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MED UPDATE: Sammy 2/21/09

February 21st 2009 11:50 pm
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Sammy's breathing is shallow, but he can sustain un-labored breathing without the oxygen now! He is WAY under the 55 breathes per minute that he had on Tuesday (any breathes above 30-count per minute are a concern and can get dangerous). The heart monitor that was stapled to him has shown consistant numbers so he was able to go home!!!! It's funny though because the vet couldn't hear his heart this afternoon through the stethoscope because he purrrrrrrrred so loud! Sammy is home now! I will update the vet over the phone in 3 days, and he will see Sammy in-office in 7 days. Sammy is now on 3 medications per day and a 4th one every 3rd day. These are meds that he will be permanently on. Currently, Sammy is still very lethargic and weak. He only stands and walks to use the litterbox or drink water then immediately lies down again. This has been the case for the last 5 days. His legs muscles are weakened so he SITS when he pee's instead of squating. I will be doing some gentle leg massage and movements tomorrow, as he is still getting adjusted to being home after all the distress of the week. He still has not had a bowel movement for 6 days because his tummy's pretty empty and most of the last 3 days he has refused food except for very late at night he ends up eating about a teaspoon+ of can food. I will continue to monitor him and make sure he doesn't lose any more appetite. Right now he's sleeping quietly under the bed on a soft blanket. I let him go wherever he felt comfortable without forcing him to stay in a certain spot. I just have to kind of crawl on my stomach to get under the bed and check on him, but that's okay! Taylee and I slept under there with him for a while and I held his paw! The good news is that about every few times I check on Sammy, he's laying on his side -- which means that he is breathing well enough to get comfy!!! Oh I am SO overjoyed at my baby's progress. I can tell he is REALLY trying hard to stay with us! I do not want to loose him.

Thank you dear furrriends furr your CONSTANT support and care via Power of the Purrrrrr, Paw-mail, Gifts, and Guestbook signatures. We are sooooooooo grateful!!!! I am going to write the next diary entry to acknowledge and thank all you dear ones that have showered us with love and concern during this agonizing week. THANK YOU!

Love, Sammy's meowmy :)


MED UPDATE: Sammy 2/19/09 DAY & NIGHT and more...

February 20th 2009 3:58 am
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CONCATS to our special furriend Monte Carlo ( fur being a DDP today! HOORAY!

Also, we continue to PURRRRR furr our sweet buddy Hooch with his dreadful hyperthyroidism and nausea and vomiting. He started his meds today so we have our paws crossed it will help.

MED UPDATE FROM MOMMY: SAMMY WAS SUCCESSFULLY WEANED OFF OF OXYGEN TODAY! YAY! Starting at 11am he was in a regular cage with no oxygen tubes. Unfortunately, the trade-off was a telemetry patch trio...which means the little patches and wires that monitor his heart. The only trouble being that since cats don't have skin like people where the patches can be adhered to, he had to get 3 more spots shaved down and the patches were STAPLED into his skin. OUCH :( But I guess it's a small pain with a great gain: so Sammy can be safe and the vet can be alerted if he starts having heart failure or dangerous acceleration. Sammy will be tested tomorrow for Pericardial Effusion --hope i spelled it right-- (means if the sack around the heart is filled with fluid). He still has a bit of Pulmonary Edema -- blood& fluid swelling the lungs, but it is less today. He still has popping congestion sounds after he drinks water and he sneezes a bit, but all in all, he is doing amazing not on the oxygen...exceeding our expectations!!!! Sammy didn't eat all day until 2:45 am (it was already the 20th). Sammy is still VERY lethargic and tired. He refused food all day until the last minute before I was going home for the night. When Sammy does eat food this indicates that he is gaining interest again in small activities which may mean that his pain level is reducing! I also noticed that the pink color has come back to his nose!STRANGE NEW DEVELOPEMENT: Sammy has muscle spasms in his thighs and the doctor said his kneecaps were popped out :( ???? We are unsure how this happened; maybe his little legs buckled with the trauma of collapsing twice last Sunday and Tuesday ???

SAMMY SAID: Meowmy was with me 3 times today -- from 11:00am - 2:30pm / 5:00pm - 8:30pm / and 10:00pm - 3:00am. The vets didn't even mind because meowmy cooperates and stays out of everybodies way. She just sits in a chair infront of my cage and keeps her warm hands on me while I rest. I refused food all day long until 2:45 in the morning right before mom was going to leave to go home and sleep, she tried once more to feed me. A very nice nurse heated up some canfood for me so I could smell the meat and enjoy it warm! I acutally ate about a full tablespoon (licked off my mom's finger), and drank more water. I still have not gone poopies since Sunday, so I am on "bowel movement watch". If it gets really bad they'll do an xray to see if I am compacted but It's probably cuz i'm tired and weak and haven't eaten enough to push it out. If I continue to do well, then I may get to go home Saturday! PAWS CROSSED! ALL YOUR PURRRRRRRRRRS ARE STRENGTHENING ME & HELPING! THANKS EFURRYBUDDY FURR PULLING ME THROUGH! AND THANKS TO SIR SONNY & THE OTHER ANGELS WHO SPRINKLED ANGEL DUST OVER ME TO GET BETTER! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET HOME AND SEE ALL MY GIFTS! THANK YOU! LOVE, HUGS, WHISKER-KISSIES, HEADBONKS, PURRRRRRRS AND PEACE TO ALL!

BEST PART OF THE DAY: I am OVERJOYED to report that at 10:00pm I brought Sammy's little sis-furr to the hospital and we came to visit Sammy together! I put her in the cage with Sammy and they were immediately shocked and relieved to see each other. They slept side by side, pressed up against each other (Taylee hogged the blankie though, MOL!) Truly a kodak moment! I really feel this helped Sammy. He immediately fell asleep and got some good rest because he was comforted by Taylee's presence. I even fell asleep with my head inside the cage, resting on my arm with Sammy's face against my hand.We stayed together for the whole night and Taylee even got a few licks of Sammy's food, MOL! THIS IS A NIGHT I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, WHETHER OUR TIME IS LIMITED OR WILL BE PROLONGED. OUR LITTLE FAMILY OF THREE WERE TOGETHER AGAIN. I FELT THE BLESSING AND THE MIRACLE & BONDS OF LOVE WITH MY KITTIES AND THAT WILL LAST FURREVER! I hope I can return all the love that has been showered upon us by such dear catster furrriends during our time of crisis. LOVE TO ALL, Sammy's momcat.



February 19th 2009 2:10 am
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MOMMY SAYS: I spent 4 hours at the vets office tonight, sitting outside Sammy's oxygen chamber (he is inside there constantly). None of the vets or assistants told me that I was in the way so I know that Sammy is in compassionate and good hands. They even asked me if I would like to hand-feed him! I was able to hand-feed Sammy and give him water. He was such a good boy tonight eating and wanting to eat for the first time in 2 days! That to me is great progress! I took the oppurtunity to take some pictures of Sammy and will post them as soon as I can. I am grateful I still have time with him and will use it to the full. Sammy is still very weak and tired though, and is receiving the same meds and treatment as mentioned in this morning's diary. He does have a low-grade fever when they checked his vitals at 10:30 pm. I hope it goes down so he can rest his poor head :( Tomorrow is a big day as they will attemp to wean him off of the oxygen 15 minutes ON -- and 15 minutes OFF. Then they will increase the on's and off's if he sustains good breathing on his own. PAWS & FINGERS CROSSED! Sammers is being brave and I'm so proud of him! Another thing that makes me proud is that Sammy received 3 new auntie's in his life that have been such an encouragement to us! Barbi, Jo Ann, and Robin...thank you; you are much aprreciated!!! They are all Catster meowmy's too :)

SAMMY SAYS: Pawlease can you purrrrrrrrrr furr my special furriend Hooch? He just found out that he has Hyperthyroidism and sensitive kidneys. This is a shock to his meomy because he had thrown up all day and she was sooo worried about him. We are worried furr our sweet buddy. He's a Creamsicle (orange & white tabby) just like me. We love you Hooch; hang in there buddy! =^..^= Here's his page:
Love and hugs to all!



February 18th 2009 5:40 pm
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ooops no time for diary here's a litle summary he is still in the hospital...oxygen chamber, triple the lasix shots, no iv fluids, pee'ing alot -- very good sign that the congestive fluid is going out of his body. but still bad pulmonary edema right now. heart is thickening seen in another x-ray this a.m. was with him a few hours ago, he actually perked up when i brushed him today (yesterday he didn;'t even move when he saw his brushy)... he blinks his eyes with kitty-kisses when i tell him all are purrrrring for him! i put blankets on him in his hosp. chamber and when i came back again to check on him he still had the blankies on and face nuzzled inside. finally he's getting some rest because the constant oxygen is stabilizing him and he doesn't have to work so hard to get air.. it's still hit and miss. dr's giving him 7 days to respond to meds, already been 4 days. then they will know outcome. will see sammy again tonight between around 6 or 7pm pacific time. paws crossed, love you guys! thank you all furr the amazing outpour of love, messages, gifts and prayers!



February 18th 2009 12:12 am
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SORRY THIS IS ANOTHER LONG ONE but I am pouring out my feelings in the diary and it helps me to cope ... Sammy has been re-hospitalized. He collapsed on his side gasping for air with his neck extended, stopped breathing after choking on fluid and throwing up twice in a row. I was talking to Angel Picasso's meowmy at the time. I dropped the phone and rushed him to the Emergency Pet Hosp. I normally don't break the law, but I remember driving 70 mph. at one point on surface streets just to get him there before his heart failed. It was pretty late in the evening so there were barely any cars around. I was trying not to panic but I could hear NOTHING coming from the backseat and I thought MY heart would stop. I kept saying I love you Sammy. By the time I got him to the hosp. he was breathing but so hard, panting with his mouth open and tongue out. It's hard for him to breath when his lungs/chest are heavy with fluids. They re-admitted him immediately, put him back in the oxygen chamber, did another X-Ray and injection to clear congestion from his chest and lungs and will do more blood work. He is staying overnight at the hosp. because the oxygen REALLY helps him and I will find out around 9 am on Wed. what to do next. Before I left the hos. they let me see him and i pet and kissed him and reassured him and they allowed me to put the towel that was in his carrier into his chamber -- so now he has a little scent and reminder from home with him. I am hoping that Sammy's body starts responding to the medicine so he can get stable and get better enough to be out of danger and home and happy and active again. That will be possible if the meds work! PAWS CROSSED! Thank you for all your purrrrrrrrrs for my dear California boy. Pawlease know that it means alot to me and I will thank you all when I get another chance, but please purrrrrrrrr for Sammy! Love, his mommy L


Thank you's

February 17th 2009 3:58 pm
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Please forgive me in advance if I have missed anyone...and sorry the diaries are so long, MOL!

We want to thank EFURRYONE for helping us through this. Just writing about it makes me more positive! I know that we will adjust and figure this out and be able to cope and then maybe help other kitties and their meowmies just beginning this road too. I know that there is more happiness in giving than receiving so I hope that all of you are feeling the joy right back to you! I got a message from Picasso's meowmy. She has endured alot and was kind enough to make itpossible to reach her if I I needed someone experienced to talk to. I cried. It was the most touching thing that she could have done. Her little Picasso is an angel now but oh such a beautiful boy! Also my sweet furriend Hooch's meowmy has also made it possible to reach her listening ear. What a blessing that efurryone is by our side! My dear KC Sunshine and Mittens thank you for the link to the heart condition kitty group and of course your love >^..^^..^<

We are so grateful for the response of care you all have provided to us. It is really the thought that counts but you all have gone above and beyond what we could ever have expected! Your purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs are enough to get us through. Thank you!


MED UPDATE: Sammy 2/17/09 DAY TIME

February 17th 2009 3:13 pm
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It has been 21 hours since Sammy has returned home. I am checking his breathing which is quite rapid but the vet said over the phone that it's okay. His nose is white and dry and and his gums are pretty pale but I am keeping him hydrated and rested. He has started lying down on his side which is a good sign because that shows that his congestive breathing is getting better. All he is doing is pretty much sleeping. If he does move to change positions, he pretty much only takes about 3 to 4 steps then lies down again. When he was hospitalized he had a catherter but now being at home I try randomly to just put him into the litter box. So far he pee'd alot once today at 10 am. It was a very strong smelling urine like it had meds in it and was super-concentrated. He has drank water 3 times today -- I hold the bowl in front of his face and he drank a lot. I hand-fed him some Chicken&Herring can food and he did eat a little. I had to give him 3 pills today - it took 10+ minutes as he kept spitting them out and trying to get away from me...that's my little stubborn fighter! Of course he was too dizzy and tired and couldn't really run under the bed and hide, so eventually the pills went down. (Diltiazem - for chest/heart; Furosemide lasix - for fluid flushing; baby enteric-coated aspirin to thin blood) This is only the beginning, so Sammy & me will have to learn to adjust to these new changes. Earlier today I put all the Valentine's cards we received from Catster friends next to hm and took pictures. You can see where his shaved chest spot is from the Echocardiogram. My poor Sammy -- he's still so cute, though. I got a few snapshots when his little sisfur Taylee was passing by so I have a few pics w/ both of them in it. Sammy kept his eyes closed the whole time I took pictures. Taylee tried to play with the cards. I wanted to capture the love and let everyone know how much they are appreciated and thought of fondly. Thank you for your friendships and loving gestures, messages, rosettes and gifts to my Sammy. You all are the best!


MEDICAL UPDATE: Sammy has a diagnosis

February 16th 2009 11:39 pm
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Dearest friends this is Sammy's mom. He does not have asthma, upper-resp. infection or pneumonia. After 2 x-rays and an Echocardiogram UltraSound, it has been determined that Sammy has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This is heart disease. The fluid created by this has made his heart bigger and breathing difficult and his heart is working very fast to pump blood. If we had not found this when we did, the vet explained that Sammy would have developed blood clots that would have traveled and lodged themselves in his body and his back legs and rear would have been paralyzed. He also could have had a stroke. I am really devastated beacuse Sammy is only 7 years old. The vet said that this condition usually leads to Congestive Heart Failure. Do any kitties out there know about HCM?

This morning Sammy was released from the ER and I brought him to his regular vet. He was admitted and stayed there on IV Fluids to re-hydrate him, a catheter and medicines too. The vet thankfully did not have to put him on oxygen again. He was released by the vet today at 4:30 and I got to bring him home (after picking up his prescriptions) we got home at 6 pm. today 2/16/09. The vet will call me tomorrow with more results from his blood test. So we get home, and of course I could see my little baby was so relieved to be home, he was purrrring! But his breathing was too hard and we had to make sure he didn't get too excited! He has been lying on blankets on the floor, ate a litle hand-fed bit of chicken can food and drank water. Sammy is a completely different kitty in only 2 days' time. Before he would stampede around the house chasing his baby sisfur Taylee and roll on his back to lay in the sunlight and go out on the balcony to birdwatch and get his fur brushed by me and being a normal regular-energied midle-aged cat. Now he is very weak, taking 3 or 4 steps at a time (at most) before he lies down to catch his breath. His breathing is fast with little moaning sounds. I am so worried for my sweet boy and this is such a sufdden shock and change n our lives. Thank you to all who continue to purr for my sweet Sammy. This means so much to us and really gives us the comfort we need to get through this. I am grateful that Sammy my golden California-boy is still alive and am ready to do all it takes to help him stay well. I am a litle scared and overwhelmed but writing this helps me to sort through the emotions. When i see him back at home I am soooo happy, but when I think about the road ahead, I cry. But I am comforted by this Catster community and Sammy's sweet face. Thank you one and all for the most thoughtful messages and gifts and purrrrrrrs that you are sending Sammy. You mean so much to us and we love you all. Sincerely, Sammy's mom -- I will try to thank everyone personally when I can... more to come.



Valentine Thank you's from meowmy on behalf of Sammy

February 16th 2009 12:30 am
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Sammy's meowmy here... a big, warm, heartfelt THANK YOU to all of Sammy's sweet friends for sending him the most precious and loving Valentine's wishes and prezzies. Also thank you for the get-well wishes...what a quick response! It could not have come at a better time to feel the love from the Catster community -- you are family to us, really! We will endeavor to thank you all personally for your kindness regarding valentine's day and Sammy's recovery as soon as we are able. Thank you :)

Love, Lauren (Sammy's mom)



February 16th 2009 12:21 am
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Dearest Catster friends, Sammy's meowmy here...My poor Sammy was hospitalized Sunday the 15th at 9 am. He had been in extreme respritory distress -- OUT OF NO WHERE -- it started the night before, he was tring to throw up and only white foam came out once. THereafter, he sat bending his neck forward trying to cough for hours, he was so weak that he could barely change positions. Then he doubled over (litearally collapsed on his side) and his nose was turning color and his mouth was open and he could barely breath. We were so scared for him that he had something stuck in his throat or that it was congestive heart troubles or an infection. We rushed him to the Vet Emergency hosp. and he had 2 exrays. They said he has bad acute asthmatic inflammation or feline respiratory inflammation and they couldn't hear his heart because the chest congestion and cracking of fluid was so loud. They said his heart looked a bit plump so that is a concern. They also won't know until tomorrow if he has pneumonia or feline asthma. In the meantime, they gave him Lasix to drain fluid and baytril antibiotic and depo-medrol to open his airways and anti-inflammatory. He has been in an oxygen chamber since yesterday morning until now and he seems to be improving. He will be on oxygen until the morning. To add to this, the vet on staff is not very compassionate and acted rude when I stopped in a few times just to check on him. I don't care what the vets think, I just wanted to see my baby and give him my loving support. He is alone and scared in the hosp. and needed to see me. His fur is flying off when I pet him because of the stress but thankfully he does not have a temperture or fever. I am supposed to pick him up at 7am today and have him transferred to the care of his regular vet. Please keep Sammy in your "pawsitive thoughts and purrrrrrrrrrs". It would mean so much and be comforting to him as he loves his friends on Catster dearly. THANK YOU SWEETIES! Thank you also so much for your listening ears for me. I have been so anxiety-ridden and overwhelmed. I can't wait for Sammy to recover and come home! Love, Lauren (Sammy's mom)

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