Edited to add that Abbie is a cat. A big old Maine Coon mix which is why it’s so much of a fight with him because cats are extremely flexible balls of fury, nails and teeth.

In August Abbie was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (the walls of the ventricles become abnormally thickened which, usually, ends up causing congestive heart failure) after I took him to the emergency vet because of his extreme lethargy and lack of eating. I posted about it here at the time.

The vet there put him in an oxygen cage over night and gave him Lasix which brought him back to “normal” in less than 24 hours.

A few weeks later I took him to my vet for an echocardiogram which confirmed his diagnosis. The vet prescribed 4 medications. Since he is impossible to pill she ordered them compounded into liquid. When I picked them up they were a little over $400. That is a lot of money that I would have problems with anytime but especially now that I am only working part-time.

One med is once a day, two are three times a day and one is twice a day...But I have not been following this schedule so I can stretch them out because of the price. Also he is a demon with regard to getting any kind of medicine in him. It is a huge fight which results in scratches and screaming (mostly him) and then in him avoiding me and hiding most of the time.

So he has been doing well since mid September to now. The past few days he’s been slowing down and today his is acting a little like he was right before his diagnosis.

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I’ve stretched the medications as long as I can but I’m almost out. The Lasix from the emergency vet worked okay by itself and since it was a small dose I could hide it in some canned food. I can’t afford $400 again and, even if I could, I am finding it harder and harder, physically and emotionally, to force the meds on him. He’s not happy most of the time and will only let me approach him in certain rooms at certain times.

Now I need to decide what to do. Do I try to convince our vet to just give us Lasix and keep him almost normal but not good as he could be? Do I think about letting him even though he still reacts well to being medicated? The average lifespan is 12 to 18 months after diagnosis though some with milder cases can live a few years but it gets harder to manage. Abbie’s case isn’t mild though. He would have died in August if I hadn’t taken him to the emergency vet.

This is long and might be hard to understand but it has helped me get my thoughts straight after the most recent struggle to get his drugs in him which left him very upset and me bleeding and crying.