Fluid buildup in the chest is common in heart failure.  The quick and dirty
thing to do is tap.  There are always risks with this, including but not
limited to, anesthesia complications, hemorrhage, and to me the most dreaded
is flash pulmonary edema.  This occurs if the fluid is removed to quickly.
Vets are not trained like internists in human medicine so I would be
concerned about this possibility.

Other causes of pulmonary effusion (fluid in chest) include, FIP, pneumonia,
lymphoma, other neoplasm.  Given the HCM, I would favor heart failure.

The diuretics are not a bad idead.  We use it in human medicine, but works
better for pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) than pleural effusion (fluid
around the lungs), but is still used for this.

You could certainly try the diuretc and if his condition does not improve
within a day or two, or if his condition worsens, you could do a tap.  If
you only tap hiim, the fluid can easily reaccumulate

Note of caution with diuretics - don't use in kidney failure.

I would also give coenzymeQ to help with heart function.

The concerning thing to me is the rapid heart rate as diuresing him couldl
cause this to continue to increase.  This could result in arrhythmia.  I
think that is a risk you need to take, however,   Unless you want to get
into things like beta-blockers to slow the heart down,  Again you have to be
careful as slowing the heart down could increase the heart failure

Do you know if his blood pressure is okay?

If it were me, I'd probably start diuretcs immediately, add coQ, pet-tinic
(just in case he's anemic which would make his heart work harder) and do a
search on any other alternative supplements to help heart function in hcm
cats.  If the situation got worse, I would default to a tap.

Other supplements - make sure there's taurine in the diet (do you feed
homemade meals - taurine deficiency is associated with cardiomyopathy
(usually though diliated) - 250-500 mg daily supplement - should see
improvement in 2-3 weeks.

Caritine supplement - more helfpul in dogs, but couldn't hurt, don't have
the recommended dose for cats.  found in beef more than chicken or turkey,
also in dairy products -  you could change to diet to high protein (don't
use grocery story foods - they are high in grains, not protein) best would
be raw diet - nature's variety or stella and chewy's otherwise dry orijen is

Hawthorn - strengthens heart and acts as antiarrhythmic, enormous range of
safe dosing recommended - 100mg/25 to 50 pounds of body weight twice daily.,
can get mild upset stomach in people and occasionally allergic reaction.,
generally believed safe.

coenzyme Q - highly recommended - 30 mg every 24 to 48 hours.

others - omega three fatty acods. dandelion leaves, burdock, maitake
mushrooms, red clover.

I would do these over conventional medicine, but it would help to have an
alternative doc to guide you.  Hope this helps.


On Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 10:33 PM, Stacy Zacher <>wrote:

>                        Thank you Tad for your reply. Are you referring to
> lasix or Spironolactone or something else?
> Stacy and Spanky
> Tad Burnett
>                        Tue, 23 Nov 2010 18:34:12 -0800
> There is a pill/med that will cause the body to absorb some of the fluid...
> It may help give a few days of good life.....
> Tad
> Stacy Zacher wrote:
> Hi:
> I am crossposting this message also.
> I urgently need advice on my kitty, Spanky (FELV+, early Hypertrophic
> cardiomyopathy).
> I noticed over the weekend and week he started feeling worse and that his
> respiration rate
> seemed to be higher than normal (he is usually about 18
> breaths a minute and now it is 32 or - still not alarming but getting
> there).
> I took him to the vet and the vet said it did sound like he
> was having difficulty breathing and his heart sounded very fast. He
> took a chest xray and Spanky came back open mouth breathing which he
> never does (from stress). The vet said it was not good news, that his
> chest cavity is filled with fluid -not in the lungs but outside the
> lungs. He barely looked like he had any breathing space in the xrays.
> It was awful. He said they could do a chest tap but they would have to
> put him under anesthesia for that.
> Spanky is still grooming, eating a little and drinking and walks around a
> little
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