|Quinn (August 2000 - January 2005)|
At one of the other animal hospitals, he picked up a respiratory infection, which spread through our other cats before we realized he was infected. We added that antibiotic to the drug chart, and of course, we had to dose the others with that as well. Quinn's appetite got even worse. He began to run from us because he didn't want to take another pill.
It was heartbreaking for us. It hurt our bank account, too. In the middle of it all, we got hit by a major hurricane and basically evacuated into the new house.
A few months after his heart attack, Quinn's medications had been reduced significantly. He was finally starting to seem happy and healthy again. We thought we were on the home stretch to full recovery, when he had another heart attack. That time, we set him free. He was four years old.
Many people criticized the money, time and attention that we devoted to trying to get Quinn well again. They didn't understand that our cats are our children. We had to give him every opportunity to survive. Years before, I'd had a cat with an enlarged heart who exhibited the same symptoms. Allie was not diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy specifically, and I have no record of the central Florida vet who treated him. Allie not only survived, he thrived and lived to be 18 years old. I had no reason not to give Quinn the same chance to live a long life. The money we spent also gave us time to tell Quinn over and over again how much we loved him. Would we do it again? I don't know.
You can learn more about feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy from the Cat Fancier's Association. Certain breeds are more susceptible than others. If you find your cat gasping for breath, one possible cause could be HCM, and a rush visit to a veterinarian is in order. I hope it's something you'll never have to experience.