Message Number: YG5660 | New FHL Archives Search
From: katharine
Date: 2001-07-20 14:26:00 UTC
Subject: Champ Update

Thought I would update you on Champ (renal
failure). Poor boy is having so many problems.
His potassium levels remain low despite all kinds
of potassium supplements. Doc has added yet more
potassium chloride to his fluids.

He has had a heart murmur but an x-ray revealed
nothing. This week, he started doing very badly.
When I held him I could see his chest rising and
falling very rapidly. I could easily feel his
heartbeat. Several times, I found him sleeping on
the cold, hard floor of cage. My guess is that he
would go to use the litter box and didn't have the
strength to climb back up. This may explain some
of the strange places I have found him sleeping
around the house lately. Last night, he started
this awful sharp cough.

So, off we went to the vet today. I knew he
needed attention pretty quickly. I figured his
heart was acting up big-time. Doc did an EKG and
it seems that Champ has a leaking valve. I don't
really understand heart stuff but I did understand
enough to know that that's not a good thing.
There is fluid build-up and it leaks into the
lungs. Treatment is tricky in Champ's case
because dealing with the fluids around the heart
and lungs can cause further kidney damage. He is
on low dosages of Enalapril and Furosemide. I
looked in the PDR when I got home and, best I can
understand, the Enalapril helps prevent fluid
build-up and the Furosemide (AKA Lasix) is a

So, here I am pumping fluids into him big time
twice a day and I'm giving him medications to deal
with fluid build-up. If I understand it all
correctly (somewhat) I can see what a difficult
balancing act it is.

I had thought all of his lethargy was from his low
potassium levels. I guess his heart problems have
been contributing to that also. Please continue
to keep little Champy in your prayers. He's only
4 y.o. and doesn't deserve all of these problems.