Mintie arrived at Canberra Cat Vet in a flurry. Nurse Zara rushed her through to the oxygen chamber while Dr Georgia talked to Jasmine, her carer.
Mintie hadn’t moved all morning, and Jasmine noticed that she was breathing more rapidly than usual. Jasmine made an appointment and gently encouraged Mintie into a carrier for the trip to the vet. Mintie became agitated, opening her mouth wide to breathe and crying more piteously than she normally did in the car.
Dr Georgia did a quick ultrasound of Mintie’s chest. Fluid had gathered around her lungs, making taking a breath difficult. After she drained the fluid away, Dr Georgia found that the walls of the heart were thickened.
Mintie’s heart was failing. Jasmine agreed to start her on fluid pills and to count the breaths she took while resting every day. An increased number of breaths per minute indicates that fluid is building up again around the lungs.
Dr Georgia will check her heart and lungs again in 2 weeks.