View Full Version : Advanced MVD - what have your experiences been?

4th August 2006, 08:39 AM

Our cavalier Lucy has MVD and we were told a few weeks ago that she is in the advanced stages. She's on 1 tab Frusemide twice a day, 1 tab vetmedin twice a day and fortekor once a day. She coughs in the morning and if she's been lying down for a while. She's more lethargic generally although is very much interested in everything going on around her, still leaps up when we ask if she wants to go "out", appetite as fercious as ever. Her pulse in her back legs is still strong, there hasn't been any fainting. Her weight is static (and she's not overweight).

I'm not sure what we should expect in the coming months. She had a heart scan and ecg 3 weeks ago and we were told it's advanced and that she would be expected to stabilise on her meds for 2-3 months, then they would stop working. At that point they can change her diuretics but once they stop working, there's nothing more can be done.

What have your experiences been? We're obviously very upset but also we just don't know what to expect in the coming months or how long we can roughly expect to have. Any information will be helpful.

Thanks so much :flwr:

4th August 2006, 09:19 AM
I'm sorry to hear about Lucy. I have not yet been in this situation but I do have this information in the health section of the Library, which has enormous detail on caring for cavaliers with MVD:


This was written by someone who has great experience in the area and if there are other options for you and Lucy, I am sure Pat will have outlined them here. I hope they are of help and give you some alternative directions to try and some increased ways of monitoring her condition.

4th August 2006, 12:35 PM
Karlin - thanks :D I did have a look at that before I joined, it's excellent information.

I'm just worried at the moment . . I don't think she's in any pain (does anyone know if MVD causes pain? I always thought it didn't but I guess I just want to double check) which is a blessing.

I suppose I just want to know - from people who've (sadly) been there already - how long did you get with your cav once it got to a similar stage? There's just so much unknown at the moment :?

4th August 2006, 01:04 PM
Hi Elaine. Welcome to you and Lucy. I sure there will be many responses with experiences soon. I have not had a dog with MVD at this point...knock on wood as I have 5 cavaliers but I am a nurse. In people with heart disease we do a lot of the same things that they are doing with the cavaliers. Furosemide or Lasix as it is more commonly called to decrease the fluid overload...there are other diuretics when this one is no longer effective at least in humans. Then the other meds to help the heart beat more efficiently and to decrease the workload on the heart. The one thing that people can utilize that would help greatly but would not be possible in dogs is oxygen. My best guess is Lucy is not in pain. What I see ( in humans) is fatigue. If your heart does not work well then everything you do takes more effort.

I hope Lucy's meds are helpful and her condition stabilizes for a long time.

6th August 2006, 05:39 PM
Thanks Mary. I can see that she's more tired than usual - which is saying a lot, she's never been what you'd call an "active" dog ;) - and where she used to rest in the evening but not really sleep, now she's flat out. Her quality of life is still good, basically she's just more tired than normal, and I'm glad to hear there's no reason to believe she's in any pain. :flwr:

Thanks for the kind wishes :)

6th August 2006, 07:29 PM

My Declan sadly lost his fight against MVD in May. He was the kind of dog that yelped at his annual booster and never, never did he show any sign of pain right up 'til the end.

If he had done, I would've intervened for him. As it was, he passed away peacefully, naturally and pain free.

I hope this reassures you a bit. I feel for you, I really do.

Cailean is Declan's son and is 6 years old and is in chronic heart failure too, so I do understand.

Take care of you and Lucy.


6th August 2006, 11:43 PM
Thank you so much for sharing Misty. It's a big relief to have confidence that she's not in pain . . . we didn't think she was but I just wanted to be sure.

Is it common for the end to come "naturally"? I'm worried because Lucy hates the vet (we have to carry her up the road and in, she knows where the vet is and if she realises that's where she's going she refuses) and I'd hate that to have to be her last memory. The vet is very good, compassionate and helpful but she's never liked it. I'd like it to be at home with us, feeling loved and happy. But I'm doubtful as to how realistic this is. :?

I'm sorry to hear about Declan and Cailean, while I feel like I'm being robbed of Lucy (she's due to turn 9 in December, God willing), 6 seems terribly young. I know they could never live long enough because they are just so special but the fact that they are so young is very hard to stomach. :(

You take care of you both too, and thanks again. x

7th August 2006, 02:21 AM
Elaine, I suggest you read this weblog: http://darcysdaily.blogspot.com/ It is about a 6 year old female Cavalier with congestive heart failure due to MVD. It started in January 2006 and sadly ended in June when the MVD progressed to the end stage.

Darcy tells you about her own experiences with the disease, including what her vet found and prescribed, how her mobility became limited, etc. She was treated by a very good cardiologist in Los Angeles, using the latest drugs and protocols.

MVD progresses in many different ways, so your dog may not be affected at the same rate or in the same way as Darcy was, but her experience is an example.

Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida USA

7th August 2006, 07:43 AM

there is also a very good support MVD group, Anita runs it and she has a wealth of experience with MVD, there are some lovely people in there and they would be able to help you with your worries and concerns....

Rod, Nicki, Karlin have you the address???

I think it is..


All the very best :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

7th August 2006, 06:17 PM
Try this:


Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida USA

7th August 2006, 06:19 PM
Thank you all so much, I've joined up :D

7th August 2006, 06:34 PM
Glad to see that you have joined, I'm sure you will gets lots of help etc.

Take care, :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

9th August 2006, 03:31 PM
Elaine, my heart aches for you and Lucy, is it worth seeing if the vet could come out to you so that if anything ever needs to be done :( she is in the comfort of your home.

29th August 2006, 06:21 PM
Hi Elaine:

I lost my wonderful Jonah in Jan. '04, from MVD. He came to me almost two years prior as a rescue/rehomed 7 year old. He was a very large cavalier, and I'm pretty sure the breeder/kennel who originally had him had "dumped" him so to speak after learning of his MVD.

Luckily I had a wonderful vet who worked very diligently with me on his meds and coughing attacks, etc. Jonah was primarily on Enalapril, and he was at grade 3 when he came to live with us.

His last 2 years were spent as comfortably as we could make him. He loved his daily walks, I was heartbroken when I had to scale them down. I figured he'd rather keep his walks (albeit small) vs. sitting on the bed doing nothing when it was his time to go.

Fortunately for him, when his heart gave out he was frolicking in a snow drift and having a fabulous time. It didn't lessen my pain any (or our other dogs) but I knew it was the way he would've wanted to live his life out. We couldn't have loved him more than if he had come to us as a tiny pup vs. adult.

My thoughts are with you - this crappy disease :( is so heartwretching and terrible. My daughter also has had a major brain surgery for a very rare syndrome, so I figured the good Lord sent Jonah to me for his last months knowing I could handle the ups and downs of medical uncertainties.

Thinking of you....