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Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Did you know that about 30% of Maine coons have a genetic mutation that makes it likely they will develop this disease?

I know this little tidbit because I took Abbie to the emergency vet at 7:30 last night. He was extremely lethargic, had shallow breathing and hadn’t eaten or drank anything since the night before. He is usually extremely vocal but he would only give a weak meow to me.

I really knew something was wrong when I put him in the carrier. Usually this is a Herculean task but this time he didn’t even struggle. And instead of screaming like a cougar he was just making sad sounds during the drive to the vet.


His xrays showed an enlarged heart, fluid in his lungs and a fever. They kept him overnight in an oxygen cage, gave him fluids and Lasix. By morning his fever had lessened. He was more alert, and more bitchy. They decided to keep him in the oxygen until 1pm. They called at about 1:30 and his fever had totally broken, the new images showed less fluid and his heart was a bit smaller and he was even more grumpy and bitchy which is a good sign.

When we picked him up at 6 this evening the vet said that he is really encouraged by how well he responded to the Lasix.

Since we got home he has been laying around but it’s different from the way he was Friday night. He’s probably still feeling the effects of being sedated for so long. And he had to wear a cone...A CONE...so he wouldn’t tear out his paw catheter. I’m sure he’s pissed about that indignity.

Monday I have the not enviable task of getting a friskier cat into the carrier so that I can take him to our regular vet for an ECG to see if the preliminary diagnosis is correct. If so that will mean medication twice a day which he will LOVE but you gotta do what you gotta do.



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