Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Again Why Homeopathic Meds are NOT Good for Feline HCM-Give What IS Natural to the Body-Vitamins/Minerals
Someone asked about homeopathic medicines for HCM. As I've stated here many times before, I do not agree about using them. You should avoid them. They are mostly ineffective, are very expensive, and some may be dangerous especially St. John's Wort and anything with onions and garlic, and some of those are out there with those ingredients that are deadly to cats. Why are they ineffective? Because you cannot get enough of them into your cat to equal the power of one tablet of a medicine prescribed by the vet. For example, you will never be able to boil enough dandelion tea for a diuretic or feed it to your cat to equal even 5mg of lasix of which your cat may need 2-3 times a day, etc. And as congestion increases as the heart size increases, you'll need more doses at higher dose rates of lasix. We are talking about getting rid of fluid that is drowning your cat's lungs. That is a more immediate, pressing need that lasix/torsemide can affect.
And while we need to keep the lungs dry, we must keep the body wet or well hydrated-which does seem a contradiction. The medicine lasix and torsemide makes the cat drink which replenishes a lot of lost fluid. And kidneys need a lot of water to process the diuretic. Feeding a cat mostly wet food will help hydrate. Add water to the wet food, also. Replace the water in the bowl twice a day, use bottled or filtered water if your tap water isn't that great tasting (we use both.)
Instead of wondering what homeopathic plants/meds to use, concentrate on replenishing what IS natural to the body: the electrolytes, vitamins and minerals we all need to function, which are lost when a cat is on heart meds and diuretics. These show up in the blood work that the vet will do from time to time-potassium, chloride, sodium, glucose, magnesium, phosphorous. The cat needs an overall balanced vitamin, potassium supplementation if on lasix, and later-as we do with Myrna now that she's on high levels of diuretic-various vitamins and minerals for kidney support (important for diuretic process) such as magnesium, COQ10, B12, antioxidants such as krill oil, etc. We give about 1ml of glucose a day-more if needed-in the form of corn syrup or sweetened condensed milk mixed with water when we've had to hand feed her, such as this week. It provides energy to the body and helps prevent the body from attacking fat reserves in the liver-hepatic lipidosis.
Sodium, chloride, and phosphorous one needn't worry about replacing or giving more of unless the cat does stop eating entirely. Then you could try bicarb or add sodium to water and give by mouth but that would be very rare for anyone to need to do. The heart actually beats due to an exchange of sodium, potassium, and calcium ions; sodium regulates water retention and helps the kidneys process waste. If levels of sodium, chloride, and phos are high in the blood work, then measures to reduce them would need to be discussed with the vet. But most cat do NOT need to reduce sodium in their diets. Yes, even HCM cats need their sodium. Just watch the blood work levels.
One sign of a cat being dehydrated can be hyper levels of waste and sodium, glucose, etc. showing in the blood and urine. Which is also why you do need to have the cat's blood checked every three months if the cat is on a lot of heart meds and diuretics.