View Full Version : I'm new here - advice welcome

4th December 2006, 01:05 PM
I'm new here. We're based in Wirral, near Liverpool, UK.

We have a male Cavalier called Max. We've had him since he was 12 weeks old - he's now 12 years and 4 months!

He's generally had faitrly good health but has had a slight heart murmur for many years. About grade 2. I know about Mitral disease and I think it might now be kicking in.

For about 3 months he's been coughing. It happens at almost anytime and is now up to about ten times a day. He's not on Lasix yet but I guess he should be?

Now the other issue. He's had a history of anal gland infections and now he needs the glands emptying every 2 or 3 weeks. The vet says he produces an enormous amount of fliud. He's had a bad infection for a few weeks now that hasn't cleared even with strong antibioytics.

The vet has suggested he has an operation to remove the anal glands next week.

We've talked about the risk from the anaesthetic, with the heart problem in mind, and the vet feels he should be OK.

I'm really not sure. What do you guys think?


Barbara Nixon
4th December 2006, 02:24 PM
If he's coughing he probably needs medication. My boy , Izzy , reached a grade 6 before showing this symptom. This was almost two years ago and most of the time he's fine, though he is on Vetmedin, Fortekor5 and frusicare, all of which do an excellent job.

I don't know much about anal glands, but as it's not a nice op, your vet must really think it necessary.

4th December 2006, 03:14 PM
Oh Brian, welcome to the group and I am sorry that Max is coughing and also may need an operation....its a hard decision, I am sure that there are more experienced members here that will be able to offer great advice than me - good luck.

Cathy Moon
5th December 2006, 02:54 AM
I know of a cavalier who had his anal glands removed at age 10-11. He came through it fine. I don't know if he has MVD, though.

Would it be possible to have Max checked by a cardiologist to determine if he needs to be on heart medication, and to discuss how safe it would be for him to have surgery?

Darby's Mom
5th December 2006, 07:20 AM
Just a random, albeit important "aside." If poor Max is getting his anal grands removed, be certain that you are familiar with one important risk... the removal of the anal glands can cause damage to the nerves and muscles that control sphincter control. The obvious complication being that you may end up with a dog with no control of his bowel movements.

Sorry to throw this "ringer" in there.... I'm not trying to worry you! It is a potential complication of the surgery though, so please be certain to discuss this with your vet. :flwr:

It also sounds like it is probably time for Max to begin cardiac medications - it will definitely make him more comfortable, and lessen the coughing.

Good luck, and know that I will be sending warm thoughts Max's way! He is a VERY handsome man! Please keep us updated!

Barbara Nixon
5th December 2006, 12:05 PM
Has your vet not suggested medication for the mvd symptoms, ie coughing? Most dogs get started off on Fortekor or Vetmedin. My vets have all been of the opinion that meds are only necessary if there are actual symptoms, though some medicate regardless. Although Izzy has a grade 6 with symptoms for nearly two years, he's only been on Frusicare, the 'water tablets', for a few monts, as he had no fluid buildup until then.

5th December 2006, 01:01 PM
Good luck at the vets, hope every thing goes well for your handsome boy :flwr:

5th December 2006, 05:16 PM
If he is coughing he should almost certainly be on medications, going by general procedure. However in your place, I would want him cardiac checked so you have an accurate assessment of his actual murmur grade -- a grade 2 would be very low for him to be going into congestive heart failure (when the coughing starts). Vets are not very good at grading murmurs correctly or at hearing early stage murmurs. A dog in CHF can do very well for many years on the right mix of medications.

This post will be of help:


6th December 2006, 05:31 PM
Thanks for all the comments.

He's having the op next Tuesday. I'll keep you informed.

Thanks again.


16th December 2006, 08:52 AM
Hi Brian,

Welcome to the board. Sorry to hear that Max coughing. Hopefully he'll be fine once he's on his meds. Please let us know how he is after his operation.

I'm very new to owning a cav but my little fella George was scooting quite a bit and I brought him to the vet the other day. He got himself sorted and he's fine now although the vet did say that if it was an ongoing problem that the glands could be removed. I hope that it doesn't become an issue with George. I have him on Pedigree complete but I am now changing him to Royal Canin (which he absolutely loves!)

Best of luck to Max.