday, February 23, 2014

Myrna Takes Her Time but Seems to be Recovering

Myrna looked miserable on Saturday.  The expression on her face was one that said she was exhausted, uncomfortable, and didn't want to be social or move around. And yet her breathing had improved to 9 in 15 seconds or a total of 36 breaths a minute. (Again, normal at rest is about 24 and for her it has been for a year about 32 due to her condition.)  She did eat and used the litter box often and urinated large amounts.

Finally, about 7:30 p.m., she perked up.  She was wide awake, her eyes wide and alert as usual.  She roamed about, was vocal, and engaged with the environment.  She continued to eat and use the litter box. She even chased one of the cats (which we stopped.)

This morning, she was impossible to get and did not receive her meds until 10 a.m. And while I have yet to be able to count a breathing rate, it must be about 8 because it is not noticeable when sitting or walking around.  She still seems alert and engaged with her environment.

I texted the vet yesterday and today to update her on Myrna and to get feedback.  While she's concerned with kidney function, she said that the creatinine which is just over normal, might return to normal.  We are cutting back lasix today from 15mg qid to 13mg qid.  We will continue this until her next visit in March and discuss if we are able to cut back to the former 13, 10,13,10mg per day-although the cardiologist doubts we will return to this dose.  Myrna will more likely remain at 13mg qid barring any need to increase the dose.

We continue to be concerned with kidney function and hope CKD is not coming on.  We must protect her kidneys and we have been supporting their work by monitoring her blood levels, especially potassium, and giving potassium supplements as well as mashed banana in her food (excellent natural source of potassium and safe for cats to eat.)  We will give her banana in food twice a day now.  She has been getting club soda added to her wet food in order to help her indigestion that has cropped up this past year.  We will now give some of that by mouth with her pills as well as continue to add it to food. We use Canada Dry Club Soda because it has sodium bicarb. We will also not give her, for the time being, any SO or Max cat food or Methigel.  SO is a diet to support bladder issues and Max and Methigel are acidifiers which helps prevent crystals and UTIs.  By giving bicarb and not feeding acidified foods, we are potentially preventing the onset of metabolic acidosis-when acid levels in the body (which is NOT the same as stomach acid) are too high and bicarb is too low.  It has to do with kidney function, how well, and what they process.

Those who have cats that have developed CKD-chronic kidney disease-will understand the necessity for monitoring kidney values as well as dealing with the complexities of the disease.  There are many aspects to monitor: potassium, phosphorous, bicarb, calcium, etc.  And while the HCM cat does not need extra fluid in the body but must avoid dehydration, the CKD cat may be dehydrated and need a greater intake of fluids. When your cat is both HCM and CKD, balancing the needs of the body and the effects of both diseases can be very difficult.  I imagine that one spends a lot of time dealing with side effects as they crop up and choosing which side effects must be prevented and which ones can be tolerated.

For more information on the complexities of CKD, the needs of the kidneys, and for more information about tests for CKD, read Tanya's website for a very complex and complete explanation of information.
Myrna Loy as prairie dog. 

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