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Care for cat with congestive heart failure and other info

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
For a few months the vet had us under the impression that my cat was having seizure activity, This morning my Cat was found dragging himself around meowing in pain. We rushed him to the emergency hospital for animals, and they said his heart was throwing clots or something, and it cut the circulation off from his legs. They gave us the choice to go ahead with treatment or put him to sleep, I know it's selfish of me but I couldn't part with him yet, He's been there for me for everything bad that has happened ever. He wasn't improving at first because his lungs were filled with fluid and his heart was having problems, but he seems to be stable now. His hind legs were cold when we got them there and hope for full hind leg activity is almost none, but the vet has seen some cats get some activity back in their legs after this. I was there the first day the cat was born and the first time it opened its eyes, so i feel maybe my choices for prolonging this wasn't maybe the best. If my Cat does pull through and does get enough leg activity back to do most of his daily cat things, For starters I'd like to know which choice some of you other cat owners would have chosen, and some advice for care for my cat. The Vet said there's nothing I can do, he could have another one in a couple days or even never again. I am in the middle of nowhere and the health advice from vets and people doctors is extremely poor sometimes. I am pretty sure it's called congestive heart failure, they are pretty sure he has some heart disease where his heart wall gets thicker in some places, and clots deposit, and shoot out sometimes and get stuck places. So if there's some foods he shouldn't eat or should eat, or if i should do some therapy, like how people go in steam rooms and stuff for certain things. Sorry if I ranted on more than I should but it really would help me alot, Thank you anyone who takes the time to read and respond.
post #2 of 19
I wouldn't dream of calling you selfish - our babies are special to us all and I understand your thinking. The only thing I will say is, if the kitty is in pain (and cats are notorious for hiding pain), and nothing can be done to alleviate that pain, the kindest thing to do would be to let him go to a better place where he will no longer feel pain. My heart goes out to you at a time like this. Your heart will tell you what you need to do for your special kitty. Bless you.
post #3 of 19
The heart condition is probably Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. It's not uncommon in cats, especially males. It can lead to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Saddle Thrombosis/Thromboembolism. How old is your kitty?

Here are some links which may help you. Some are more technical than others:
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
My cat just turned 7 years old. And I read through a few of those links and that seems to match everything exactly, Just 24 hours ago he was jumping up walls trying to get the reflections of my moms glasses. Then this morning my grandma woke us up with the leg problem. It didn't really make me feel better about choosing to prolong him, but there is hope to have quite a few more good times with him hopefully. It's just really hard, I knew I'd have to face this eventually, but at least not for another 5 years i thought. I was hopeing I'd be able to handle it better.

I should probably try to get sleep again, we need to pick him up at 7am from the emergency place and bring him to the local vet place to continue his treatment. I'll post about it when I get home, I hope for good news.
post #5 of 19
I'll be praying for you and your kitty and sending healing vibes.
post #6 of 19
Hobson, I lost my 7yr. old kitty George to a saddle thrombosis caused by Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 2yrs. ago. My advice to you is to try to find a cardiac specialist/surgeon for him. My regular vet tried to remove the clot from my kitty because the surgeon here was stuck in a snow storm out of town. He said afterwards that the clot was huge and the blood thinners would have never disolved it. My vet did his best but my kitty died shortly after the surgery. The blood thinners can work if it's a small clot but I believe they are at high risk of throwing another one. I was recently at the surgeons office with a another cat of mine and I mentioned what had happend to George and he said that he sent cats with this problem straight to a cardic specialist. So if there is any way possible I would try to find one. Hopefully there is one close to you. We don't have one here....the closest was 2hrs. away but I would have gladly gone there if it meant saving my kitty but my regular vet never mentioned that option to me.

I so hope your kitty survives this. I know it's hard. For me it was just such a shock to have a seemingly healthy cat one minute and a critically ill one the next. I hope the news is good tomorrow and he'll be in my prayers tonight.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well we got him up to the local vet today, he didn't seem to be in pain but it seems his legs are completely dead. They did mention something about a cardic specialist but there is none around here, and we don't really have much more money to spend without putting the families financies in bigger problems than it is. My mom thinks its time to put him to sleep, even though I still don't want to. I still don't know what to do...
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I think my mom is pushing to have him put to sleep, which makes me very sad but what should I do if my mom has it done, I want to have something to always hold on to him by, but i don't want his entire existence besides pictures and memories gone. I wouldn't know if I want to burry him, or have him cremated and keep the ashes, what has people done that seems to be the best to them.
post #9 of 19
You're not selfish - you just want to give your kitty a chance. It's not easy to know when to say enough is enough. My Magpie had a similar condition except he had a blood clot in his neck and was paralysed in his front legs as well as his back legs. There are drugs to disperse clots, but that is just the start of treatment and there's no guarantee a full recovery will happen. I wanted to do everything for Magpie and the vet gave him morphine and said he wouldn't have been in pain so I felt it was worth pursuing treatment. He died, however, while they were still stabilising his condition and before they could really address the underlying cause.

It's a shame you can't see a specialist to get a better idea of the prognosis if he does have cardiomyopathy and he is able to recover from this incident. You will know in your heart when it's time to let go. Sending positive vibes to you both.

btw - I had Magpie cremated. I live in an apartment so had nowhere to bury him. His ashes were scattered in a pet crematorium and I have a little certificate saying that he's resting there.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Is it possible to keep the ashes, I know important people in my family are kept in special Urns, I don't see why a pet that was very important to the family couldn't be kept in an Urn as well. I just don't know how cremating works, cause if they do multiple things at once i wouldn't want the ashes to be mixed with others.
post #11 of 19
Yes it will be possible to keep the ashes - I know I had a choice but said I didn't want to keep them.
post #12 of 19
If you decide to cremate him, you can request private cremation. It is a little more expensive, but you will get your kitty's ashes back. You can also buy custom urns for your cat (search Pet Urns on a search engine).

One of the hardest decisions we have to make as human caretakers is when to let our animals pass and when to help them along. Sometimes they tell you when they are ready to let go. Spot had cardiomyopathy and hyperthyroidism. He had just gone through radioiodine treatment for the second time. I came home two weeks after his treatment, and he was very ill. We spent a couple of hours at the emergency vet, and then I took him home. Two hours before my regular vet opened, his legs gave out. I rushed him there right as the opened. He had a strange mix of symptoms, so they weren't sure what was happening. Fluid had began to collect in his chest, and the vet tried to find someone to do a ultrasound-guided needle aspiration to see what the fluid was. I had to leave him there while I went to work. I came back there and sat with him while the vet tried to make arrangements for the test. At one point, he grabbed my hand with his claws and bit my palm. I think that's when I knew he wasn't going to make it. He died en route to the place that was going to draw out the fluid.

I chose not to keep his ashes. My vet asked if she could request some of the ashes back from the general cremation, and I agreed. A few weeks after he passed, she and I stood on the lawn in front of the clinic and spread some of the ashes. Spot had spent almost as much time at the vet's as he did with me, so it just felt right.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'll probably do private creamation, and as for urns I'll use a Greek urn, since I am Greek and he it like my baby. Unfortuntly even if he had a chance to live a while long pretty healthy, there just isn't much money left. I think my mom put herself even in more in debt by at least another thousand dollars these last couple days. I just hate knowing that it's about a 95% chance that this is the end of the line for my baby whose been there for me through all the hardships. Tomorrow will probably be the day it's done and I have choosen to be there with him when they do it, I was the first thing my cat ever saw, and I feel I should be the last thing he sees, and that I should be with him no matter how hard it is. :-(. The vet said I could come down and stay with him for a while tomorrow before its done, well if its done. The only cold hard fact I have to base all my choices on is that he could live but he may not have use of his legs ever again.

If anyone would like to see a picture of my kitty

He's only a few months old there but thats one my favorite pictures of him.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
About 2 hours ago I went down to the vet to visit my cat because we were going to put him to sleep today, they brought him out, and he was having troubles breathing i had my hand on him, he stretched against me, then he died. As sad as I was I feel better knowing he died that way than with the shot, some reason that didn't sit right with me. We choose to have him privately cremated and I'll probably make a vase for the ashes that will depict some things he liked with paintings on it. Thanks for all your help everyone, I would have felt allot worse if i didn't have somewhere to vent things that were going on, and actually having people read it.

Rest in Peace Hobson, You'll always be loved.
post #15 of 19
I'm so sorry to hear Hobson has died. You did everything you could for him and it sounds like he went peacefully when he was ready. I'm glad you were with him when he went. He'll live on in your memories for ever.
post #16 of 19
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is genetically prevalent in several cat breeds, including the American short hair.

I have a small and beautiful cat who showed some of the early symptoms during a routine checkup this May. I was so gobsmacked I cried for three days. I'm doing what I can to keep her healthy and happy.
Should she 'throw a clot' like your cat, I would put her to sleep if there was no way of eliminating the pain and keeping her happy. There are cardiac specialists here but my vet did not recommend I see one just yet--the symptoms are too slight. In many ways the waiting is worse than anything else--I sort of wish I didn't know she had it.

You have my sympathy and I hope that you can do what is best for your cat.
post #17 of 19
Hobson died with loved ones near him. He is out of his pain. You did what you could for him.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well if it eases your feelings at all I read in many sources as well as hearing from the vet that its much much more common in males than in females. So I wish the best for your cat, cause no person or cat should have to go through this, I just hope that one day they have a way to treat this. Maybe as Human heart studies advance we will see more advancement on other species.
post #19 of 19
Dear Hobson,
Your cat was blessed to have you near him at the end, as he did at the beginning. I just hope I am able to do the same for my poor cat when her time comes. Thank you for the kind words.
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