Monday, 16 November 2009

Updates, Heart Attacks, Reactions and ...

... other fun stuff.

So, I'm almost done with my revisions! One more run through today, I think, and it's off to my lovely beta readers, who will (hopefully) skewer me on their talons of prickli-ness and my MS will be oh-so-polished.

And in other news...our poor little Black cat (my muse of perfection) had an attack on Sunday. We thought we were gonna lose him right there. It was horrible. They now suspect either a mini heart attack and/or a blood clot (thrombosis) which is quite likely I suspect, due to the symptoms and the way he had the attack. He got a nice long infusion at the vets, as well as a reaction to the pain medicine they gave him (which included further foaming at the mouth and about finished me off) and yet another XRAY. He is a fighter, though, and always stays. I thought I really would lose him yesterday, though, and I couldn't handle it.

It was a long day.

So I thought I'd make all the notes here for anyone searching the net with the same problems my boy(s) have.

My Sphynx, both castrated boys and from the same family lines have HCM, or Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It's an enlarged heart muscle on the right side of the heart and they can't say exactly why some cats get it and others don't. (Humans get it too!) It's been found to run in lines, and likely the Sphynx cat breed got it from the American Shorthair breed (which was used for outcrossings and where it is also prevalent).

You'll often not notice anything wrong with your cat up until the moment they have their first attack. I was lucky to come in at the tail end of Black Cat's first attack, over a year and a half ago. Symptoms: flailing around, drool/foam at the mouth, have EXTREME trouble breathing (or be unable to for a time, which is a NIGHTMARE), it could include temporary to permanent paralysis of the hind end and definitely includes the poor cat doing numbers 1 and 2 wherever they are located. (In Black cat's case yesterday, uh, on me.)

Once you have found a cat cardiologist, they'll do an EKG and various other tests (as well as xrays) to pinpoint the problem, the measurements of the problem, and determine treatment. It's a nightmarish time, but with the use of Dimazon and Atenolol, some cats can be treated for long lengths of time successfully, although nothing is set in stone and complications such as thrombosis are common.

Anyway. Just a note of warning: If you want a Sphynx cat, or a Maine Coon cat, or an American Shorthair, check the heart results as far back as you can get them. It's terrible to lose a cat you love with no warning, but it's just as bad to come in and find your poor cat in a state of shock, covered in poo and pee, and practically dead.

I'll be happy to just worry about writing and work stuff this week, for real.


Laura Eno said...

What a terrible experience! Glad it turned out ok for you.

Heidi Willis said...

My heart just aches for you!

We are talking about getting a dog this week... after three years of "grieving" for our last one. I'd never give the years of joy and love for the pain of saying goodbye, but still... it's hard to go into it knowing how they can rip your heart out.

I'm glad he's feeling better, and hope you are recovering too!

Heidi the Hick said...

When we got the pug I asked to look at his pedigree. I read about some of the health problems these guys can have and asked lots of questions about his family history. So far, so good. He's been totally healthy.

but I know, having said goodbye to so many critters, that someday I'll have to say goodbye to him too.

But man, we'll do almost anything to keep our animals with us!!!

Give that sweet cat an gentle little hug from me, okay? I'm rootin' for him over here!

Merrilee said...

*hugs* Poor Black kitty :( Poor you!

pseudosu said...

Holy shiz girl! So sorry, what a horrible experience. I know from how you are with your kittehs you will be once ferocious mutha. I'll send rays to your little black kitty. Feel better over there. ((hug))