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Cat with congestive heart failure

HannahT

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@Dr. Jeff , @Dr. Christina , @Dr. Sara - My 6 year old cat is at the vet currently and they’ve told me he has congestive heart failure, they do not yet know the cause. I’m curious if there’s a more natural approach to treating this, should I keep him on the meds they give me?


UPDATE: Josh is now home from the hospital, and breathing about 47 breaths per min when resting (not asleep). They have me giving him Clopidogrel, Enalapril, and Furosemide- to decongest the heart and to keep blood clots from forming. The vet told me they believe it was all fluid on the heart (no heartworms) as the meds seemed to be able to pull most of the fluid off the heart per the most recent x-ray this morning.
I’m wondering if all these meds will continue to be necessary as i worry about how toxic they are and how much stress it’s putting on his liver. Do I continue with the full course of the drugs?

update 6/11
Josh saw Dr Goodwin, the cardiologist today for his echocardiogram. Apparently he has restrictive cardio myopathy that is most likely genetic. The doctor is adjusting his meds and getting him to start on lower doses and he will go back again in two weeks for blood work. I’m going to take this info to a local holistic vet and see what they say

Some history:
He’s a 6 y/o long hair tabby, he’s large, could be part Maine Coon. He normally has a healthy appetite, loves to play, has a history of frequent sneezing and occasional urinary tract inflammation. The sneezing hastopped but started again right before I had to take him to the ER. His bloodwork revealed he shows early signs of kidney trouble
I fed him grain free dry food until about two years ago when I switched to canned wet food. I had him on honest kitchen turkey formula for a while but he would be picky about eating it and a lot went to waste, we tried friskies during some financial hardship on my part, then had him on Tiki Cat (all fish), and now he’s on grain free Tiny Tiger canned food from chewy, however I’m switching back to honest kitchen after all this.

Toxin exposure: He was fully vaccinated as a kitten. When I got him from the shelter he had a head cold and I was given antibiotics from them to treat the head cold. Until last year he was on flea meds every summer. My crawl space had mold, which I recently had treated in October,( it was after the mold was remediated his sneezing seemed to stop.)
.
I feel incredibly guilty about his current state. I work long hours for the film industry, and had been in a perpetual state of exhaustion until getting time off during covid during which time I began my own healing journey with Medical Medium protocols. I now realize how important a whole body approach is to my pets health as well and want to do the best for him that I possibly can!
Thank you! ❤️
1622492131509.png


Thanks so much
Hannah
 
Last edited:

Dr. Christina

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Hannah, there is definitely a holistic approach. Many cats and dogs with heart problems of all types have been completely healed with homeopathy. Some, of course, merely have better quality of life, though the damage persists. For a few, homeopathy does not help.

I would suggest starting right now to work with a homeopathic veterinarian.
Dr. Christina
 

Dr. Christina

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Excellent.
Not all vets listed as holistic really are, so remember you are doing step 2 - research. Then, regardless of her suggestions, you come home and think about all possibilities.

And post what happens at the vet here.

Dr. Christina
 

HannahT

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@Dr. Jeff , @Dr. Christina , @Dr. Sara - My 6 year old cat is at the vet currently and they’ve told me he has congestive heart failure, they do not yet know the cause. I’m curious if there’s a more natural approach to treating this, should I keep him on the meds they give me?
1622492131509.png


Thanks so much
Hannah
Excellent.
Not all vets listed as holistic really are, so remember you are doing step 2 - research. Then, regardless of her suggestions, you come home and think about all possibilities.

And post what happens at the vet here.

Dr. Christina
Thank you, good to know, and will do. He is home now from the emergency vet, edited the original post and with update
 

Dr. Jeff

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I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty Hannah.:(

Thanks for the additional info since he got home from the hospital.

Yes, the meds. are necessary for now. At least until Josh re-balances enough to be back to good BEAM, a normal resting rate (<40 and ideally <30) and until he sees Dr. Goodwin (who consult for VCA Briarcliff) or another cardiologist.

It's also a good idea to schedule an echocardiogram to know exactly what is going on with his heart. This is especially important as Maine Coons can have a genetically-linked heart dis-ease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

You may want to ask about running this test:


There's also lots of other HCM/heart dis-ease resources in the member area (just search for "heart").

@aruna, I'd appreciate if you post some for Hannah in this thread. ?

Here's a handout about HCM and heart dis-ease from a conventional cardiologist (it's in your HMDM research folder):


Also, Cornell feline health center has a good article:


For now, I'd see if Josh will eat 1-2 chicken or turkey hearts/day and start supplements like taurine, carnitine, magnesium, CoQ-10, etc.

The most critical action right now (start tonight) is to increase the cellular energy that his heart needs to heal.

Start with promoting his happiness with treats, petting and promoting purring.

The more purring the better!

If he has a favorite treat or toy, perhaps play a subdued form of "hunt-catch-kill" to help activate his natural healing mechanisms.

Yes, please let us know how it goes at your vet and how Josh is doing.
 

HannahT

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I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty Hannah.:(

Thanks for the additional info since he got home from the hospital.

Yes, the meds. are necessary for now. At least until Josh re-balances enough to be back to good BEAM, a normal resting rate (<40 and ideally <30) and until he sees Dr. Goodwin (who consult for VCA Briarcliff) or another cardiologist.

It's also a good idea to schedule an echocardiogram to know exactly what is going on with his heart. This is especially important as Maine Coons can have a genetically-linked heart dis-ease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

You may want to ask about running this test:


There's also lots of other HCM/heart dis-ease resources in the member area (just search for "heart").

@aruna, I'd appreciate if you post some for Hannah in this thread. ?

Here's a handout about HCM and heart dis-ease from a conventional cardiologist (it's in your HMDM research folder):


Also, Cornell feline health center has a good article:


For now, I'd see if Josh will eat 1-2 chicken or turkey hearts/day and start supplements like taurine, carnitine, magnesium, CoQ-10, etc.

The most critical action right now (start tonight) is to increase the cellular energy that his heart needs to heal.

Start with promoting his happiness with treats, petting and promoting purring.

The more purring the better!

If he has a favorite treat or toy, perhaps play a subdued form of "hunt-catch-kill" to help activate his natural healing mechanisms.

Yes, please let us know how it goes at your vet and how Josh is doing.
Thank you so much! His echocardiogram is scheduled for June 11, I plan to see both a holistic vet and get the results from the echocardiogram before scheduling my June call with you guys. Are there cat specific supplements I should buy or just a lower dose of high quality human ones?
 

Dr. Jeff

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You're welcome Hannah!

Fantastic that you are covering all of these important bases.

Great question about using the human supplements for cats!

It depends on the exact ingredients of the supplement.

For a comprehensive list of safe supplemments, and herbal/dietary support, take a look at this doc and supps. from our friends Maria and Phil:


If you get any of their supplemnts, they have kindly provided HA! members with a 10% discount code = resp10
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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I personally have congestive heart failure and I take all of these supplements! For kitties I have used human taurine and carnitine; the capsulized powder has virtually no flavor so is well accepted, and amounts can be titrated. Be careful with CoQ10 in kitties; I had one react very badly, so I limit it to 10 mg per day--maybe 15 mg in a big cat like Josh. (They don't really need more than that anyway.) Magnesium is typically limited in cat foods due to (totally incorrect) association with urinary tract disease, so a little bit extra may be helpful, but it is one of the minerals that can become toxic at higher levels.
 

HannahT

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Thank you!!! Awesome- I got him some chicken hearts,
I personally have congestive heart failure and I take all of these supplements! For kitties I have used human taurine and carnitine; the capsulized powder has virtually no flavor so is well accepted, and amounts can be titrated. Be careful with CoQ10 in kitties; I had one react very badly, so I limit it to 10 mg per day--maybe 15 mg in a big cat like Josh. (They don't really need more than that anyway.) Magnesium is typically limited in cat foods due to (totally incorrect) association with urinary tract disease, so a little bit extra may be helpful, but it is one of the minerals that can become toxic at higher levels.
thank you!! I have vimergy magnesium glycinate (220 mg caps) for myself, would that be ok if I opened one up and sprinkled a little on his food?

image.jpg
 

Dr. Jeff

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Yes to the magnesium!

Perhaps start with 1 pinch and work up to about 1/2 capsule/day if he is OK with it.

If he hates the taste. Don't use it.

It's best to avoid any stressor (like negative emotions) that can lower cellular energy and turn on bad genes and turn off good ones.

 

HannahT

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Yes to the magnesium!

Perhaps start with 1 pinch and work up to about 1/2 capsule/day if he is OK with it.

If he hates the taste. Don't use it.

It's best to avoid any stressor (like negative emotions) that can lower cellular energy and turn on bad genes and turn off good ones.

Thank you! Right now I’m having trouble getting him to eat. He’s been only nibbling since he got back from the emergency vet. They told me he didn’t eat at all the entire time he was there. He was eating less than usual before his episode on Sunday. I’ve tried raw food, canned food, honest kitchen, and chicken hearts. He would not touch the chicken hearts, but nibbled on the raw food and the canned food.
 

Dr. Jeff

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YW Hannah!

Have you tried some lightly cooked chicken, beef, scrambled eggs (ideally organic) or human baby food?
 

HannahT

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YW Hannah!

Have you tried some lightly cooked chicken, beef, scrambled eggs (ideally organic) or human baby food?
I havnt. Will give them a try. He is nibbling on stuff throughout the day- got him to eat some raw food. Will try lightly cooking the chicken hearts. His spirits seemed high this morning then after giving him his meds his mood seems low. Been trying to cheer him up all day.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Wow, awe-some Hannah! Wonderful that he is eating the raw, at all. Raw is often less desirable than cooked (or canned/dry) so eating it is usually a sign of good BEAM.

Eating raw is great, IMO, because cooking and processing decreases the vital energy (and nutritional value) in the food.

However, I just got off the phone with Dr. Jean and neither of us could think of any research documentation for the energy part. Just that cooking destroys important enzymes and can creat Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) that are associate with dis-ease like cancer in people. Maybe doc @LyndseyM knows of some work intoo energy of fresh vs. processed food.

Anyway, I think that the meds lower his cellular energy a bit (in addition to having other drug effects) which might be why he seems low.

Maybe try a hunt-catch-kill game (with a catnip mouse, silvervine, etc) or an active acupressure petting session.

Hopefully he rebounded some tonight. What's his resp. rate been?
 

HannahT

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Thanks. Glad to hear catnip is ok- will pick some up and give it a try. He usually loves it. His resp rate has remained at around 30 breaths per min.
Just recounted and got 25 breaths per min! He took his meds last night at 9pm giving to him again this morning at 9am (in an hour). It’s usually the morning before he gets his meds that he seems the most normal.
 

Dr. Jeff

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25 is perfect!

Let's see how he does during the day.
 

LyndseyM

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Hi there sorry to be so late to the party!

I would certainly agree that processed pet foods are nutritionally devoid and especially those boutiquey grain-free foods that have plant-based proteins and are devoid of taurine - which for cats is super important since they (unlike their canine counterparts) are unable to make it endogenously, so it is essential. You can consider magnesium taurate which is magnesium compounded with a taurine for enhanced cardiac function. Raw is best - especially raw heart since it already contains all the vital nutrients one's heart could need: b vitamins, coq10, and taurine especially.

I had a westie who had RCHF, she did really well with traditional chinese medicine herbs - hopefully your holistic vet may have that up her/his sleeve!

Good luck, Hannah!
 

HannahT

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Hi there sorry to be so late to the party!

I would certainly agree that processed pet foods are nutritionally devoid and especially those boutiquey grain-free foods that have plant-based proteins and are devoid of taurine - which for cats is super important since they (unlike their canine counterparts) are unable to make it endogenously, so it is essential. You can consider magnesium taurate which is magnesium compounded with a taurine for enhanced cardiac function. Raw is best - especially raw heart since it already contains all the vital nutrients one's heart could need: b vitamins, coq10, and taurine especially.

I had a westie who had RCHF, she did really well with traditional chinese medicine herbs - hopefully your holistic vet may have that up her/his sleeve!

Good luck, Hannah!
Thanks so much!
 

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