Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
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SarahT1 [PLLE]
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] »

I'm so glad Harvey has the referral, Sarie. What a worrying time for you, but he will be in great hands, and with such a fantastic mummy, everything is on his side. Sending him lots of healing thoughts and fusses. xx
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by Crewella »

It will be a tough day, but worth it - all paws here crossed for you both on Tuesday. xx
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by sarie »

Thanks guys :) a nervous wait now.. Harv is still feeling very rough at the moment and keeps having bouts of respiritory distress so Tuesday can't come quickly enough really. The sooner we know what's happening the sooner we can try to make him more comfortable.
Cats are so hardy though, they just bounce back where a lesser human would just be laying around feeling sorry for themselves!
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by sarie »

Today's the big day... I had a 1.5 hour consultation at the University hospital this morning with him and they went through absolutely everything. They feel it's very likely to be just a nasty case of untreated Asthma and perhaps moving house has triggered it off as there could be new contaminants in the house. If that's the case then that's probably the best news I can hope for given the circumstances but it's still not great :/

They want to be absolutely sure though as there is a long list of other possibilities so he's going to have a bronchial lavage, a CT scan, blood tests, FIV test and a few other tests apparently.
Because they're such a big animal hospital they said the waiting list for all the tests can be over 24 hours so he has to stay in until they can do the tests and then after that he has to stay in a further 24 hours to ensure he recovers OK as he's a high risk anaesthesia patient.

It was so hard leaving him, I felt like a bit of a muppet as I got pretty upset but everytime I leave him I know there's a risk I might not see him again due to how bad his lungs are right now. I also feel so guitly for putting him through so much. I just really hope we finally get some answers and we can fix him up and he can get on with his life again.

It's going to be a tough few days waiting to get all his results :/
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by Crewella »

I would have struggled to leave him too, but you're trying to do the best for him and make him better - it's a necessary evil. (((hugs)))

He's in good hands, all paws here crossed for him and hoping you get some results that enable you to help him. x
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by meriad »

I can only imagine how hard it must have been leaving him there, but as said - he's in the best possible hands and they're being very thorough and are taking all necessary care and precautions.

((hug))
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by andtiggertoo »

Oh dear, what a day for you. I am sure you're doing exactly the right thing. It is awful having to leave them, but he's in the best place and at least you'll know at the end of it what you're dealing with. Will be thinking of you both over the next couple of days.
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by sarie »

Thank you all for being so lovely, reading your replies has given me a lot of comfort since all of this started... I read them back repeatedly when I'm having doubts or worries and I always feel so much better knowing you're all there and you understand :) I think my colleagues at work think I'm a nutter as I'm constantly going on about how worried I am about Harv but thankfully a few of them do have cats of their own so they understand a little better too :)

I just got a call from the vet to say that Harvey has come through all his procedures and he's recovering from his anaesthetic at the moment but is sitting up and just a little sleepy. They're going to keep him for 24 hours as apparently cats with respiratory issues can sometimes decline after an anaesthetic so they want to be able to support him if he needs any oxygen or anything but she said by tomorrow afternoon he'll be ready to go home :)

So after a complete rollercoaster ride being told I was going to lose him to being told nobody really knew what was going on it's finally looking like we have some good news. Until all the final results in nothing is certain but the vet told me that his bloodwork is completely normal now, even his mild anaemia is back within normal ranges.
He's tested negative for FIV and TB and is showing no signs of any other serious illness and bloodwork suggests there's no hidden nasties like lymphoma.
His Bronchoscopy showed that his large airways are very inflamed, very red and constricted and there's a lot of mucous in there. His CT scan showed lung damage consistent with Asthma so the vet is now fairly confident that he has Feline Asthma but that it has become acute recently due to going untreated and perhaps he has a secondary infection. They're doing the cytology at the moment so I'll hopefully have those results tomorrow but they're also going to do cultures to look for Mycoplasma and those could take a little while to come back.
She said based on the cytology results he'll either come home with Asthma treatment or antibiotics but long term he'll very likely be treated for Asthma with an inhaler. Short term he'll probably need oral steroids to try to get the acute symptoms under control (or antibiotics if it's an infection) and this could take around a month but once his airways are healthier he can progress onto a daily treatment of inhaled steroids - the inhaler means there are no systemic changes and as a result his other organs shouldn't be affected long term by the treatment which is great news too.

Assuming the above all turns out to be the case then his life expectancy should be fairly normal, although given he is showing signs of very early myocardial disease he's obviously not a super healthy boy and I'm fairly accepting of the fact he's unlikely to live to a really old age but if he lives another 5-7 years with a good quality of life then I'll be very, very happy for him. Especially after thinking I was going to lose him in just a few month's time when he was diagnosed with heart failure.

He's such a happy little cat and he loves life so much, it seemed so terribly cruel for him to have to lose his life so young. The thought that he might now live a much longer life.. there aren't words to describe how that makes me feel really :) I've got everything crossed that his cytology and cultures confirm the diagnosis and we can finally move forward and get him living more comfortably again.
I'll let you know how tomorrow goes :) :mrgreen:
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by meriad »

I've been popping on here all day to see if there's an update and what a wonderful one it is. Cautiously optimistic for you both, given they are keeping him in for another 24 hours, but for now a big loud YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so pleased for you - I cannot even begin to imagine the relief and mixed emotions you must be feeling right now. Definitely a celebratory glass or cuppa required tonight. x
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by Crewella »

That's a great update. Sending just the biggest ((((hug)))) and hope you can have him home tomorrow. :)
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] »

Well done little Harvey! So pleased to read this update. Hope he comes home soon so you can spoil him! X
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by bobbys girl »

Ditto! :D Really good news. You will still need to sort out any Meds that he might need. But I thought I could hear the sigh or relief from here.
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by sarie »

Thank you ladies!! :mrgreen: I just spoke to the vet and I'm going over to collect him straight after work, any time from 5.30pm onwards.
She said I should expect a lengthy discussion about where we go from here when I arrive to collect him but that he's absolutely fine and is giving everyone headbutts haha :) Traitor.

Soooooo looking forward to collecting him, the house has felt so empty the last couple of days and Clive has been pining for him too. I wish I could go and get him earlier but I'm all out of holiday here at work due to so many emergencies in the last few months with him and family so I have to stay here until 5pm. It's going to be an excruciating wait.... the countdown commences :)
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by Kay »

I'm so very pleased for you Sarie

Henry's story shows just what a difference being able to access expert opinion can make - and the importance of insurance for those who could not afford it
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by sarie »

He's home!!! :) He's feeling a little worse for wear after his time at the vets as you'd expect but he's home and he's settling back down. He slept downstairs all night which is unlike him so I guess he's feeling too rough to be fussed and this morning he enjoyed a gentle chin scratch but anything more and he just shied away. Hopefully he'll start to feel a little better over the next 24 hours or so now he's home.

The vet said that all the results from all the tests point to Asthma, as she suspected. There's a small chance that it could be caused by lungworms and they've sent off a poo sample to check for this but given his history of a cough and wheezing it's far more likely he has Asthma.
This isn't great as Asthma is still a nasty and incurable illness but compared to the death sentence of congestive heart failure I'll take this any day!

He's on oral steroids for now to treat the acute inflammation and he's also taking Panacur to treat any potential lung worms. She said they've ruled out all the common infections as a secondary but there's still a chance he has something like Bordatella or Mycoplasma but this would be secondary to the Asthma and doesn't change his diagnosis. The cultures to test for these are being grown as we speak and we should know in a few more days if he has any other infections. If he does then they'll add antibiotics to his regime to treat it short term.

Long term he's got another check in 2 weeks to make sure treatment is working and if it is then we'll slowly transition from oral steroids to an inhaler and I'll have to train him to accept it. He's not the most cooperative cat so that should be an interesting process :)
Once he's on the inhaler he should just have a puff of this once a day for the rest of his life and treatment if and when he has any asthma attacks. I've also ordered a new low-dust cat litter to replace his clumping litter and I've taken the lid off his litter box. They're not happy about me taking the lid off though.. the tray was untouched this morning so they must be cross legged! Hopefully they get used to it though.
I've also thrown out all my air fresheners in the house and I'll slowly start he process of decontaminating the house as much as possible... get a HEPA filter for my vacuum etc..
She said his asthma results showed up high readings for a particular cell that is common in allergic reactions so it would suggest that his recent problems are related to some kind of allergen so I need to try to reduce his exposure to anything that could be causing him problems!

Anyway... I'm rambling now but basically there's light at the end of the tunnel now :) He's home and safe and there are no more invasive tests needed. There are a few results to come in but it looks like he's on Asthma meds from now onwards either way. It's been a hell of a journey for both him and for me and I'm glad it's coming to an end so we can get on with adjusting to his new way of life and I can hopefully get him back up to full health again as it's so sad seeing him feeling so rubbish. Poor little guy. Thanks again for all your support everyone, it's meant so much over the last few weeks :)
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by bobbys girl »

That is good news :D Gentle fusses to Harvey.
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by Crewella »

I'm so glad he's home safe, and that you can now put together a plan for him. :) xx
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Re: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure

Post by meriad »

Gentle fusses from me as well and good luck with getting the house sorted.

x
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