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Dr. Amanda
Dr. Amanda, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 799
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian
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My 8 year old cat (5 kg) was diagnosed with HCM. He stopped

Customer Question

My 8 year old cat (5 kg) was diagnosed with HCM. He stopped eating and X-ray showed pleural effusion. The fluid was removed and has been under medicines for the last 18 days (fortekor, Vedmedim and diurectis). After two weeks the X-ray still shows fluid (only pleural not in lungs), though it looks better (larger lungs)than before. His respiratory rate is aroud 30/minute. I m concerned with diuretics (taking 10mg/c 8 hours). My questions are:
1) How long it should take to remove the fluids? (if ever)
2) His respiratory rate is OK but he still has fluid. I read that one way to reduce diuretics is to check that rate. But with a rate of around 30/min, can I be sure that the fluid is draining every day.
Thanks in advance
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


My name is***** and I will try to answer your questions today. It sounds like you have your kitty on the correct medications and dosages.

Before deciding on if your kitty is responding completely to the therapies, I would wait at least one month to allow for the fortekor and vetmedin to work by improving heart function and reducing blood pressure. I also would be very hesitant to change the diuretic dose without consulting your regular vet first, as you can have rebound fluid build up if you stop this medication abruptly.

The drugs may also never be able to remove all of the fluid from around the lungs (pleural fluid) as this is a very stubborn place to work with. Our goal when treating HCM is to make the kitty as comfortable as possible and have as normal breathing and heart function as possible. A little bit of pleural effusion, while not normal, is acceptable if the kitty is breathing normally.

A respiratory rate of 30 breaths per minute is well within normal for a cat. With heart disease I would even accept an intermittent rate of 60 breaths per minute (sustained for more than 2 hours, though, is a problem). You also want to look at the character of the breathing- if his abdomen sucks in when he inhales (vs just gentle rising of his chest), or if he is sitting with his head/chin extended, that indicates labored breathing and this is an emergency. Open mouth breathing is VERY bad in cats and he needs to be seen as soon as possible.

Does this help? Do you have any other questions?

Dr. Amanda

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 1 year ago.


How is your kitty today? Is he continuing to improve and respond to medications? How is his breathing? Do you have any other questions for me?

Also, if you would please consider rating my answer, I would greatly appreciate it.

Best regards,

Dr. A