Monday, September 1, 2014

Feline HCM-Holistic Treatments for Cats Should Assist the Meds Not Replace Meds

Facebook post from July 6 about holistic treatments, when to use them (to help but not to replace meds) and cautions and concerns to address:

A reader asked about holistic treatments. I don't support trying to treat HCM, congestion, prevent clots, and support and improve heart function with only plant based materials. It would take too much of the plant to have an effect on the symptom, to do what a pill can do. And there are plants to avoid and here is a link to a list:

It's not that we can't use these at all. There are many things that can assist the medications as a diuretic, or to calm the stomach if there's stomach acid, to get rid of diarrhea. I'm using apple cider vinegar instead of Pepcid; and use sweet potatoes and bananas as additional potassium sources; and have used rice and rice water to combat diarrhea. There are many things I use for Myrna that vets do not think to recommend such as COQ10, vitamin paste, lysine, etc. (granted not "natural" but holistic treatments often use them.) Some give their cats fish oil (she can't tolerate it.)

Whatever we use-natural and/or medications-we need to be aware of symptoms our cats show, what they mean, and how to treat. Holistic treatments can lead to some of the same problems that we see in cats that take medications. Dehydration is caused by the use of a diuretic material. A dehydrated cat is run down, might have a lack of appetite, all due to low electrolytes-one of which is potassium-which leads to an increase in potassium supplements. And the use of diuretics, even natural/holistic methods, can adversely affect kidneys (due to low potassium and dehydration and blood volume in kidneys.)

A holistic cat may not live as long as a cat on medications. A cat with minor heart disease may do very well with natural treatments while a cat with a severe form or suffering from clots or congestion, may have little relief from only using natural materials.

If you want to use any holistic product, please consult a holistic vet or discuss it with your regular vet before trying to develop a recipe for a natural medication. But I urge you to use medications as needed especially lasix as a diuretic to prevent congestion, ease breathing.

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