View Full Version : Cookie's not well again :(

4th October 2006, 10:36 AM
Just when she had got all better from getting the grass seed in her eardrum she was back at the vets yesterday!! Cookie has been limping on her back legs for a while, and the vet said that its because of her weight. But i took her back to the vets on saturday morning cos she looked in pain (and with cookie she doesn't make any noise when she's in pain so it's dificult to be sure) and they think she has damaged her crucial ligaments in her back leg. So the vet said come back on tuesday and we'll give her a leg and a heart xray (they hought tha she makes a lot of noise but i was tryin to explain that she's usually very noisy anyways)

So yesterday we went back and dropped her off in the morning then got the results back in the afternoon. The xray on her leg showd that it is her crucial ligaments and they can either do one of two operations, but her chest xray showed that her heart is enlarged :( Because cookie has been reluctant to go out she has put on weight again, so she's now on a vetinary prescription diet for 3 months, then we are going to see how it goes. The vet also wants to try her on heart tablets for a week and see what her heart is like then because they aren't sure whether her heart is enlarged due to ther murmur, or lack of exercise, or because its working harder.

the postman came this morning and cookie likes to go meet him to get the post for us, but she heard him and went running to the front door and then started crying and howling so unhappily, i opened the door for her and she just sat outside crying. it breaks your heart cos shes usually soo happy

My poor little baby though. We've got another appointment next wednesday, the date where we would have had cookie for a year!!!!



4th October 2006, 10:40 AM
Your poor little Cookie! (love the name)- I hope that her heart is simply enlarged because of weight or whatever, and not a murmur. How old is she?
Are you going to get the op- I'd imagine once you know more about the heart situation?

4th October 2006, 10:49 AM
she is only five so still young, we have had her since she was four. She has a mild heart murmur, shes going to stay on the vet food for three months and then see where that leads us. Its difficult because the vet said she cant go walkies, she had to stay in house and garden. Hopefully next week we'l have a better idea of whether she needs the heart tablets long term or not. The vet said the weight loss should improve it. she needs to lose 3kg

I definately recommend insurance for anyone with a cavalier, the past few months would have cost us a bomb if we didnt have it.
One of the operations is £600 and the other £1800 so we can claim for wotever one we choose.

I feel so sorry for cookie though, she has been through so much in her life so far and just when she's got happy again and settled this comes up :(

4th October 2006, 10:51 AM
How old is she? Did you get her as an adult or is she only a year old?

I don't think I'd want to do surgery until I understood a lot more about the state of her heart. Unless she is grossly obeseI don;t think it really should be be enlarged due to being a bit overweight?

I'd strongly recommend seeing a vet cardiologist immediately. You are seeing some of the weaknesses of a vet -- this is a speciality area and if you want the best chance of a longer life for Cookie you need to get a cardiologist to do the proper tests. The correct approach to treatment can add years to a dog's life even in the more advanced stages of congestive heart failure but this needs a cardio's guidance. A vet will just be doing guesswork. She needs a cardio ausculation right away and probably some of the more comprehensive tests so that even if this is mild right now, you get a baseline reading and can be precise in following any further development. A cardio could look at the same info you have now and probably tell you naby of the things on sight that your vet is wondering about.

Getting the weight off is really going to be crucial. Don't just feed a reduced calorie diet -- cut way back on the amount you are feeding and elminate all but vegetable or small pieces of fruit as treats. Try feeeding her in a treat ball so she gets some exercise trying to get the food out of the ball, and eats more slowly.

Read this guide too from one of the most informed people I know on cavalier heart issues.


Having a vet treat potentially serious heart issues is like going to a GP for cancer or coronary treatment. there's a world of difference in seeing a specialist.

here's a list of vet cardios in the UK


Or call the Royal Vet College at U of London and ask for a referral.

4th October 2006, 10:52 AM
Oh No I could not deal with seeing my baby cry, you have all my sympathy, is there any way you can put a rocket up their bums and make them do something quicker for her pain management ??

Poor darling, give her a gentle kiss and hug from me.
Best wishes with it all.

4th October 2006, 11:01 AM
She needs to lose 3kg? Heck! Good luck to you getting it off when she can't be exercised much! BTW, people here keep suggesting frozen green beans to add cal-free bulk. I wasn't convinced, but gave it a go- and to my surprise Holly munches them quite happily. That's what I get for being a sceptic.. :lol: It's two or three weeks since I started dieting her, and although I don't feel she looks much different, I can feel the difference when I pick her up.

4th October 2006, 11:10 AM
I posted just as you were posting so I see she is five. That would be the age at which about half of cavaliers have a heart murmur so I would guess the chance is better than 50/50 that she has a murmur -- unfortunately it is just a fact of life with this lovely breed that the likelihood of a murmur is so high. :( I don't know if you need a vet reference to see a cardio in order to have insurance cover it -- call your insurance company to find out first I suppose to be sure you go about it in the right way.

PatB's post will give you lots of background on what to do next and what to expect from a cardio. I certainly would not wait three whole months waiting to see if this is a murmur or an enlarged heart due to weight or not -- you really want to know right away and take the right steps if and as needed to give you many more years with cookie.

BTW I'd cut the amount you have been feeding at meals in half.

4th October 2006, 11:29 AM
thank you for the information, my mum just phoned to see how cookie is and i'v let her know about going to see a specialist. I'll get my dad to phone up the insurance company when he gets in from work. I definately want to try anything to get cookie better. Theres a cardio vet near us as well.

the vet said to give cookie one tin a day of 'obesity management' by royal canin. we are also giving her no treats, but i might try the green bean things if she gets hungry during the day

4th October 2006, 11:52 AM
Oh Tanya,

Poor Cookie and poor you :( , she just doesn't deserve this after the life she had before she came to you :(

What food does she have? I'll be perfectly honest with you, I have found taht the best food to give them to make them lose weight is Burns dried. Maxx only has 30g twice a day and bits of fruit, veg or now an occasional bit if cried liver as a treat. Thanks to a 'secret feeder' in the shape of hubby, he gained loads of weight and I went mad.

Maxx only has about a kilo to lose now to get him to a 'perfect weight' and we and the Vets are no longer worried about him.

Anyway, if Cookie were my baby and I was you I'd ring the insurance company and find out if you need a vet referral to see a cardiologist. Then, ring one of the cardiologists on Karlin's list & book the next appointment I could get. Ring your Vet and tell them what you've done and say the Cardiologist will be ringing for their approval and referral!

I can't believe that your Vet hasn't already referred her :yikes . Has he given her anything for the pain?

Poor little {{{{{{{{Cookie}}}}}}}} give her a hug and a kiss from me xxxxx

4th October 2006, 01:21 PM
oh im so sorry!! i really hope the enlarged heart is due to her weight and not to murmurs too...my neighbour had a cavalier who died from an enlarged heart but i dont know the details so i dont know if they found out too late or something like that..im not saying anything like that would happen to cookie..its good that its caught early..anyway good luck and keep us updated :hug:

Cathy T
4th October 2006, 03:12 PM
Poor little Cookie sure has hard a time hasn't she? I just adore her. Please do take her to see a cardiologist for the heart.

4th October 2006, 04:54 PM
I just went thru this with my Sophie over the weekend as well. I sat up with her most of Sunday night - she couldn't breath. The vet says she definitely has edema, so started her on the Lasix on Monday. He did an x-ray, but now wants to do an ultra-sound. Like others have suggested to you, I am hoping to get into the cardiologist soon vs. having my vet deal with this problem.

Meanwhile, she is doing better since starting the diuretic. I've had her on a very low calorie diet all summer and couldn't figure out why she wasn't dropping any weight. Every day I add fruit, froz. green beans and shredded carrots to her dinner and have cut her low cal kibble way down. I also am giving her a daily vitamin since I cut the kibble down so much.

I'll keep Cookie in my prayers this week along with my Sophie. I lost my last boy to MVD, and certainly didn't want to go down this path of heart problems again :(


4th October 2006, 10:01 PM
Poor Cookie--that sounds so hard to see her suffering. It's hard just to hear about it.

Hopefully you can get in to see a cardiologist very soon, and in choosing one, it is probably a good idea to question the office in advance about their experience with cavaliers in particular.

When Zack was misdiagnosed with enlarged heart by an ER vet, and i was looking into it, i found this article (link below) which is quite interesting. It says that you can't reliably learn anything about heart condition from plain xrays of the heart alone, if i understand it right.

And the article notes that normal healthy cavaliers in particular have larger relative cardiac profiles than most other breeds, i think that's what it's saying, if i'm reading it right--in particular, cavaliers have relatively high measures on the VHS (vertebral heart scale), which i think is a measure of the heart size relative to the vertebrae.


Maybe cookie doesn't have enlarged heart, if she doesn't have other symptoms such as breathing difficulties, cough, passing out. Unless the vet is comparing it to a previous xray when her heart was smaller.

zack has gotten so he really likes carrot sticks, to gnaw on and slowly eat. He will eat them instead of his food at certain times of the day. I think they can help with controlling weight.

matties mum
5th October 2006, 02:36 PM
How is Cookie today keeping you in my thoughts----Aileen

5th October 2006, 06:22 PM
Tanya, been thinking about Cookie all day long, how is she today?

10th October 2006, 06:50 PM
i thought i would give you a quick update on cookie, my internet was down for alot of last week so havent been able to post. Basically i spoke to my parents about taking cookie to see a specialist and they aren't convinced (i dont know why though). We are going to the vets tomorrow so she can have another look at cookie and i will bring up the question with her then.

Cookie has lost some weight which is good, but its soo difficult when you can hear her little belly rumble in the mornings.

Cookie is starting to become herself again now and she actually DRAGS me further for a walk when she isnt allowed to. She reallllyyy wants to go for a little wander but i end up picking her up and having to take her back in -i give her an extra 3 metres to go and she runs and takes 7!!!

its good to have her jumping around again. my mum has even let her on her BRAND NEW CREAM leather sofas that arrived last week haha.

I will post 2mrw afternoon and let u know how cookie gets on

It's be exactly ONE YEAR 2mrw that we hav had cookie :D

Tanya xxx

matties mum
10th October 2006, 07:55 PM
Still thinking of you and Cookie and please keep us posted----Aileen

10th October 2006, 08:59 PM
good luck tanya. i'm glad she feels like walking a lot. too bad you can't get a cardiologist check, she may not have enlarged heart at all, you really probably need an expert to find that out. but even if she doesn't, in the long run it will best if you can do whatever you have to do to help her lose weight, using very small portions, i know it's hard cuz you can't exercise her much, but for her own sake, you may have to try to not feed her more when her tummy rumbles. hunger is not the worst thing that can happen to her :( Anyway, if you want support for doing that, you have it here. :flwr: if you can't help giving in, i can sure understand that too, it's hard to know what's right sometimes, that's for sure. thanks for the update, i've been wondering what happened..

11th October 2006, 12:43 AM
That sounds like a good sign that she is so eager to go for walks! Let us know how she is doing.

11th October 2006, 04:13 AM
I so hate to hear this! I am such a fan of Cookies!!! The video of her getting upset over her toy just made me fall in love with her. Riley growls a bit when she has her stinky socks and now I tell her she is acting like Cookie and being "Naughty"!!! :lol: That is not really a word we use much in the states, but I love it and you just sounded so sweet telling her how bad she was being!!! :p

Anyway, I went overboard with Riley when I got her and I think I made weekly trips to the pet store for treats so she is a bit heavier than she should be. I now give her about 1/3 cup food twice a day and I keep cans of green beans (no salt added) and carrots around to supliment her meal and give her a little extra to eat (1/3 cup sure does not look like much to eat).

I took her to the vet and had her weighed and she had dropped a pound in about 3 weeks!!! cl*p

So adding veggies does work! Just feed her a tiny bit of food and give her a couple of scoops of veggies and that should help a lot over time. Hope this helps some!!!

Get better soon Cookie! We luv u!!!! :luv:

Cathy Moon
11th October 2006, 01:30 PM
Since Cookie is under the care of her vet for other health problems besides weight, it is in her best interest to follow the vet's dietary instructions. The vet knows best what is good for Cookie right now. :flwr: Canned vegetables may contain sodium, which is not good for heart problems. :(

An overweight dog still needs good nutrition. I would always consult with a vet to discuss putting an overweight dog on a diet. There are often other factors that need to be considered when dieting.

All dogs need a balanced diet with good nutrition, and that should not include 'crash' dieting.

11th October 2006, 08:07 PM
lol, well she is a funny character!!! AND ITS EXACTLY A YEAR TODAY THAT COOKIE CAME TO LIVE WITH US!!!!!! it was a temporary arrangement, but how could we not keep her??!!! she's soo happy now!!

ok well , i'l let u know wot happened at the vets. cookie has lost 4oz in a week on the vetinary food...which doesnt seem alot but its a start!! the vet said cookies chest sounded not congested and it was last week. We can start to take cookie out for a little longer as well. also she has changed her heart tablets. we have to go back in 2 weeks, i'm hoping everything will be ok. Going to see where we are in two weeks time xxx

11th October 2006, 08:48 PM
Well done Cookie :D We all love you :lotsaluv: How could we not love that adorable little face?

Tanya, if she's still a bit hungry then cabbage, cauliflower and carrots are excellent for her. Maxx loves all of these (he loves broccolli too but it's not that good for dogs) and they are all virtually calorie free. I'm sure the Vet would approve of her having them (raw or cooked). My Vet told me to use them as treats :D

12th October 2006, 08:54 AM
Hurray for Cookie and Tanya!
When i first gave carrot sticks to Zack, he didn't like them very much. I had heard other people say their dogs loved them, something nice and crunchy to chew on, and i wished Zack would like them because of the benefits of them. I kept giving them to him and after a while, he started to eat them. At first he would just gnaw on it a little bit and then leave it laying around, and ignore it. It would get soft ad soggy. But after a while he started eating them, the soggy ones that had been laying around which i didn't throw away yet. Especially in the morning, he would get excited and start crunching away on them, happily. So that was a change. now he likes them a lot, he eats them every day. He doesn't necessarily always start eating it right after i give it to him, but maybe because i don't give him other chew treats, he has developed a taste for the carrot sticks, and he prefers to eat them over his kibble at certain times, especially in the mornings. I see this as a weight control resource. So, if Cookie doesn't like them in the beginning, maybe if you keep giving them to her, she will later.