View Full Version : Golden oldie

4th November 2006, 02:29 PM
about a month ago Billy and I were looking at various rescue centres as we were thinking of a rescue as our next dog (this was before Tandie came along!). Anyway, we found an old cavalier in Drogheda Animal Rescue who has been named Pluto by his foster family. I got in touch with the rescuers and they were not making him available for adoption because of the high likelihood a family were looking for him. This was over a month ago and he is now available for adoption and has been offered to us, pending a home check.

He is approx 8 years old, has just been neutered, had some teeth and 'dog tags' removed and is on medication for a heart murmur. I've spoken to Karlin and we don't think adopting him would be a problem for either himself or Tandie (or the new puppy, once the oldies get their space!!).

I am a little concerned about the heart murmur as after speaking to the rescuer she tells me Pluto had a cough about a fortnight ago. I know this is a symptom of congenstive heart failure. They postponed his surgery, treated it for him and is now much improved (they also did the surgery during the week and he's recovering well). She didn't know what grade heart murmur, and he is on medication for it (for the first time in his life it would seem).

We are going to meet him this weekend hopefully, but I want my eyes open as to what we may be getting ourselves in for. He is uninsurable, and although I don't like to bring care for my animals back to cost, it is a little bit of an issue and I would want to provide the best care possible :) Perhaps those of you with experience of dealing with a dog with MVD could advise me? Or indeed those of you with golden oldies and any other health problems that can arise.

Here's the link from the rescue website...

4th November 2006, 03:06 PM
His cough may well just be kennel cough or stress related. :)

I'd suggest having a chest xray done so you get a baseline view of his heart. The main thing you will be watching for is heart enlargement. This happens as the heart struggles to pump enough blood thru when the valve isn;t working well any more with MVD.

Be sure to read this link:


and there are some MVD discussions in the MVD/SM forum and also somewhere in there, a link to the Yahoo MVD cavalier group which would be a support.

Treating MVD isn't generally that costly -- the detailed tests can be but you don't need to go that route if you don't want. I'd go for an xray though for the reasons noted.

I'd get him on Pimobendan to start which is what the vets will probably recommend.


If he is coughing from MVD they will suggest using frusemide as well. There are other meds often used too.

I'd sure try some of the supplements (fish oils etc) and get him nice and trim and give him moderate exrcise.

It's great that you are taking him in; he looks like a little imp! He could have many many years of the right mix of treatments. :)

4th November 2006, 03:27 PM
Thanks Karlin. We're going down to meet him this evening, and we'll bring Tandie with us to see how they get on :)

I think the cough may have been MVD related. The vet told them it was fluid on the lungs and was common with cavaliers with a heart murmur. :(

Thanks for the links on the research & articles. They'll be most useful in dealing with this :flwr:

Cathy T
4th November 2006, 03:40 PM
Cecily - be sure to let us know how your meeting goes. He looks like a doll.

Barbara Nixon
4th November 2006, 03:48 PM
First of all, Monty says 8 isn't old . He's 11 in two weeks and doesn't look it. I don't think of Izzy as old either and he's 9 with end stage mvd.

Izzy is on two Vetmedin , half a Fortekor 5 and one Frusicare a day and his meds cost me about £42 for 28 days, but this drug load has increased over two years.

We found that Izzy had a medium murmur three years ago. This was at his anual checkup and the vet, like many others chose not to medicate, as there were no physical symptoms. Monty has been known to have a less pronounced murmur for just two weeks less (That was a shock-2 heart problems in 2 weeks), but still has no outward symptoms, so has no meds.

Izzy developed a slight cough, about two years ago. We thought it was kennel cough, as he'd been in contact with it, but it was the onset of symptoms, so he got half a Fortekor per day.

Come the hot summer, on emorning he was gasping, so was taken to the vets and he was given 2 Vetmedin a day. The vet explaining that the Fortekor slowed the heart but the Vetmedin opened the' tubes'. He was fine within days, but we has a recurance later in the summer, so his vetmedin strenngth was doubled and the vet said we were coming to the end of what could be done.

However, despite the occasional cough, usually first thing, he was fine until about three months ago (the hot weather was over but the air was oppressive) and because he'd started mouth breathing and huffing, was taken to Saturday surgery. I thought this was going to be his last journey

This time, for the first time, he had fluid build up. (I'm very surprisee he had none until now, but this was confirmed by three vets). I was told that Frusicare , which ony costs pence (Frusicare is the more expensive drug), was the last thing to try and that we'd have to make a decision, if he wasn't better within three days.

Well he was betternext day and has been fine since; even better still now the weather is cooler, though he does cough more on days when it's going to or is raining.

I treat him as normal, but try not to get him too excited, on the basisi that a shorter life, enjoying himself, is better than a long boring one.

He still has energy for this


and this


4th November 2006, 04:34 PM
Oh goodness me Cecily, this was a surprise!!

Bless you for thinking of this little guy, he looks lovely from the photo...I really hope that he will be ok to come to you.

4th November 2006, 04:42 PM
First of all, Monty says 8 isn't old . He's 11 in two weeks and doesn't look it. I don't think of Izzy as old either and he's 9 with end stage mvd.

My heartfelt apologies to both Monty and Izzy :flwr: :lol:

Thanks for telling me about your pair Barbara. Izzy is quite a looker ;)

Off to have a look now, armed with camera....

4th November 2006, 06:05 PM
Good luck Cecily. He looks gorgeous. LMAO @ Monty and Izzy. I'll bet Rupert is scowling too as he's a gentleman of advanced years ;)

4th November 2006, 10:13 PM
Oh Cecily, he's lovely. A really solid ruby, isn't he? Imagine that, two rubies and a B/T. Hope it has gone well tonight and looking forward to seeing the meeting!

5th November 2006, 11:29 AM
Well we met Pluto last night, and he's quite the character :lol: He's a lovely fella, friendly and good natured. I've been thinking long and hard about it since we met him and I'm really torn. We'd love to offer him a home but I've got huge reservations for the following reasons, and would love to hear your objective viewpoints as sometimes I let my heart rule my head a bit.

First off he's rather large :yikes :lol: For a cavalier that is :lol: He's about 30lbs (over 13kg, which is about twice Tandie's weight). It's not just that he's overweight (which he is), he's also a bigger build. I'll post a photo and you'll see. Is there a chance he might not be 100% cavalier??? He's much blonder than Tandie. Not really 'ruby' at all. His poor coat was butchered so it's hard to tell what it would be like fully grown. :( He's quite energetic but hasn't been exercised. icon_nwunsure

Tandie was quite scared of him. He is the first dog she's met that she's been so timid aound (as those of you who have met Tandie will know, she's hardly a wallflower :lol: ) Her tail was right in behind her legs and she kept trying to get away from him and looking at us with 'save me' eyes :lol: He kept licking her bottom and even tried to hump her at one stage (he's only been neutered a few days). Tandie did relax a little over the course of the half hour and I think they'd make friends eventually, but the fact that he's quite a boisterous little chap worries me because, not just of Tandie, but our prospective pup and Flea.

Now my heart is saying "take him in, take him in" but my head is not sure it's the right time.

My worries are first of all for Tandie. We only have her 3 weeks, she's very settled and at home, we dote on her and I'm worried Pluto will upset that balance and just as she gets used to him there'll be a new pup for her to adjust to. It seems a lot for her to get used to and I think she might get swamped by his large personality and a bouncy, energetic puppy.

Second of all, he's going to be a lot of work, which I don't mind, but the puppy will also be a lot of work (less than 6 weeks away) and I'm concerned I might be biting off more than I can chew...

Thirdly there's Flea. Poor Flea has had a rough time of it since Tandie came to live here and it's been giving me the guilts. He 'escapes' out at every opportunity and we have to catch him and bring him in. Now there has been SOME improvement. Following Tara & Lisa's advice we've been training Tandie to sit when he moves and we're getting there VERY slowly. Pluto likes to chase things also, and although we don't know what he'd be like with a cat I suspect he might like to chase them too.

Fourth I suppose the logistics of three dogs... I know many of you guys have 3 (or more) and it's no problem, I'd be interested to hear how you manage them. We haven't got a huge amount of space. It would obviously be a bit of a problem leaving 3 dogs with friends or family if we went away (for example my brother-in-law is getting married in Austria next February). There's also cost, which is not a huge issue, but we're worried we might not be able to afford good veterinary care for an older dog if something were to happen him.

The family are anxious for him to go very soon as they have 3 kids (who he's very good with) that are getting quite attached to him. I'd hate to take him in and not have it work out. He's been through a bit but is a real charmer :l*v: We'd definitely take him in if it wasn't for the pup coming so soon and Flea (then I feel selfish about that). Maybe it's just not the right time... I don't know. I keep going back and forth :sl*p:

Sorry about the marathon post, but writing it down is helping get it clear in my head.
I'd appreciate any advice h*lp

5th November 2006, 01:21 PM
awww Cecily *hugZ* I just caught up with this now.

I think it's so amazing of you to be able to possibly open your heart to another little (or shall I say big?) one. :)

About him being not 100% cavalier, there are lotsa cavaliers which have huge size. He could have come originally from a BYB who does not breed for breed standard. Lots of BYBs produce huge puppies from what I understand. I wanna see pictures of him!!!

I don't know what to tell you in the regards to should you get him should you not. I don't have multiple dogs nor have I attempted to rescue (yet,) so I can't help you in that respect. :(

All I can say is *HUGZ*! to you and billy during your stressful times.. :)

Good luck! :flwr:

5th November 2006, 01:48 PM
Cecily I think it isn't the right dog; that's coming thru in a number of ways.

Do they have any other people interested? If not I will contact you later if you decide he isn;t the right dog. I know a great rescue in the UK that takes oldies and would probably have a home for him. The rescue should contact the irish rescue who works with the UK rescue -- she is down in Tralee. I'll talk to you later; have to go get Sam. :)

brid kenny
5th November 2006, 01:49 PM
Hi Cecily.
This is a big decision and maybe you are answering your questions yourself.
Best of luck.

5th November 2006, 01:59 PM
I think maybe we knew after meeting him that he wouldn't be the right dog for our circumstances at the moment, but I'd really love to help him out :( He's a lovely fella

I'm not sure about other people being interested... they didn't mention that, but I'd welcome the chance to chat to you about it later Karlin. Good luck with Sam, hope he finds his forever home :flwr:

Here's some photos of Pluto anyway. He's such a loveable rogue I think :lol:
Poor guy had 4 'dog tags' removed. I hadn't heard of them before...

Cathy T
5th November 2006, 02:58 PM
Cecily - I think he's adorable and just a big boy. You need to listen to your brain as well as your heart. You strike me as an extremely compassionate person but don't want you to feel you have to take on so much. Having only had Tandie for 3 weeks and expecting a new pup in 6 weeks is a huge amount of adjustment. He may be better off going to another home. You are really going to have your hands full then. I just wonder if maybe Tandie wouldn't be better off having your full attention until the new puppy comes along. Hopefully Karlin will be able to ease your mind in that she has a potential solution for homing him.

Barbara - Izzy is beautiful!

5th November 2006, 03:06 PM
{{{{{{{{Cecily}}}}}}}} don't beat yourself up over it. You can't take in every single Cavalier that needs a home, you have to think of the one you already have and the cat as well.

Sara, I would say that he is definitely ALL Cavalier and not necessarily a BYB one. Maxx is a larger Cavalier and so are two of my friend's dogs. They have all come from good breeders who do all the testing etc. It is only of recent years that I have actually seen tinier Cavaliers coming through. When I got Maxx they were all larger dogs. I love them a bit bigger mind you - all the more to hug :lol:

Cecily, what are those 'dog tags' you refer to? Are they the little skin tags that they sometimes get? Maxx has got a few of them but my Vet and the Vet who owns the practice have both said they don't need removing as they are only small and don't give him any bother. Pluto's must have been pretty big, especially looking at the size of his scars. Poor lad :(

I'm sure he'll soon get a loving forever home. There are plenty of people who will take in an older dog without a problem. lots of us adore them just as much as those naughty puppies so don't beat yourself up about it :flwr: :hug:

5th November 2006, 06:43 PM
I'm checking on the situation with the rescues -- I think there's a possibility for this fellow but they'd need to get him to Tralee. He could go via train potentially, but the two rescues need to talk to each other and I'd try to help get him sorted. That's if there are no prospects. It is very hard generally to home an older dog with a health issue in Ireland as the population is considerably smaller than the UK and the number of dogs vaailable, much higher per capita.

5th November 2006, 07:22 PM

If you have ANY doubts (more than one) in your mind then I think you should turn around and walk away. You have been caring enough to home one little rescue and have wonderful plans for your new pup, ...take a hug ((( x ))) for that alone that you have already done :flwr:
Yes a pup will be hard work and there is only so much that you can do before the enjoyment go's and it then becomes very HARD work....think HARD. Better to say "No" now then to find yourself over stretched and in a situation later on that would be difficult for you and all the dogs.

Three can also get expensive, vet bills, food, etc, etc...

Believe me when I say I worry about every rescue that I see on a certain rescue site in the U.K. ........but I can't have them all!..I would always foster long/short term and would willingly work with sick/ill-treated rescues that needed extra special care and time, but I also have plans of my own and I have no guilt for that. I know what I could manage and wouldn't push myself over that limit. Not fair on them or myself.

I have always thought and still trust my inner gut feelings best of all...if I have a doubt then I think there is always a reason why it is there...... :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

5th November 2006, 08:10 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. It means a lot :flwr:

I've found this one upsetting partly because I know he is old and sick, and he might not find it easy to get a loving home that at least knows about MVD and will work hard on getting him healthy. I feel really selfish putting ourselves and Tandie and Flea and Wesley first :( :(

I'd be delighted to foster him or look after him short term if necessary. What do you think Karlin? I'll contact the rescue centre tomorrow and mention it... I'll pm you now about it

Cathy T
6th November 2006, 02:47 AM
Oh Cecily, you are definitely not being selfish.