Wyn

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Jessi
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Wyn

Post by Jessi » 21 Sep 2015 03:28 am

I know this place is extremely quiet lately, but talking to Ty about Wyn made me realize that I really wanted to share what's going on with him currently with all of you. A lot of you have known Wyn for many, many years - and a lot of you helped out SO much when Wyn was sick with his urinary blockage way back in 2007 (!). Wyn is now 12, and a lot is going on with him.

(Some of this is cross-posted from my Tumblr)

Wyn went in for his senior exam a week and a half ago. He'd been acting a bit off at home - spending a lot of time alone, being very grumpy with the other cats, sleeping under the bed or in the closet. We mostly chalked it up to the fact that we've recently adopted a new kitty, Robin, who is a 1-year-old energetic ball of craziness that wants to play with Wyn all. the. time. He's been on some anti-anxiety meds to help with that, which seemed to be helping a little, but he just wasn't himself. During his exam, Dr. Stern (who is one of the most amazing vets in the entire world) noticed he was breathing a bit heavy and asked to do a chest radiograph. We both thought it was just usual stress but didn't want to rule anything out; it turns out it's a really good thing we did. Wyn was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, or CHF. It's really devastating news; some cats can live only months after a diagnosis, but some can live for years with the right care and medication. We immediately started Wyn on lasix, a medication that removes fluid from the heart/lungs, and scheduled him to have an echo with our cardiologist as soon as possible.

The point of the echo/cardiac ultrasound was to figure out exactly why Wyn has CHF. We found out he has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM. The way his vet explained it is, HCM means his heart muscles have thickened abnormally. This reduces the amount of blood that can be pumped into the heart chambers and makes the heart work much harder - hence his difficulty with breathing. It also weakens his ability for his heat muscles to contract. He did not have fluid in or around his lungs (this is good) but did have some in the lining around his heart.

The worst - and scariest - part is he has a blood clot in the left atrium chamber of his heart. This puts him at terrible risk for something called a saddle thrombus, or a blood clot in his artery. I’ve seen cats come in with a saddle thrombus/thrombosis. They cannot walk, they essentially have a dead limb, and really… it usually requires euthanasia, because it is so terribly painful for the cat.

His vet immediately started him on plavix, a medicine to help dissolve the clot, as well as a medicine to improve his ability for his heart muscles to contract, and another diuretic along with the lasix he is already on to keep fluid away from his heart.

My vet ended the message to me by saying, “I know this is a lot to process but we will work hard to keep him comfortable and stable for as long as we can.”

See…at this point, his heart isn’t going to get any better. It’s not hyperthyroid-related CHF, which is what I was hoping for desperately - because sometimes that is actually fixable. The only thing we can do is try to dissolve that clot – that is our absolute immediate concern - and then to protect his little heart as best we can to keep it from getting any worse.

I'm exceptionally lucky to work where I do now - it's one of the top cat hospitals in the country, and I'm surrounded by amazing doctors and coworkers, with so many good things for Wyn at our disposal. The biggest thing for me is... I made a promise to my cats a year ago, after seeing so many old, sad, sick kitties being kept alive against their will by owners that think they have their best intentions at heart but are just prolonging the inevitable. I promised them I would never, ever put them through that. We will do everything we can with Wyn while he is happy - while he is still eating, purring, snuggling, and wanting to play, we'll do whatever it takes. And once we know he no longer has interest in any of that, we will let him go.

The good news is, the medication seems to be working; he has a lot more energy already, and is back to snuggling and purring. Today he even explored the house and caught a couple of toys for us. He is going back in two weeks for some follow-up bloodwork to make sure his new medications aren't affecting his kidneys (luckily, his kidneys are perfect right now which is great for a 12-year-old cat), and if everything goes well, he'll have a repeat echo in 4 months to see if the clot has dissolved.

Any good vibes or thoughts sent our way are definitely appreciated so much. I know a lot ofyou know just how special and amazing Wyn is to me, and we're just taking things one day at a time with him for now <3

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Madge
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Re: Wyn

Post by Madge » 21 Sep 2015 06:39 am

<3 aww, poor little kitty. It sounds like he's having great care taken of him. I hope he has many more comfortable months left in him!

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thelonetiel
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Re: Wyn

Post by thelonetiel » 21 Sep 2015 04:52 pm

He is terribly lucky to have you Jessi!

That is a lot to deal with, but there's nothing better in this case than having a vet team you know and trust to support you. It's wonderful that you guys caught it and were able to make a diagnosis, and I'm sure it is a huge relief that he's already responding positively to the meds. Poor kid must be feeling so much better to be braving the house and the one year old kitten. ;)

I work at a veterinary hospital too, and it's rough. But the euthanasia of pets that have had happy lives and a bleak future are far better than the visits that are vainly trying to make a sick pet live a few more weeks in misery. I think you've got the right idea to shoot for the life in the years, not the years in the life, even if it is an awful choice to have to make.

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Jazzy
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Re: Wyn

Post by Jazzy » 21 Sep 2015 07:04 pm

Aww, Wyn - I'm sending you hugs from far away. My kitty back home has a very mild arrhythmia, he's probably about the same age as Wyn, but luckily so far he hasn't needed medication - if he did I don't know how my parents would get it into him!

It sounds like Wyn is in the best hands possible.

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Jessi
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Re: Wyn

Post by Jessi » 23 Sep 2015 05:56 am

Thanks so much for the good vibes, guys <3 The last of his medications arrived today, and it is HUGE! I feel so bad for him. The other pills I can break up and put into a single gel cap for him, but this one pill is massive. So he gets four 'doses' of medication (in the form of two giant pills, basically) twice a day. He's such a trooper.

Unfortunately our new bratty kitty, Robin, left a good size wound on Wyn's side that has turned into an abscess, so he has to go BACK to work to have that drained. My poor boy can't catch a break!

Having a plan in place is definitely helping, though overall it's just been such an emotional ride, and I don't see that stopping any time soon.

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Jessi
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Re: Wyn

Post by Jessi » 17 Oct 2015 09:46 pm

Double-posting.

Wyn is gone. His little body just couldn't handle it. He was at work with me today for a completely different reason and just crashed. He was scared and in pain and we decided not to put him through anymore.

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Madge
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Re: Wyn

Post by Madge » 18 Oct 2015 01:45 am

:( :( <3

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Kantark
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Re: Wyn

Post by Kantark » 18 Oct 2015 10:22 pm

Oh, Jessi :-( That's sad news to hear, sending virtual ::hugs:: your way.
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Jazzy
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Re: Wyn

Post by Jazzy » 19 Oct 2015 06:19 pm

Aww, Jessi :( I hope it's some comfort to know that he had the best life a cat could have with you.

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