benjamin2Note: This was written when Benjamin was still with us. He crossed the rainbow bridge a few years ago now.

This is Benjamin. He is only 2 years old and has been diagnosed with HCM and a total of 5 different heart conditions. I even have the diagram that the doctor gave me on the first scan (attached) with explanations (an additional murmmer was found on the second check up, only 3 months apart).

Ben originally came from a great breeder in Switzerland, but his second home here in Palm Springs, CA did not suit him (the owner was a Devon Rex breeder and her Devon's didn't like him AT ALL, maybe they knew something before the rest of us did?)

He was scanned in Switzerland, also nutered and they didn't "find" anything wrong, his CA mom only had him for a few weeks and he seemed perfectly healthy, so she had no cause to scan him at that time. His Swiss Mom says that his line has been clear for 5 generations... looks like be got all 5 generations worth in one unfortunate dose.

He came to me in January 2011 and i took him to the vet within 4 days of owning him, because i just wanted to know he was healthy (or in my case not), and that is what a good mom does.

The vet took a 3 second listen to his heart and stopped. "I am sorry to say, but he has the WORST heart murmmer i have EVER heard". Next stop was the cardiologist... They were almost giddy with excitment, as they had not really come across a sphynx so young that had so many bad heart conditions.

I could have given him back to the lady in Palm Springs, but knowing he wasn't happy there, and now knowing his true state of health, we couldn't just give him back. If anything,who would want to take him on with his condition? Well apparently that who... is me.

Ironicly, my husband has one of the same heart conditions as Benjamin, the doctors told my husband's mom that he wouldn't last very long, and here we are 36 years later. :)

The Cardiologist gave us an expected total of 8 years of life, however that would only be if he beat every odd out there and the medicine actually started to fix his heart. Not likely to happen. We are look at more like a good 2 years. Everytime his heart beats, it is working at least 10x harder than a normal heart should. You can actually feel it and see it in his veins...

Everyday with that creepy little hairless wonder is such a blessing. He makes me laugh everyday, and sometimes want to scream too! I wouldn't trade it for the world.

- Amanda Weber
- Amanda Weber

ghandi2

This is the story of Ghandi.

For my 21 birthday I rescued Ghandi from a Grimm life in a cage. He was filthy dirty with infected paws after being declawed when we first met. He snuggled up in my arms and head butted me it seemed he knew that I was there to help. After a bath and some tlc he won over everyone in my house. We all fought about whose bed he would sleep in. Six months later I found him cold on the floor and rushed him to the emergency vet in our area. His intestines had become twisted and required immediate surgery. He recovered well but after the surgery we were informed he had a severe heart murmur. We spent the next two years together symptom free and completely in love with this little guy. He came down with what we thought was a respiratory infection this past July but was I fact CHF. We drove 2 hours to a cardiologist who diagnosed him with late stage HCM. We battled the disease giving 5 medications every 12 hours for the last 5 months. On December 1st things changed, he became withdrawn and stared at me with those big green eyes. He was done fighting and although I wasn't ready to let him go I helped him cross the rainbow bridge. The amount of love that I have for this little guy is endless, now I realize that we both rescued each other. I love you and il miss you always.

- Taylor
- Taylor

bv3

Blue Velvet (BV) was never scanned for HCM as a youngster but upon adoption at 6 years old and 7 months, his first HCM scan seemed normal. BV was very timid and calm and seemlingly very healthy. About 6 months later, BV started showing signs of what looked like a respiratory issue and only 2 weeks later he was found laying dead in his litter box. It was a vision that will not seem to get out of my head. We had so many questions of why and how could this be! His necrospy revealed that HCM had aggressively taken his life in a very quick and evil way.

- Dez
- Dez

donnie

This is Donnie he lived to be 4 years old. He always had upper respiratory issues but never showed cardiac signs and yes I was not educated about HCM so I never thought to check his heart. However, a year ago I noticed he was loosing weight, did blood work and finally the X-ray showed enlarged heart. I did an echocardiogram on him and he had progressed into CHF. After finding it out he was put on many meds and I was chasing him down to eat and drink. He lost his battle to a saddle thrombus in the very end.

- Courtney
- Courtney

Carmine7

Carmine just had his 4th birthday when just a month later he passed away from a massive clot. After losing function to his hind legs, his dad and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to let him go. Unfortunately, we weren't at all educated about HCM and looking back at the breeder's contract, we do not believe they ever tested the parents. As a kitten, Carmine did have a slight heart murmur but this went away within a year and we thought nothing of it. He never presented any outright signs other than a very sensitive stomach. He was active, playful, and a downright clown. He was daddy's video game buddy and never failed to curl up inside dad's hoodie whenever he played. Carmine was also very talkative. Affectionately, we referred to his meows as his war cries. He'd call out prior to leaping, jumping or running, almost like the meow gave him an extra push. :) Although he was only with us a short amount of time, he convinced at least 2 people that didn't like cats, that they were actually quite awesome (no small feat!). We couldn't imagine not having a sphynx in our lives regardless of the prevalence of HCM. Carmine, we can't wait to see you again someday for more cuddles. We all miss you terribly.

- Jacquelin
- Jacquelin