View Full Version : Dilemma - help!

30th December 2006, 01:36 PM
Hi there,

Just taken Charlie to vet for check up on his heart, and the vet says she'd like to keep him in one day for a chest x-ray and an eeg. I'm worried about leaving him at the vet all day, and risking the sedation though :? He's 14 and he has been poorly for quite a while. Last week he was coughing quite a lot, but that seems to have eased a bit. He's on Foretkor, Frusemide, and has been on Vetmedin for the past week. The vet said that his chest sounds pretty clear, and she couldn't hear gurgling noises, so that's good. But he's still coughing a bit. She said he might be coughing because his heart is pressing on his bronchae (? I think), rather than because of fluid around the lungs. She also said that she heard a couple of irregular heartbeats when she first started listening, and was concerned that this might have been causing his funny turns (although she did listen for a long time, and only heard two irregular heart beats).

Anyway, the upshot is that she wants to take him in for the day for the x-ray and the eeg, as it will give them more information (he's not had an x-ray or eeg done for several years). I can obviously see that this extra information will be useful, but I'm worried about my boy going into the vet all day, and risking sedation. As I'm sure most dogs do, he gets stressed at the vet, and I'm not convinced that it's worth the risk.

Help! I really don't know what to do for the best. I'm worried that it'll all be too much for him to have this done :( But I might be being overly paranoid.....

Pepsi x

30th December 2006, 03:08 PM

Why does Charlie need to be sedated??

Can the vet not do an X-ray "on the spot"?

We had an X-ray of our Charley, it was done within minutes, without sedation.

If Charlie has an enlarged heart, his lung function could be decreased by the heart pressing on his lung.

It's not an easy decision, hope Charlie is feeling better.

I understand your concerns about leaving Charlie at the vets for any length of time.

Hope this helps. :flwr: :flwr:

Cathy T
30th December 2006, 03:19 PM
I have no constructive input....just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you and hoping for the best.

Cathy Moon
30th December 2006, 04:31 PM
It makes sense to get an xray to determine if his heart is enlarged and pressing on his bronchial tubes, because that would help the vet know if the cough is treatable. Did the vet say why an eeg is needed?

I'm wondering why Charlie would have to be sedated, too. Geordie has had chest xrays without sedation. Maybe the vet thinks it would be less stressful for Charlie in the long run?

30th December 2006, 04:48 PM
Thanks for your concern. The vet said that Charlie might need to be sedated because he'll need to be really still for the eeg and/or x-ray. She said they'd try without any sedative, and if he needed to be sedated they'd use the mildest one possible. As Cathy suggested, the reasoning she gave was that sometimes being sedated is better for them than getting stressed by being held still. She wants to do the eeg because she heard a couple of 'irregular' heart beats this morning, and she wants to investigate them further.

I think I'll talk to the vet about my concerns about leaving him there for a long time without me, and I'll see if I can wait with him. It'd make me worry less at least! And he'd probably be calmer too.

Pepsi x

30th December 2006, 06:28 PM
Your dog is so pretty in your avatar! We lost our old lab in Oct and I have a thing for the older but still so pretty senior doggies! I dont know enough health wise to be of help to you, but I do understand your concerns. Its such a hard call and definately a personal one. When they are old, sometimes its hard to choose between doing and not doing. In our case (and it in no ways means its your case) we opted to not do testing for another health concern as our lab was 15 and she had so much trouble walking (even lying seemed hard some days). But I do sympathize how these choices just rip your heart sometimes! I'm sure cavalier people here with more knowledge on this will give you good advice.

Om's Mom
30th December 2006, 07:24 PM
Hi Pepsi. I too recently went through a lot of anxiety over the condition of Omlette's heart because her vet thought she heard irregular beat or something. They did an eeg or ekg....gosh what was that? They attached wires to her little self, and her heart beat showed up on a graph, which they sent off to a specialist even though what the vet "heard" didn't show up on the graph except one wee beat. She was not sedated for this.

I'd already had a baseline chest xray done for her. She was not sedated. Om does have a large-looking heart in the xray. It appears to be very close to the trachea.

HOWEVER, I had an ECG/ULTRASOUND (at breeder's recommendation) on Om and :rah: her heart and mitral valve looked great. Since I was right there with her, I asked the Radiologist to check the relation of the heart to the trachea. He said it was normal, that on Xrays it can appear close. She was not sedated.

My experience with my doggies and vets has led me to the conclusion that 1) I don't leave my dog alone with them :yikes for any tests or proceedures and 2) I think twice about what they say. I always speak to Om's breeder, who has nearly thirty years' experience with Cavaliers, about any health concerns.

In Charlie's situation, I would be really hesitant to subject him to the dangers of anesthesia.

Has the Vet taken Charlie's blood pressure?

Also Karlin has a section here on MVD/Heart issues. I wish the best, Pepsi, for you and your dear Charlie.

:hug: from Dorothy

Barbara Nixon
30th December 2006, 10:08 PM
What would the vet intend to do after he got the results ? Surgery would be unfair on Charlie and very risky. He's already on the recommended drugs and you don't want dirstressing tests just for the sake of them.

Izzy had a bit of an off day (more coughing, though he's still much better on the higher dse of Frusicare ) yesterday, but I put that down to the very wet windy weather.

Until recently the vets all insisted that Izzy had too little fluid on his lungs to be worth treating. They said the coughing was just his heart working harder eg on waking or moving after lying for some time.

Om's Mom
30th December 2006, 10:21 PM
Good point, Barbara!

Joanne M
31st December 2006, 01:20 AM
As Cathy T said, I do not have anything constructive to offer. However, I want you to know that you have my support. I'm thinking of you and Charlie. I've fallen in love with his handsome and gentle face. Please keep us all posted. I wish for the best outcome for everyone. You'll be in my prayers. God bless.


31st December 2006, 11:25 AM
Thanks again for your help. I'm even more unsure that it's worth it now, and I'm really scared about the thought of him being sedated. The vet said that the results might inform their choice of medication, and possibly make him more comfortable in the long-run. She said that if he doesn't have much fluid round the lungs, then the coughing is caused by something else and they can treat that. Also, she wanted the ecg to check out this irregular heart beat she heard. I'm a bit dubious about this 'irregular' heart beat. Charlie has been going to the vet almost every week lately, and every time we go we see a different vet (not ideal) - no other vet has mentioned an irregular heart beat.

I think I'll leave it for a little while at least, and we'll see another vet. If other vets say it'd be beneficial for him maybe we'll do it, with me there and with no sedation.

Thanks again.
Pepsi x

BTW, just realised I'd been referring to the test as EEG (which measures brain activity) rather than ECG (or EKG)! Sorry for the confusion!! :sl*p:

Barbara Nixon
31st December 2006, 04:41 PM
If Charlie was relaxed, at the time, perhaps the one vet just heard the normal irregular heartbeat that dogs have. I remeember hearing this while lying against one of my springers, years ago (before the days when you could look things up on the net). The vet explained that it was quite normal. (For anyone new to dogs, it's a burst of beats, followed by a missed beat, repeated over.)

Om's Mom
31st December 2006, 06:06 PM
Dear Pepsi, I've been thinking of you and your dear Charlie all night. I popped right in here to check on you, first thing. I want to apologise for being so yappy and going on about Om & I when you and your boy are needing comfort.

Charlie is a marvel. Fourteen years old.Yippee and Hurray for Charlie! He looks so dear in that photo!
It would be nice if Charlie could be seen by the same vet on each visit. Is it possible to choose the one that you trust and request Charlie's appointments be with that Vet? One who isn't going to subject him to unnecessary proceedures, but rather keep him comfortable?
(It will be two years this month that I lost my Dickens to heart disease and SM. I thought I'd never get through that pain. But we do.)
Hugs, Dorothy

31st December 2006, 06:26 PM
Dorothy - there's absolutely no need apologise for telling me about Om - it's really useful to hear about other people's experiences & to get their thoughts (Om is beautiful BTW). It would be a good idea to see the same vet all the time - we moved a few months ago, and went to quite a large practice.

Oh, and Happy New Year everyone! :*nana:
Pepsi x

31st December 2006, 10:49 PM
Dear Pepsi,

Couldn't they try antibiotics to stop the cough and if that didn't work could they assume it might be something else and then do the x-ray?

I have to say, Charlie is so beautiful.

Pauline xxx

1st January 2007, 04:00 PM
Pepsi, so sorry to hear about these concerns with poor Charlie :flwr: :flwr:

Peaches had an ECG and X-ray without sedation...the x-ray isn't as clear as one when they are sedated, but the vet said it was fine for the purpose.

It's really hard when you are seeing a different vet each time - as others have said, it would be worth requesting to see the same vet.

Peaches also had an irregular heartbeat, but it didn't cause her any problems. It is only if they have symptoms from it that it may be a problem.

The vets do seem to like to do periodic ECGs and x-rays when treating MVD, so they can see how it is progressing, we were told intervals of about 6 months.

If there is one vet you trust more than the others, I'd discuss your concerns with them - and they can help you decide what to do for the best.

Thinking of you.

Claire L
1st January 2007, 05:16 PM
Hi Pepsi,
I understand your reticence and all I would say to you is write down all your worries and what ifs. Call the Vet and ask all the questions. My main question would be if Pepsi's heart is pressing on the Bronchae can the vet do anything about it? if the answer is No then I would be reluctant to put Pepsi under anesthesia -what's the point?

Hopefully more people will come on here who have experience with a similiar situation.

Sending you lots of positive thoughts and please keep us posted.

:hug: :lotsaluv: