Last Monday I packed up Chloe Jo and Grizelda for a vet trip. Chloe Jo was due for her check up and nail trim. Grizelda goes along occasionally for the social experience. Unlike the infamous Chloe Jo, Grizelda is reclusive. We call this big girl Sasquatch; there are only rumoured sightings of her. Getting out and being handled is good for her. She is extremely sweet and smart, just very independent.
Grizelda was fine. She actually was very chatty with the male tech. He has known them since they were a few days old. He is good at his job and they know it. He carries them around like they are old friends. They had a nice, short visit.
Chloe Jo was not so fortunate. She ended up spending the day at the clinic for testing. She was showing signs of problems removing waste from her system. Her problems are all congenital, with her organs not being normally sized. This creates issues for her when trying to relieve her body of waste products. Previously, we have only had to deal with urinary problems. Now she is having issues with her excretory system, in general. Thankfully, her litter habits are very good, though she still thinks the (clean) box is a playground, too.
We were finally able to get Chloe Jo back on track. The vets adjusted her medications, again. It is always scary, because things spiral quickly with her. When I took Chloe Jo back to the vet for a re-check, the results were all positive. We are grateful, and so is she.
Unfortunately, Maggie seemed out of sorts, lately. So, she joined us at the vet clinic on our midweek visit, when Chloe Jo was re-checked. We had noticed a very sudden weight loss, along with a disinterest in food. After thorough testing, including both x-rays and blood work, we found a couple of issues.
Maggie has a few deteriorated discs in her neck and lower spine. These are problem areas that will be chronic. She was given a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. This seems to have helped the pain she must have been feeling, as she certainly seems more comfortable.
The other issue is even more serious, however. Maggie has cardiomyopathy (heart disease). Definitive x-rays show an enlarged heart. Blood work also supports the doctor's findings, which includes high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate. Maggie's other symptoms of weight loss, lack of appetite, and seeking heating vents fit this diagnosis, too.
Maggie is seven years old. She has regular vet check ups. She also has always had an excellent vet prescribed diet. Her issues are not age or diet related. I mention these things, because regular vet check ups are key in detecting this silent disease. We did not see this coming.
Feline cardiomyopathy is a disease affecting the cat's heart muscle. Cats often live with no visible symptoms of the disease, until it becomes serious. Yet, it is the most common form of heart disease in cats and the most common cause of heart failure. Underlying causes of cardiomyopathy include hyperthyroidism, acromegaly (excessive growth hormone), poor nutrition (including taurine deficiency), cancer (especially lymphoma), toxin exposure, and heredity. It is an interesting fact that research shows percentages of over one-third of Maine Coon cats develop cardiomyopathy. Maggie is a CFA registered Maine Coon.
I must say, we are all heartbroken. But, we are focusing on Maggie. She is now on blood pressure medication and will be very closely monitored. The goal is to stabilize her health and to keep her as happy as she always has been.
Heartstrings are the ties that bind us together. Our FurKids always pull at our heartstrings, but never more than when they are ill and need us. Please keep Maggie in your prayers as we help her get this under control. We know it is serious, but we never want her to know that. Thank you all for caring. As always, we appreciate it.