Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cooper Now Has HCM-Similar but Different from Myrna's Condition

We found out yesterday that Cooper, our very large part Maine Coon cat, which is seven years old, has heart disease.  He has not been himself since the February dental surgery he had at MSU.  He's lost over a pound since December; his calcium level is up a bit as of the January blood work (we've been fighting hypercalcemia for two years and had it just below high normal a year ago but now it's above normal); He has not been eating well since the dental surgery.  While he began to eat more, he soon slowed down.  A trick to get him to eat more that worked one day, wouldn't work the next; the food he loved one day, he wouldn't eat later in the day.   I bought kitten dry food on Thursday because it has more calories and more protein.  He ate some Friday morning but not enough.  So, I called the vet and made an appointment for later in the afternoon.

The vet discovered he had congestion and a large heart.  We've been through all of this with Myrna but it didn't prevent the news from being upsetting.  I called Myrna's cardiologist to see if she was still in the office although by then they were closed.  She wasn't but she said she would come in and do an echo to check the heart. (We are so grateful for her. She's been wonderful with Myrna.)  I drove Cooper up to Novi ER where they stabilized him, gave him lasix, and put him on oxygen.  Then the cardio did the echo.  It was confirmed that he has HCM but the effect on the heart is different from the effects of HCM on Myrna's heart. 

His heart is segmented in one area by lumps of thickened wall.  It appears he also has a blood clot but due to the congestion last night, she couldn't get a very clear reading.  No, they are not siblings but this can happen to any cat at any time.  Cooper is seven years old, sort of young but in the age range that most cardiac issues are discovered in cats. It could be that it was developing over the summer which is why Cooper began to lose weight.  It could be thyroid induced and they are checking his T3 and T4 levels (weight loss is also a sign of thyroid issues.)   And it is likely that the stress of the dental surgery as well as the anesthesia was a trigger for further development of the heart disease and CHF.  

We brought him home this morning. His congestion is gone. He's on lasix to get rid of extra fluid to prevent CHF.  He will be on Plavix and Spironolactone as well.  He sees the cardiologist Thursday for a recheck at which time she will probably prescribe Atenolol as well (to lower the heart rate.)  We will also find out more about the heart condition.   For now, we will monitor his breathing, hopefully get him to eat, and work on the medication schedule and dosing. 

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