Harry's Results(304 Posts)
I've just had the results of Harry's blood test for his heart and it's not good. His proBNP level is 344 and anything over 270 is classed as serious heart disease. I'm sitting at my desk at work in tears as I don't know what to do. As far as I can see I've got three options:
1. Get a second opinion
2. Have him referred for tests to see how serious it is and decide on treatment
3. Leave him be.
Please don't flame me but I'm leaning towards option 3. He's 13 years old, has been through more sedations, tests and operations than I care to remember over the last two years and is absolutely find in himself. He's eating, drinking and playing, doesn't get out of breath and, if he hasn't got long, I want him to be happy in that time, not in and out of vets all the time.
Sorry it isn't good news. As upsetting as it is for you I think option 3 is the kindest for him. As you say the poor lad has been through a lot and the main thing is he is happy.
I'm so sorry Pink.
I would also choose 3.
Sorry Pink, and poor Harry .
I think I would also go for option 3. I'm not an expert but I don't think there's an awful lot they can do for serious heart disease except treat the symptoms. It may be worth asking the vet if he/she would recommend any medication without further tests, but I think I agree that he's been through so much recently that any more may upset the quality of life he still has.
OP I read your earlier post and am so sorry to see your update.
We've just lost our old boy (who was the mirror image of Harry!) to liver cancer with hyperthyroid on top. He had an ultrasound to investigate the cancer but the vet said it was too spread out to consider operating. Tbf that made it easier for us not to keep interfering with him in his old age and he had a very contented last 9 months with us.
Have you already discussed with your vet the types of treatment that could be offered and whether any of them are non-invasive and easy enough for him to cope with (e.g. would he be ok taking tablets if that's an option?). If the treatments would all be invasive and upset him I would def go with option 3.
I didn't know there was a blood test for heart disease. Personally having gone through it with Fatty, I would scan and treat. But can totally understand why you wouldn't want too. And he is older than Fatty and has other issues.
Can't find previous thread to find out what the symptoms were...
No treatment is often the best treatment.
I'm lucky my vets are pretty hands off, quality is much more important than quantity of life.
I could imagine doing nothing but need to discuss specifics with vet.
An inexpensive easy to administer medication might make him more comfortable or slow down progression. Worth asking about.
Thank you for all your kind words and not making me feel awful for thinking of not treating him.
If this was his first or only issue I wouldn’t hesitate. I just don’t want however long he’s got to be spent having tests at the vet and having medication forced down him.
Halesie, there’s no way we’d be able to get pills down him. As well as being a bit bad tempered at times (his vet notes say fractious!) he fractured his jaw a couple of years ago and it didn’t heal properly. I’d be worried about damaging it again. He also had a dental infection that weakened it.
lljkk, he has no symptoms. He’s had a bit of a cough but only when he wakes up, never when he’s running around. The vet listened to his chest and immediately said he had a heart murmur on both sides so did the blood test.
Toddler, I immediately thought of Fatty. I just keep thinking of his age and everything else he’s been through and I want him to have quality over quantity. (Obviously I want quantity and quality but I don’t think we’re going to manage that )
Aw he's so beautiful. Can't usually see his eye colour so clearly in photos.
Tom has had the shaved neck many times. I like how it's all silky. I understand. Tom is furious and miserable when he's having lots of vet treatment. He hates pills, his crate, drugs in his food and being hauled about by people. If he was Harry's age and the treatment was going to be stressful and with no guarantee of a full recovery I think I'd just give him lots of love and let him have some peace and quiet. And a cooked roast chicken every week.
Have they given you any clue on what they think his chances are without treatment? How long? My old cat was 16 when we were told he was very poorly and might not have much longer in him. He was 21 when he died. Stubborn little bugger he was.
He’s got gorgeous eyes.
Harry goes limp when he’s at the vets, there’s clouds of fur when he’s stroked and his paws are sweaty.
The vet wouldn’t give me any clue as to how long he might have but the heart disease wouldn’t be cured, only managed. Your cat sounds amazing Dances!
Here’s another couple of pictures showing his lovely eyes!
Poor Harry. He's been through a lot.
Would you want an idea of timescales, if they could say?
I’m not sure to be honest. I like to be in control so from that point of view yes, as I would have an idea what I was dealing with. The problem is I’d probably get to that point in time and then go into a complete panic!
Option 3 I think. He's a puddle cat at the vets isn't he? I'm not even sure I'd want a proper timescale. Something vague maybe so I'd have some idea but not so specific that it felt like impending doom every day.
Ha! That first one is amazing. He looks like the James Bond of cats. Very suave.
That's true. And I guess the vets can't be certain of anything. How do they propose managing it with no invasive treatment? Is there anything they can do without him being too disrupted? A diet or something?
I kind of think I'd want to know so I could prepare myself, but then I'd probably panic too.
Can he have treats? Or will that make him ill? I think if I found out I had a time limit I'd want to spend my days on the sofa under an electric blanket, eating cheese and chocolate eclairs and drinking red wine. But equally not speed things up.
It's so hard
I too would go with option 3. You will do right by him whatever you decide.
The vet hasn’t said anything about managing it, just getting him referred to a specialist. From what I’ve read medication can delay the progress so I’ve asked is there anything he can have without any further tests. I should find out about that tomorrow.
He doesn’t eat treats (strange boy!) so that won’t be an issue. I think if it was me I’d be curled up on the sofa eating chocolate, watching the entire back catalogue of the X Files and ogling David Duchovny!
Love the picture of him staring straight at you. He's definitely the boss! I didn't realise he was awful to get tablets down. In that case then I wouldn't treat, and you have made the right choice.
We’ve never actually tried to pill him. We didn’t have to before he broke his jaw and there’s no way I could force his mouth open now in case I damaged it. I really can’t see him taking kindly to it and his claws are extremely sharp!
We tried syringing medicine into his mouth but that was a disaster. I held him while DH put the syringe in the gap where his teeth are missing, squirted the liquid in and straight out the gap the other side! The vet looked pityingly at Harry and told us to put it in his food!
I worry about prizing Fatty's mouth open after her issues last year. It's difficult to grip on to anything on the left side as her cheek bone is missing. But she's incredibly good with them really.
Right, after sleeping on it we’ve come up with a plan. First of all, I’m trying to convince myself he’s actually no different to how he was this time last week, before his trip to the vet and he’s going to be treated exactly the same.
I’m going to phone our vet and make an appointment for DH and I to go in and talk to her to find out what exactly the tests involve and what treatment is available. We can then decide whether it’s in Harry’s best interests or not. We are still leaning towards option 3 but I want all he facts so we can make an informed decision rather than always wondering and relying on Dr Google.
Thanks again for all your support, it’s been a huge help. I don’t know what I’d do without the support and advice from here!
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