Monday, March 23, 2015

Heartstrings

 
~Grizelda~

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. 

 ~Chloe Jo~

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 heredityIt 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. 

~Maggie P.~
~XO~

54 comments:

  1. sorry your babies have been going through hardships, again. i know you do all you can to keep them healthy and comfortable. they're lucky to have you.

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    1. Thank you, T. They are our FurKids. We would do anything for them.

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  2. Here's hoping Maggie continues to improve on the new medication and health plan.
    Love Noodles, Molly and Sunshine the cat

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    1. That is our goal: for Maggie to be her very best self!

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  3. Oh, jeepers....I'm sorry, am sending Maggie (and all of you) Light and prayers. The boys are sending their purrs. We know you will do the very best for Maggie for as long as is meant to be. Hugs and peace to you.

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  4. I will keep Maggie and Chloe Jo in my prayers. Did the vet test Maggie's thyroid? Is the heart condition able to reverse if the underlying conditions are helped? Sorry for all the questions.

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    1. Yes, they tested her for everything, and it all seems to be her heart (which breaks mine). At this point, they are thinking it is heredity. We have had other Maine Coons who had cardiomyopathy, too. Sadly, it is often genetic and thus irreversible. We will treat it with high hopes. Hugs.

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  5. M here: I'm so sorry to hear this news on Maggie. She will be in my prayers and Mario said he'd purr like crazy for her. Our furbabies are very important to us and they do tug at our heart strings. I'd rather have something myself than have Mario have the disease. Big HUGS for you. We'll keep checking back to keep up with updates.

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    1. We agree. It is so hard to see them sick. We are working on getting her to feel better, now. Hopefully sunshine and warmth with help with that!

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  6. We're sorry to hear that Maggie is having issues. We purr for her...and for Chloe Jo too.

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  7. So sorry...your beautiful girls just need more of my prayers! Take care!

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  8. I'm sorry that your precious fur-babies need medical attention. Sending lots of good thoughts and prayers for them and for you, too!

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    1. Thank you, Beth. I know you understand. Hugs.

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  9. We are glad that Grizelda and Chloe Jo are doing okay and we send our very best purrs and prayers to dear Maggie. We sure know all about troubling health issues. Maggie sure has the love she needs and her happiness is such a big factor. Hugs to you from all of us.

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    1. Yes, Brian, you surely do understand. Hugs back.

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  10. oohhh! so sorry your fur babies are having problems.... and poor sweet Maggie!! I do hope that the medication proves helpful and that she is right back to enjoying life and the love of her people! it's so sweet how they trust us to take care of them. big hugs my friend!! xx

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    1. We are hoping and praying that, too. They do trust us, for everything. Thank you.

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  11. Sending purrs to your household!

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  12. Sending prayers for all your kids! Maggie has her peeps to make sure she is comfortable and happy. Keeping my fingers crossed that the medication gives her comfort and helps with symptoms. She is a pretty girl.. those eyes!

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    1. We love Maggie's face. She has expressive eyes. Thank you, Pix. Hug.

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  13. I sending love and hugs for sweet Maggie, she's is the best loving and caring hands and you all will be pulling your heartstrings even tighter! God bless you all!

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    1. Karen, this means a lot to us. Thank you so much.

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  14. I am so sorry to hear this news about Maggie, 7 is quite young for Feline cardiomyopathy and my heart goes out to you. My Angel Bobo had it, at the time, my vet put him on Lasix for a few years (to control the water around the heart). Did your vet mention anything about that? It might not be needed right now. Sending purrs and prayers.

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    1. We have had others with this sad illness. Purrl, our previous poly, passed from it, at age 17. Maggie has no fluid right now. They are trying to control the blood pressure, to hopefully slow the cardiomyopathy down. Thanks, guys. Hug.

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    2. Oh dear I am so sorry :( Yes, my Bobo passed from it at 18. For sweet Maggie, 7 is just way too young. The good thing is being so young it is quite hopeful they can control the blood pressure. You are all in my thoughts and prayers ((((hugs)))

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    3. Thanks for the hugs. We are praying for the best for Maggie. Hug.

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  15. Dear Annie, I am so sad to hear this about Maggie. I know you will be giving her all the comfort, care and love she deserves and needs. It really breaks my heart that you are having to deal with not only your health issues but also now those of Chloe Jo and Maggie as well. I will definitely be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and the kitties will be purring. Hugs and love, Janet

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    1. Thanks, Janet. You are awesome. The FurKids keep us going. I know you understand that, too. HUGS. ❤

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  16. Yes, i will pray for your fur family. We are going through similar times with Kida, who is about 15. It's never easy.

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    1. No. You are right. It is never easy. Hugs to you and yours.

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  17. Best of luck with everything, to you and the fur- kids, Mcguffy.
    It is a challenge.
    Sending lots of positive vibes your way!
    Peace :)

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    1. Thanks, Chandra. We appreciate those positive vibes. Hug.

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  18. Maggie, We have your back. I promise precious girl. <3 Prayers and purrs from the two of us. You other babies, please..stay well. xoxox

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  19. It's always a struggle caring for our babies, especially when they are limited in how to communicate their needs to us. Thankfully we both speak "cat" quite well and are able to stay on top of things.

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    1. Our FurKids mean the world to us. Over 35 years of rescue work has taught me much about them and their ways. And as a vet tech, I was a critter nurse. I can do most anything, if given the supplies. My vet team is awesome, so we are blessed. We are also thankful for our friends who support us. Thanks.

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  20. maggie...we asked St Francis two pull out all stops N help ewe ...him haz blessings ta spare & heez willing ta share.....we troo lee hope yur medisinz will control thiz & ya haz manee happee yeerz a head ....R purrayers two ewe & mom & dad & de crew.....it does & can ...purrform miracles.... ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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    1. We believe in prayer and St. Francis. In fact, we count on both. Thank you for caring and being there. We need it. Hugs.

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  21. Beautiful photos of dear kitties and lots of healing energy and prayers coming your way!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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  22. Sorry to know about Maggie. Sending healing prayers her way!! Beautiful pics..adorable babies.:)

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  23. So sorry to hear of your fur baby having trouble. I've been there and feel your pain. I'll certainly pray for your little girl, Maggie and for the good health of all your sweethearts.

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  24. We are so very sorry to hear about Maggie's health issues, McGuffy Ann. We know you'll do the very best for her always, and we are saying extra purrs and prayers for her, and all of you.

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  25. I am SO sorry to hear of Maggie's diagnosis. I lost a Maine Coon to this terrible disease without warning a number of years ago and it just broke my heart. You and all of your beautiful cats are in my prayers. Your thoughts on "heartstrings" is spot on. Keep us updated... keep in touch.

    Hugs!

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  26. Many purrs for Maggie and I hope now with medication the HCM can be controlled. WE are keeping all of you in our prayers.

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  27. We are sorry to learn that Maggie has HCM but glad that it has been caught and we hope that she can live a long, loved life

    Sending love and rumbly purrs to you all

    Mungo
    Jet
    The Ape xx

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  28. Oh dear friend, I'm so sorry to hear about Maggie's health issues. Such a pretty girl! Our hearts go out to you. Mario said he would purr for her and I'll have her in my prayers. We do hope her condition can be controlled with medicine and diet. Hugs for you, the human.

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  29. We are sorry to hear Maggie has serious health issues.
    WE purr that medication will help with her heart.
    We send healing purrs .
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

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  30. Now that you know the problem, we hope Maggie will be doing better soon. It's always hard when one of our furries has a health problem.

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  31. Thinking of you all and sending big purrs to Maggie and Chloe Jo.

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