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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7367
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My cat is 13 years old and has an enlarged heart. He just

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Hello: My cat is 13 years old and has an enlarged heart. He just started yesterday walking with his head down, low to the ground. If he's sitting he can keep his head normal. He's eating a little, drinking, using the box, etc., just walking funny and will stand in one place and just stare off before he starts walking again. I'm considering taking him in but they never seem to ever really know what's wrong with him. Is muscle weakness typical with his condition?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Did your cat have a fall?
Customer: Not that I know of.
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. It might be a fracture. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the cat's name?
Customer: OJ.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about OJ?
Customer: He has low potassium and takes supplements for that. He's already on Plavix and blood pressure medicine.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

Thanks for trusting me to help you and OJ today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you but need a bit more information in order to better assist you if you don't mind.

How long ago was his potassium and BP checked?

Does he appear to be breathing heavier than usual?

Thanks and I will respond further after you reply. There may be a slight delay while I formulate and type a thorough response or I may be offline, but if so, I will respond as soon as I am able.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
His potassium was checked a couple of weeks ago. It was still low so we upped it a little more. His blood pressure hasn't been checked for probably a month now. His breathing does not seem labored but he does stop and rest getting from place to place. I know his prognosis is poor and I expect certain things, but the head dropped when walking is heartbreaking to see. Thanks for taking the time to chat.

It may be worthwhile having the potassium rechecked. Ventral neck flexion (holding the head down) is a common symptom of low potassium. Maybe he is not absorbing the potassium supplement well. I also worry about he staring off that he is doing. If he is hypertensive, he is at risk of acute blindness due to retinal detachment. When this occurs, many cats will exhibit odd signs, but it is not always obvious to even the owners that they have lost or are losing their vision. Most times, when cardiomyopathy progresses, the labored breathing is the limiting factor on their quality of life and this occurs both due to fluid accumulation in the chest and due to poor oxygen circulation.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

My posted replies are for general education only and not meant as a diagnosis. Only after a thorough veterinary examination can a diagnosis for your pet be made and specific treatments be advised or medications be prescribed.

Dr Z

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you so much for your response. I am taking him in today to recheck his potassium and blood pressure. Hopefully the poor guy starts feeling better. Thanks again!!

You are most welcome. Good luck and please keep me posted as to how things progress.

petdrz and other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi, Dr. Z,
Lo and behold, my cat had low blood pressure and still low potassium. The cardiologist seems to think it was the low blood pressure so we changed his dose, took him off his Lasix for now, and after 48 hours he was able to lift his again and walk normally. Thank you so much for encouraging me to get him rechecked. It's tough taking care of a senior cat. You just never know what's going on and if they're just taking a turn for the worse. I can't thank you enough!! Best wishes, Jill