Tuesday, January 24, 2006

CATNAP TUESDAY #28: Ezri's Heart...

Well, yesterday our beloved cat, Ezri, just six years old, went for her return ultrasound/echocardiogram. To refresh everybody's memory, our veterinarian discovered that Ezri had mysteriously developed a heart murmur back in late October 2005. This was the follow-up appointment with the ultra-sound doctor after a course of anti-biotics and a few months on a heart pill, which I believe was a beta-blocker.

The good news is that Ezri's heart murmur has been reduced to a gallup rhythm. The really bad news is that it is not an infection causing this condition, as we had hoped, but rather the early stages of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (IVS mainly), a progressive disease that will eventually take her life. One of Ezri's heart valves is slowly but surely thickening, and as it gets worse, it will be more difficult for her heart to pump enough blood. This leads to complications like blood clots, heart failure, stroke, and so forth.

Kathryn and I are pretty devastated. Not the least of which is because Cardiomyopathy of this type is most often a hereditary condition, and Lila, one of our other cats, is Ezri's litter mate. We'll be taking her to the vet soon too, to see if she is suffering from the same condition. So we may lose two of our cats from this disease.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is known in some quarters as "the silent killer," because cats who suffer from it can show no symptoms for a long time, and then just suddenly die. So, it's really a very terrifying thing to be confronted with. We can only hope by finding the disease at such an early stage, we can control it for a period of years, rather than months. But Ezri's chances of living a long life are now severely diminished.

Ezri still has a good, strong appetite, and doesn't seem lethargic at all, so those are indicators, I hope, that she's up for the long fight and will respond to the treatment (new medicine which will help her heart relax...). Unfortunately, Ezri is showing some signs of depression...she's been overgrooming a section of her tummy, and that's also a sign of the disease, I think; an indicator that she may not be getting enough blood.

I'm depressed as hell too...


  1. Anonymous9:50 AM

    I'm so sad to hear about Ezri. She will be in my thoughts and prayers. I sure hope that Lila will be alright when you have her examined.


  2. Chris -

    Thank you so much for your good thoughts and prayers for Ezri. Kathryn and I appreciate them very much. We have a call in to speak with our regular vet tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully we'll come up with a strategy to slow down the disease. Lila has an appointment on Monday to get in and be checked, and right now we're just hoping she isn't impacted...