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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - Anyone with Advise?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

If everyone could spare some vibes at the moment we could surely use them over here in Melbourne. A friend of mine, and a fellow TCS'ers Sonja (katson7) has just found out her sweet Whiskey has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and is extremley ill.

I am posting this on her behalf as understandable she is very upset right now.

I must admit I dont know much about this disease at all other than it is a heart disease where areas of heart muscle enlarge and thicken and is the most common heart disease in cats.
The vets have been unable to tell Sonja if Whiskey has had this disease for months or years or how it came about, whether its genetic or he got it from a virual infection recently.

I have also read that although it develops and progresses over time, its early signs may be subtle or nonexistent. A cat that seems healthy may appear to become very ill very quickly, or even die suddenly... we all know how board magic can work here, and I have never ever asked for vibes - but now I am asking for them. So if anyone can spare some?

Does anyone have any information on this disease? have you been through it? Offer any advise? The vets and specialist havent been able to provide much assistance at this stage.

post #2 of 24
Oh Danielle i really wish i could give some advice?! But what i will do is to send extra (((((HEALING VIBES))))) to Whiskey and (((((CALMING VIBES))))) to Sonja

Reading things like this just reminds me how lucky some of us are
post #3 of 24
Oh my goodness Dan......of course I have tons of good vibes coming over..........take it from me......Ive asked for good vibes, and they have worked. Wish I knew more about that disease too, but I'm sure someone on here will know more.....pleasekeep us posted on Whiskey's progress.
post #4 of 24
I wish I had some helpful advice - but I'm afraid I know nothing about this poor kitty's condition. All I can do is add my vibes to the rest of the board magic offered here and hope we can make the magic work again
post #5 of 24
I'm so sorry about this precious little one, Dan, how painful for Sonja. I am definitely praying for Whiskey to promptly return to perfect health and for Sonja to feel strength during this difficult time. Please do keep us updated, Dan, and tell them both how much we all care for them and that we're behind them all the way!
post #6 of 24
I don't know anything about poor Whiskey's condition I hope that someone will come along that does!

Sending lots of healing }}}VIBES{{{ to Whiskey and lots of strengt and hugs to Sonja

Please let them both know that they are in our thoughts!
post #7 of 24
So sorry . Mega vibes coming for Whiskey!

HCM is a genetic disorder that is also known to affect cats of Maine Coon breeding, but they're not really sure how it's inherited although at the moment this is the thinking: "HCM is a genetic disease that is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait." Responsible breeders have their breeding stock screened for HCM and remove any cats that show signs of the disease. Unfortunately, since this disease can develop later in life, it's very possible to already have kittens on the ground by an affected parent, also I have read anecdotal stories of a parent or parents that come down with it whose kittens NEVER screen positive for it, and a cat with a perfect clean pedigree developing the disease. There is hope in the Maine Coon community right now that we are very close to having a genetic test for it, so that possible carriers can be caught long BEFORE they reproduce.

If you do a google on "Maine Coon" and HCM you'll find tons of info.

My boys' parents were screened clear for HCM, but it's still not a sure thing.

post #8 of 24
A big THANK YOU to you all first up!!!!

It is most heart warming, I have to say, to read of all of your good vibes and wishes (we really need them!) Thank you soooo much everyone....I pray that they will be successful.......... and a BIG thank you to Danielle for starting this thread for me You are a true friend and I dont know what I would do without you.......

As you can imagine, I received the worst news ever..... my baby Whiskey has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - which is basically a heart disease where areas of the heart muscle thicken and enlarge, eventually causing heart failure in cats.

At this stage, I am unsure of the severity of the condition in Whiskey, the cardiologist was not willing to commit to any specifics - just to say that the condition was there and very visible in the ultra sound. I haven't spoken to my vet in length as yet, as she hasn't received the fax from the specialist and is unable to tell me more about Whiskey's condition/prognosis. He is on medication though, Fortekor*5, which i have read is an ACE inhibitor and can slow down the progression of further damage to the heart wall.....fingers crossed!!

Whiskey has so far been the most co-operative boy ever! Very placid and easy going. He is not himself at the moment (which I hope the meds can help him with) He is lethargic, slightly limping and not too interested in the usual activities which would have normally caught his attention - ie: other cats crossing his path or using his favourite blanket, going out to the back yard or bullying anyone he feels like.....

I pray and hope this disease is going to be a slow progression, PLEASE send any healing or good vibes our way....we certainly need it, or any news or information you have on this disease..........I will keep you updated on Whiskey....please pray for my baby boy!!!

Thank you!
post #9 of 24
How old is Whiskey Sonja?
post #10 of 24
He is only 6 years old......
post #11 of 24
Awwww Bless him, he's still a baby!
post #12 of 24
Originally Posted by rosiemac
Awwww Bless him, he's still a baby!
Yes........he is just a baby.........
post #13 of 24
Oh Sonja...I am so sorrry to hear about Whiskey having HCM.
At almost 16 years old, my moggy tabby, Bartholomew, suddenly became very ill, fainted & was diagnoised with HCM. Up to that point he had seemed healthy. Even though I got him to a specialist...his disease progressed. He developed megacolon and soon died.
Because Whiskey is much younger, with good medical support, there is hope.
I will be praying for you & sweet Whiskey. Miracles do happen.
post #14 of 24
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's cat. They will be in my thoughts and prayers. I've actually done some research on HCM because of Pete's heart murmur. There's a lot of good info in the internet. Here's one website with links to more:
post #15 of 24
I am very sorry to hear about this ...and sending vibes that it is early and stable. Here is a site that sounds like it is good and accurate (vet written):click here I've not read through it but it was recommended on a site I trust 100%.
post #16 of 24
Unfortunately, yes, I do have experience with HCM. My little Logan was diagnosed with it about 6 months ago. My vet caught the heart murmor during an exam when I brought him for what I thought were siezures. We think now that the siezures were actually fainting spells.

Anyway, the vet can give you a good idea of how progressed the disease is with an ultrasound. Our vet charges around $200 for the test. He gets Dialzitem 2-3 times a day and at his last ultrasound re-check the medication seems to be working. With medication the heart function can improve and the progression of the disease can slow down. I think the key here is to find a vet you can trust, one that can give you enough information to make informed decisions..
post #17 of 24
3CatHouse...I am so sorry to read about Logan having HCM too. It is a heartbreaking disease.
I agree with you. It is essential that you have an informed vet, that you can communicate with, to help you with the decisions that you will be facing.
Originally Posted by 3CatHouse
I think the key here is to find a vet you can trust, one that can give you enough information to make informed decisions..
post #18 of 24
sending prayers to you..
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sonja has just told me that Whiskey seems alot better and is almost back to his old self - this is just marvellous news.

Thankyou everyone for your good vibes and advise - it means the world to us... I am sure Sonja will update soon

thankyou again and keep those vibes coming our way
post #20 of 24
Thank you all for you vibes, wishes and internet links - which I found very informative!

3CatHouse - Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your sweet Logan having HCM too How is he doing now? Sending my best wishes and ((VIBES)) to you and your baby

Well, so far, Whiskey has improved a lot! The medication he is on is definately helping him!!! He now walks around, goes into the back yard for a stretch or nose around, eats standing up, and uses the kitty litter by himself again. These are all fantastic improvements, as he was unable to do all this about a week ago! He has also started to take an interest in the other cats again.... ie - bossing them around and showing that he is STILL king

I spoke to my vet also, she finally got the fax from the specialist, and she said that although he does have HCM, it isn't THAT severe. Yes, his heart walls are large and thickened, but it's not as bad as she thought. But she also said, that with this disease it is impossible to say how fast it can progress.

I have finally stopped crying and am trying to stop myself from becoming too obsessed with watching him 24/7 and to just let him live in peace and have a happy life for as long as he is with us, and not to smother him with hugs and kisses - which he is getting annoyed with! At the moment I am just so happy that he is feeling better and back to his normal self! Hopefully he will continue on like this for many, many years to come!

*** Whiskey also would like to say THANK YOU to everyone for their vibes and wishes ***

post #21 of 24
I can totally relate.. I still cry for him, but you would never know that he was sick. He eats, sleeps, and acts perfectly normally. Occasionally I catch him breathing with his mouth open and I kind of panic, but I know he is getting the medication and vet care he needs. I just have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that he probably won't live to see old age.

I go back and forth about taking him to a cardiologist, his vet's office has a great staff and one Dr. who reads ultrasound images - they were both trainied at the University of PA vet school which is one of the leading schools in the country. I might take him to a specialist for his next check up more for my piece of mind.

Keep me posted on Whiskey!
post #22 of 24
Awwww look at him!!! So pleased to hear Whiskeys improved with the medication
post #23 of 24
Whiskey...we are so glad that you are feeling better.
Give your Mommy lots of head butts, cuddles & purrs & keep us updated about how you are feeling.
Here is a big hug.
Dexter, Sadie & Lei
post #24 of 24
Awww Whiskey what a handsome boy you are. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Sonja, lots of vibes heading Whiskey's and your way.
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