Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Corky Update

Poor Corky. He had to go back to the vet today. He actually doesn't even mind it anymore. Because he had the pulmonary edema (fluid in his lungs) the vet thought that he was having heart problems. They put him on some heart medication but then Corky stopped eating his food. The vet wanted to do an EKG and cardiac ultrasound to understand the extent of his heart problems which is why we went in today.

The ultrasound showed Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. What is that you may ask? That's a thickening of the ventricular walls. So basically his kidney failure is causing his heart to work harder which has caused the heart "muscle" to grow bigger. The muscle wall of the heart thickens and stiffens, so the heart's chambers are greatly reduced in volume and can't relax properly after contracting - the chambers can no longer fill with blood properly. The whole thing causes some sort of odd back pressure resulting in fluid in the lungs (the pulmonary edema that he had a couple of weeks back).

What does all of this mean in the long run? He's on a different kind of heart medicine and back on the diuretic to reduce the fluid in his lungs. The vet is just trying to keep him comfortable and give him some quality of life. We talked at length about the time Corky has left. The vet stated that there is no way he could survive the flight home to the US. Even if Corky was to live comfortably for the next 6 months or so until we repatriate, the stress of the flight would surely kill him.

According to stats, once the symptoms of cardiomyopathy are present, the average cat only lives about 3 months. Now the vet did comment on the near miraculous recovery from the last episode of pulmonary edema so she thought Corky might have several good quality months left. She also stated that a blood clot could render him lame at any moment. (ugh!)

Ben had dropped us off at the vet since we are down to one car right now and he had to go pick up Carter from school. To get home, Corky and I walked through the woods, along the river. It's a beautiful, quiet path from the vet's office to our house. Corky was in his carrier so he felt secure and so I think he really enjoyed our walk.

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