March 31st 2009 6:41 pm
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i now understand why we lost Nicco so soon - Here's the story:
Since he's been gone, I've been thinking about getting another Turkish Angora - my blood pressure has been high, and my daughter, Nicco's original owner reminded me that there are plenty of scientific studies that show that stroking a cat lowers blood pressure. So, I thought, why not, another TA. I love the breed. Nicco was such a cuddler. Actually his fav place to sleep at night was on my head! But for some reason it never bothered me - it was like having extra softness and warmth.
So I started looking at the rescue sites, and of course, you know how one web site links to another, and suddently I'm at a webpage that talks about health issues for TAs. And lo and behold, they talk about a heart condition common to the breed - it's called hypertropic cardiomyopathy. The more I read about it, the more I understood that it must be what took Nicco's life so early. (Check out: http://www.geocities.com/tacaorg/whatisHCM.html). It's not unique to TAs, apparently also effects Maine Coons as well.
Bottom line - if I had known about it, and moreover my VET knew about it - Nicco might still be here. It's treatable w/ meds.
So - here is my message to everyone - when you decide to adopt a pet, please learn all about the breed that you can! You can help your vet a lot. Not every cat is the same, nor is every dog.
I also have 2 rescued retired greyhounds - and I read about greyts for several years before I adopted the first, and had her for 4 years before I adopted the second. For example, retired racers are very susceptible to arthritis (like any athlete), and for some reason, greyts are highly susceptable to osteosarcoma (bone cancer). So, knowing this, and finding a vet who also understood this was important. This year Moon will be 10 and Indian 7. My Gizmo (an orange tabby) will be 16. But my vet understands greyhounds and tabbies. Sadly she never had the opportunity to meet my sweet Nicco. But I can assure anyone who has taken the time to read this - I will consult w/ Dr. Jackie Casanova (Gainesville, FL) before adopting another pet!
So, even though I know understand what happened to Nicco, it doesn't make it easier, because it could have been prevented. However, I'm still willing to take a chance on another a Turkish Angora - yeah, still looking for a grey one, but I think I'd like a female this time.
And for everyone else out there - just know, that even though Nicco was only with me a short time - he was soooooooooo loved, and gave as much back!