Heart Medication Question

Brooke11

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Apr 13, 2008
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Hi all,

Today I learned that my 1 year 4 month old cat has a serious heart condition. She became suddenly very lethargic and was having difficulty breathing. The vet did an ultrasound and took x-rays. He said if she was a human, she would be looking at getting a heart transplant. I am devastated--she is so young and such a sweet, loving cat; I just rescued her and her sister about a year ago. My vet (who has been extremely helpful and supportive through all of this) prescribed a heart medication called Enalapril, which is also a heart medication for humans (my fiance's father takes it).

I looked up the side effects that it may have in humans, but I can't find any information about side effects in cats. Does anyone have any experience with Enalapril in cats (or dogs), or other heart medications?

Also, if anyone else has a pet that is using Enalapril, has it helped (noticeably)? My cat used to be so playful and energetic, but now she is so tired and just lays around watching the other cats play. I really want her to be able to be happy and have fun again.

Thank you all so much!
 

zoesma

NICE KITTY
Jan 22, 2009
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New York
i just wanted to say that i am so sorry about your kitty...she is so young,,,that is heartbreaking....i would try out the medication and see if it helps her quality of life....hopefully it will work and she will be bouncy once more....
i hope someone on here knows about the meds....
big hugs to you...
 

Brooke11

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Apr 13, 2008
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^^ Thanks so much Zoesma, I really appreciate it. I'm still kind of in shock, the last 3 days have been vet visit after vet visit after vet visit (and little sleep--I was so worried about her that I kept waking up the last two nights). I'm going to start the meds tmrw am; she's been sleeping ever since she got home from the vet today around 5:30, and I figured meds every morning would be a good routine. Thank you so much for your support :smile:

 

zoesma

NICE KITTY
Jan 22, 2009
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New York
she looks just like my tyler....ginger tabby....she is so cute and i hope that the meds do their work and make her better.....she is so pretty....
 

Brooke11

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Apr 13, 2008
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Hey Zoesma, she's doing alright. She only ate a few bites of breakfast this morning (I tried three different kinds of food too, but she just wasn't interested) and she has been sitting around ever since. I found her sitting underneath the kitty window seat/bed so I picked her up and put her on there and she's been sleeping ever since. But she took her first med today, so (hopefully) she should be feeling better in a few days. Thank you for asking :smile: I really appreciate your support!
 

jenny70

Member
Jul 4, 2007
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Aww, your kitty is adorable, I love that picture! I am sorry to hear about her heart condition, she is so young. I hope the medication helps her to be more like her old playful self.:hugs:
 

Brooke11

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Apr 13, 2008
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Just an update... Delilah went to the vet today and he said she had greatly improved and he was very happy with the results. yay!! she was even playing with her favorite toy yesterday :smile: it made me so happy to see her having fun again. Thanks for all your kind words everyone!
 

DenimShopaholic

My happy place!!
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Aug 10, 2006
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Hi Brooke. I had a cat that was on Enalapril. She developed a mass on her heart at age 13 that caused her lungs to fill with fluid and to cause her difficulty with breathing, so it was pretty serious. She was prescribed this med in January, after a second bout with the fluid build up, and within a couple of weeks, she seemed to be her old self again. Her appetite slowly returned to normal, and she was more active and breathing easier. I didn't notice any side effects.

Sadly, I lost her 3 weeks ago, at age 15. Please know that her condition is nothing like Delilah's...it turned out Salem had a tumor on her heart, and the cancer spread over the course of the past two years. Plus, she was a lot older than your baby girl.

From what I can tell, Enalapril is a very effective medication, and really helped Salem get better relatively quickly. I would feel comfortable giving it to another pet in the future.

Keep us updated on how she is doing. I am glad she is doing a bit better. She's so cute! She may be sluggish and a bit quiet for a week or so, after having been sick like that, but I am thinking she'll bounce back soon and be her normal playful self! Just give it some time. :biggrin:
 

Brooke11

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Apr 13, 2008
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Hi Brooke. I had a cat that was on Enalapril. She developed a mass on her heart at age 13 that caused her lungs to fill with fluid and to cause her difficulty with breathing, so it was pretty serious. She was prescribed this med in January, after a second bout with the fluid build up, and within a couple of weeks, she seemed to be her old self again. Her appetite slowly returned to normal, and she was more active and breathing easier. I didn't notice any side effects.

Sadly, I lost her 3 weeks ago, at age 15. Please know that her condition is nothing like Delilah's...it turned out Salem had a tumor on her heart, and the cancer spread over the course of the past two years. Plus, she was a lot older than your baby girl.

From what I can tell, Enalapril is a very effective medication, and really helped Salem get better relatively quickly. I would feel comfortable giving it to another pet in the future.

Keep us updated on how she is doing. I am glad she is doing a bit better. She's so cute! She may be sluggish and a bit quiet for a week or so, after having been sick like that, but I am thinking she'll bounce back soon and be her normal playful self! Just give it some time. :biggrin:
Thank you so much for all of the information DeminShopaholic. I am so sorry about Salem. It is so hard losing a loving companion.

Thank you for telling me about the medication. I'm glad that it helped Salem so much. It sounds like it was very effective for her too. Delilah has been much more energetic (not as much as she was before this issue arose, but much better than she was last week). I noticed that her cheeks looked kind of puffy lately, which I thought was odd. I have a friend who takes meds for Lupus and it makes her face swell up; I wonder if this is a similar side effect. I really appreciate all of your kind words -- everyone on this forum is so wonderful for support. My family and friends (other than my fiance) don't really understand how important my cats are to me, even though many of them love cats too. I think to a lot of them, a cat is just a cat -- but to me, my cats are my family. It is nice to have a place to talk with others who have similar sentiments about their kitties. I'll make sure to post updates on her, and again, I really appreciate your knowledge and support. Thanks so much and I'm so sorry about Salem :flowers:
 

DenimShopaholic

My happy place!!
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Aug 10, 2006
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Thank you so much for all of the information DeminShopaholic. I am so sorry about Salem. It is so hard losing a loving companion.

Thank you for telling me about the medication. I'm glad that it helped Salem so much. It sounds like it was very effective for her too. Delilah has been much more energetic (not as much as she was before this issue arose, but much better than she was last week). I noticed that her cheeks looked kind of puffy lately, which I thought was odd. I have a friend who takes meds for Lupus and it makes her face swell up; I wonder if this is a similar side effect. I really appreciate all of your kind words -- everyone on this forum is so wonderful for support. My family and friends (other than my fiance) don't really understand how important my cats are to me, even though many of them love cats too. I think to a lot of them, a cat is just a cat -- but to me, my cats are my family. It is nice to have a place to talk with others who have similar sentiments about their kitties. I'll make sure to post updates on her, and again, I really appreciate your knowledge and support. Thanks so much and I'm so sorry about Salem :flowers:
You are so welcome, Brooke! I know it's scary when a pet has an illness or goes on a new medication, because they can't 'tell' you how they are feeling. I never noticed any kind of puffiness in Salem's face, but it's possible. She was on a couple other meds too at the same time.

Maybe Delilah is retaining water? Maybe keep an eye on how often she uses the litter box to make sure she's urinating enough. Also watch her thirst. If you see any excessive water drinking, I'd ask the doc for advice. It will probably take Delilah a few more weeks to be back to normal, but she has youth and a very loving mommy on her side, so I think she'll be just fine. Did they say what exactly her heart problem is?

Thanks so much for your kind words about Salem. It's been a hard few weeks, months actually, since I lost a cat back in March also (she was 17!!!). I'm trying to hold onto the good memories of them, but some days you just want to be able to give them a cuddle and it's so sad that I can't.....

And you are right, not everyone feels the same way about animals as we do, but luckily there are so many kind souls on this forum who feel exactly like we do!! :smile: