Tuesday, March 23, 2010 11:16 AM

Treatment and Care of Cats with Congestive Heart Failure

Once your veterinarian has examined your cat and attributed the cause of her symptoms to cardiomyopathy, the treatment phase begins. The vet may prescribe a diuretic drug such as Lasix which will cause increased urination as the drug helps move excess fluid out of body tissues, through the kidneys and out of the body. This will affect everything that your cat ingests, since increased flushing will wash more nutrients out of the body, as well.

The diet will need to be immediately changed from commercial to homemade, or at least premium with homemade food mixed in. Reducing salt and toxins is extremely important now. Supplementation is essential, particularly the water-soluble vitamins such as the B-vitamins and vitamin C. Increase trace minerals, too, as these are also getting flushed out of the body on a regular basis. Increased vitamin E is also necessary, as is the amino acid taurine. Make sure that your cat has access to water that is fresh and unchlorinated.

Since fat tissue is more apt to hold excess water than muscle is, an overweight cat must be slimmed down. Once you take away the dry food and start giving more homemade treats, you will see the weight come off naturally. Mild exercise is good, at least when symptoms are still mild. Cats seldom do more than they know they are capable of, so this shouldn't be a problem!

Teas made from herbs such as parsley and horsetail can be added to your cat's food, a teaspoon at a time. Parsley is a diuretic, so if your cat is on Lasix let your vet know about this supplementation. Horsetail is full of silica and other minerals; add to food every other day.

If you don't already, keep your cat indoors. Not only is she now less able to get out of harm's way, but her immune system is also less robust that it used to be. Spoil her as much as you want, keep her as stress-free as you can and you will probably enjoy many more quality years with your well-loved pet.
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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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