August 17th 2011 10:04 am
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I found this article in a copy of Your Cat magazine from August 2010 - I somehow never read it at the time. It tells the story of a cat called Reuben and it's quite similar to mine.
CLICK HERE TO SEE
March 14th 2011 4:11 pm
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To all cat owners.... Important URGENT NOTICE ... If you use Beaphar Spot on flea treatment, the phials inside the cats pack should be white with a GREEN top, if they are white with a WHITE top DO NOT USE! They are the wrong product and can kill your cat. Any product should be returned to the shop for a recall refund. Please re-post this message wherever cat owners may see it - it's very important...
CLICK HERE TO SEE INFORMATION ON BEAPHAR WEBSITE
Aside from the recall - these OTC flea products are NOT EFFECTIVE ANYWAY.
This maybe only a product available in Europe, I'm not sure.
February 19th 2011 9:13 am
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Mum is 99.9% certain that this is what I had now. Everything seems to fit - my age, the cough, the difficulty breathing, the poor response to treatment and the fibrous appearance of my lungs on the ultrasound scan. Below is an extract of a veterinary article about the disease (which can also be found HERE )
University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Amy E. DeClue, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)
The interstitial space refers to the area in the lung between the alveolar epithelium and capillary endothelium. Interstitial lung disease is a broad category of inflammatory and fibrotic pulmonary diseases involving primarily the interstitial space. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), previously known as cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis, is a form of interstitial lung disease that has been recognized in dogs, cats and humans and is characterized by inflammation and fibrosis of the pulmonary interstitium and alveolus.
Histologic features of IPF are termed unusual interstitial pneumonia and include interstitial fibrosis with foci of fibroblasts or myofibroblasts, metaplasia of alveolar epithelium and interstitial smooth muscle hyperplasia. The diagnosis and treatment of IPF can be difficult since permanent loss of pulmonary function has often occurred before clinical signs are recognized. This condition is well characterized in humans and is associated with a poor prognosis regardless of treatment.
IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS IN CATS
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a relatively uncommon condition in cats. The mean age of cats with IPF is 8 years with no apparent breed or sex predilection. Cats with IPF most commonly present for respiratory distress or cough and the duration of these signs is typically less than 6 months.
Physical examination findings include
tachypnea, increased inspiratory or mixed inspiratory and expiratory effort, and adventitial lung sounds. Generally, results of clinicopathologic and infectious disease
assessment are nonspecific in nature. Mild neutrophilic inflammation may be noted on cytologic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in some cats. Radiographic findings
include dense patchy or diffuse interstitial, bronchial or alveolar infiltrates. Definitive diagnosis is based on histologic evaluation of lung tissue.
A variety of treatments have been proposed for the treatment of IPF in cats including corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Currently, there is no published evidence that any treatment has a positive or negative impact on the clinical outcome. Prognosis for cats with IPF is poor to grave. In one retrospective study, more than 50% of cats with IPF died or were euthanatized within weeks of diagnosis while only 30% survived for a year or more after
Mum couldn't find out much about this condition at the time but she has recently found several articles on IPF and it helps her be able to accept my going to the Bridge a bit easier than when she had lots of unanswered questions going around in her head about why I didn't get better and why my illness seemed different to other cats she'd read about with 'asthma'.
Anyway, afterlife is good at Rainbow Bridge. My wonderful, varmint eating girlfriend Lucy sent me a sweet candle holder for my memorial garden and some love-heart sky lanterns. Mum is going to add the pictures to the slideshow on my page.
Bye for now,
January 12th 2011 5:32 pm
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It was 6 months...a whole half of a year since I went to Rainbow Bridge. Mum and dad are still sad and miss me a lot. Some people might not understand why mum and dad are still so sad, but throughout the 8 1/2 years that they adopted me, they mainly worked from home and I slept on their bed at nights, so we were all three together a lot of the time. They never went away on holidays because they didn't want to leave me in the care of anyone else and basically, life revolved around me (just as it should be, heh heh!). So, things have changed quite a bit at home...Spencer and Lucy have helped to take their minds off things...and Pepsi and Soda are just the food consuming beasts they always were, so just feeding them keeps mum busy.
As for me, I miss my fur-girl Lucy but I'm always watching over her and making sure she stays out of trouble. Life on Bono's houseboat is Grrrrreat and the Bridge cats partying game is STRONG!!
Bye for now,
August 10th 2010 5:28 pm
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Blade, it's been four weeks since you left us. We miss you more than ever...*kiss kiss kiss kiss*
July 22nd 2010 4:08 am
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I'm Bud of The Week at Navin and Buds!! I only just realised, silly me, as I have been too busy supervising mum and dad to make sure they are getting my 'shrine' just right - the more lanterns, the better, I say. Nottingham must surely be running low on candle stocks by now - I just hope we don't have any power cuts or my burial site will become a target for candle looters!
TTFN ~ Angel Blade
July 18th 2010 4:20 pm
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Thank you to Fecus Head (I always call him by his real name S***head, but Catster doesn't allow that :-/), Angel Wally, Kelmy Q-Tip and Wyatt James for making some beautiful pictures in remembrance of me. There's a special slideshow of the pictures now here on my page.
You can see some pictures of my resting place here:CLICK HERE. It's our Catster Memorial Garden area, where we remember our Catster angel-friends by growing flowers and lighting candles. I always liked to rest there in the sun..as you can see...
July 17th 2010 2:26 pm
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Hello and farewell friends,
I decided it would be a good idea to move on to Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday 13th July. I really wasn't living the kind of life I wanted to live anymore. Sure, mum and dad wanted me around however I was, but unless I'm living life to the max, I'm not a happy boy. I knew it would be hard for them to make a decision to help me on my way and being as they've always been so good to me, I saved them from having to make that decision and I passed away at home, before they got a chance to do anything about it. They held me and told me they'd love me forever and that I would always be their special boy.They said we'd all be together again someday and that made it easier for me to let go of this life and leave behind my earthly body, and my broken heart and lungs.
I'd tried for a long time to act normal. I was pretty convincing. I carried on my normal activities, even though it was a struggle sometimes. I'd just sit down, rest, roll on my back in a cute way and try to act natural when I was exhausted, so's not to alarm them. My lungs were becoming very diseased and it was hurting my heart. Then when I started to have that cough, it gave the game away and I could no longer conceal my illness - drat!
They tried their hardest, I'll give them that - 17 vet visits since March 11th. I was getting pretty vexed about that, to be honest. I had pills, injections, inhaled medications, x rays and ultrasounds...you name it - I was made to endure it.
The first ultrasound on April 15th may as well not have happened. The vet who does ultrasound examinations at the surgery I go to (not my usual vet) misdiagnosed me. He said I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure, so I was treated accordingly with Fortekor (benazepril) and Frusemide (a diuretic to get the fluid off my lungs). Trouble is, there was no fluid from a cardiogenic reason on my lungs - he got it wrong. How and why we don't know, but we know I never seemed to improve from that day on. A nice fellow but incompetent as an ultrasonographer, I'm afraid to say. Mum and dad think that being given diuretics for 2 1/2 months that I didn't need, was very detrimental to my health...
So, on Friday July 9th I finally saw a cardiologist. She came to my vets surgery with all her high tech equipment and did another ultrasound on me. The results proved what my mum and dad and my usual vet suspected all along. My primary problem was severe lung disease and this had caused a condition which is rarely seen in cats - Cor Pulmonale. It's usually only dogs and humans who develop Cor Pulmonale. It's right sided heart failure caused by my heart over-working to compensate for poor lung function. Sarah, the cardiologist, said my right atrium was MASSIVE ( I emphasised that because the cardiologist did)and my right ventricle wall was thickened. The left side of my heart looked normal. My tricuspid valve was regurgitating, which sounds pretty ikky, I know. This was happening because my heart was straining to pump the blood through my 'leathery' lungs to get oxygenated.
What made my lungs leathery we're not exactly sure. The sort of tests which would have had to be done to find out, such as lung biopsies or 'washing' out the lungs to test the cells, were just too risky to do in my weakened state as they would have involved a general anaesthetic. Mum thinks I had feline COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). With COPD, two types of cells cause inflammation, one type responds to steroids and the other type doesn't. This would explain why they couldn't get my condition under control, which they should have been able to do if it was asthma. The cardiologist said that she thought I had pulmonary fibrosis, which can be cause by a number of things, or can just occur on it's own. The inhalers had helped with the coughing but my breathing never got easier - my sides heaved in and out all the time. By the time they found out what was *really* wrong, too much damage had been done to my heart. The stress of the ultrasound on the 9th of July and the fact we were having a mini heatwave were just too much for me. That night it was so HOT in our house. Dad took me outside and slept on the grass with me all night - it was AWESOME...I finally got to stay out all night just once before I left. They rushed me to the vets the next morning as I started to breathe open-mouthed. I was given free-flow oxygen all day, then went back home again that night as I had perked up a lot. The truth is I never really recovered from that episode. I went home and just lay on my side in a very weak state from saturday until tuesday, when I moved on to the Bridge...
Mum kept me hydrated with oral fluids and syringed my new heart tablets(vetmedin) into my mouth on Sunday and Monday. On monday night I started to drink on my own again but on Tuesday morning, I wouldn't drink and I wouldn't even swallow when mum tried to give me some fluids. This was when I got really fed up and decided I'd had enough.
I had a great 8 1/2 years with mum and dad. I tried for so long to get to live with them and I got my way in the end :-D. They were the best mum and dad ever. I was totally pampered and OK, maybe I was spoiled...
They got me everything I wanted and they never went on holiday or left me overnight EVER in all those years (well, one night, when they had to stay overnight at a special wedding). They don't have regular 9-5 jobs and are able to be at home a lot, so I probably spent as much time with them as the average person with a 20 year old cat. Basically, I have been their world since I came into it - which is exactly what I intended. I don't like to look down and see them distraught like they are but I really am in a better place now...they'll understand when they get here. It's hard for them because I only lived to be 10 and they wanted me around for many more years.
I know my mum would like to thank everyone for the rosettes, special gifts, pictures and messages of comfort. It has helped them a lot. She will thank everyone individually when she feels able to do so.
I love you all...please look after yourselves....if you ever have a suspected heart problem (God forbid), see a CARDIOLOGIST if you can. They're the only ones with the knowledge to diagnose you properly.
Ta ta for now,
May 30th 2010 12:22 pm
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Well, one month on and I thought I should update everyone on my situation. Thanks to everyone who has been purring and praying for me, it has really helped me to feel better.
I had a blood test to check on how my kidneys were coping with the medications I'm on for the heart disease and it showed they were fine - which is great news. They sent some blood away to be tested for any thyroid abnormalities, as that can cause heart problems, but supposedly it "spoiled in the post". This means I have to go through the stressful procedure of having blood drawn again, which is not great for me as I'm supposed to be kept stress free. Mum and dad have just postponed that blood taking for a while, although they realise it's a really important test to do and they will get it done sometime soon.
Now, the facts as they stand are like this: I still breathe quite fast (35 when I'm resting)and I still cough sometimes if I haven't had the steroid jab. The vet saw "thickening of the ventricle walls of my heart when he did the ultrasound, but he's not a feline cardiologist (there aren't many in the UK and none closer to us than 60 miles away)and that is pretty much all he could tell us about my heart as even though I was sedated, I was "very wriggly" and they didn't want to overly stress me.
So that vet (not my usual vet but the one at my vets clinic who specialises in doing ultrasound scans)looked at my x rays and the thickening of the ventricle walls and comes to the conclusion that I have heart failure - which is very bad as cats on average, only tend to live 3 months after being diagnosed with heart failure. The x rays showed some cloudiness, which he put down to pulmonary edema - the fluid that seeps into your lungs when your heart isn't working very well. This is why I'm on the diuretic pill.I also had this patterning that they often refer to as 'donuts' - small rings that show changes in bronchial structure. These 'donuts' are a classic sign of asthma and other bronchial diseases. The x rays also showed that my heart was a normal size. I don't have a heart murmur and have always had a strong, regular pulse. Cats with heart FAILURE, usually have an enlarged heart and a weak or irregular pulse, along with poor appetite, vomiting and lethargy - I have none of these. Call her crazy, but Mum just doesn't think I have or have been in a state of heart failure at any time!
After doing a heck of a lot of reading, my mum has her own theory on my heart and lung problems and i will explain it. She might be wrong and it might just be wishful thinking (probably is??!!)but this is what she thinks:
Mum thinks that I have asthma or chronic bronchitis and have had this problem for quite a while and it's gone unrecognised. I have had a fast breathing rate for at least a couple of years and I saw the vet about it 2 years ago. At that time, he thought everything sounded OK in my chest but said if mum and dad were concerned, I could always have xrays and an ultrasound scan to see if there was anything going on.
Mum and dad declined, because they thought they were just being silly. Although I was breathing a little fast, it was still within 'normal' range - just the higher end of normal. They were reassured that my heart and lungs sounded good, so just left it at that. Every once in a while, she would see me cough after drinking water, but she just thought that was because I had some sort of spazzy swallowing action and occasionally choked when I was drinking. Also, I lost my voice a few years ago. Mum has now read that cats with asthma tend to lose their voice sometimes. So when these bouts of coughing started back in autumn last year, she now thinks that was a progression of mild asthma to starting to have 'asthma attacks'. When she looks at videos of cats having asthma attacks on the internet - that's what my coughing looks like.
Mum believes that because I this asthma going untreated for so long, that it caused my heart to work harder and the ventricle walls to thicken. So therefore, in her opinion, the heart disease is secondary to the lung disease. Mum read that if heart disease is secondary to some other disease, then it should always be considered reversible. So she's going to cling onto that little ray of hope and keep telling herself that my heart will get better, once they get control over the asthma or chronic bronchitis. She tends to think it's more likely asthma, as she read that cats with chronic bronchitis cough EVERY day without fail, where as cats with asthma sometimes have days where they don't cough - like I do.
So now I have an inhaler, to help with the inflammation in my lungs as I can't keep having the depo-medrol shot as that's not good for cats with heart problems and it can have side effects if you have it too regularly. I don't like the inhaler but mum thinks I'll get used to it, like I have gotten used to taking my tablets. I have them crushed in a little bit of butter (well it's Olivio olive oil spread, not real butter!)and I lick the butter/pill paste off her finger.
I have only tried the inhaler for the first time last night, so we'll see how that goes. I did struggle and tried to back away from the mask as it was a bit scary.
Mum is hoping that within a few weeks of having the inhaled medicines, my breathing will slow down, I'll stop coughing and eventually my thickened heart walls will thin out again. My vet doesn't think this is very likely, but like I said, mum has been doing a lot of reading that the vets doesn't have time to do and she believes it COULD happen!
So friends, just keep purring that my mum is right, because that would be a whole lot better than me having heart failure and I might yet live to be an old furt cat!
Purrs ~ Blade
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May 26th 2010 3:44 am
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The very kind and thoughtful Catster, Dusty Miller, sent me a blessed St. Francis medal! I'm wearing it and it really is making me feel better! Thank you Dusty!!
Click here to see how awesome my St. Francis medal is!
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