View Full Version : My Max

31st March 2007, 02:40 PM
Hello, I haven't been around for quite a while but a friend suggested i come on to discuss my immediate problem...

As you know Max has being confronted with varied problems in his short life, he is now nearly 3, he was not at teh vets from last July till February, its the longest he has gone without medication, and was doing really well.

however he developed this cough so i brought him down when i was bringing Cloe for her Knee operation [her knee was slipping out of its joint and she was crying when it did so had to be secured, she is still recovering and has yet to get teh stitches out, Monday i think]

anyway... the vet went to pull Max and noticed his pulse was not quite right, so he listened and was concerned, he then did a heart trace but there was no paper do he could just get a record and as you probably know a Cav's heart should beat between 120 and 130 beats per minute, my Max was beating at just 49, which dropped yesterday to 45, Syd [my Vet] sent him to a cardiac specialist for teh heart trace and xray, and he spoke to us after showing us the results, it was obvious this was serious, and i was to ring Syd this morning to discuss the measurements.

Max has heart failure, and he is esentially drowning as the heart cannot beat quick enough to clear his lungs of the fluid, i was told this is NOT the heart desiese cav's suffer from but rather possibly addissions desiese, which i am going to research now. he said his hear is firing but not correctly and he needs a pace maker, which is an operation he has never done. so i do not know if he is suggesting he will do it or Max will be sent to the specialist to do it... but they said he could be given medication to speed up his hear, but the specialist is quite negative on these atually having any possitive affect.

He has the runs, is coughing really badly cant seem to breadth, and is very listless...

my heart is breaking as what do i do... can any one please help me... oh the heart is also enlarged and we do not know if he is in pain... i asked the vet what he woudl do and he siad he really didnt know. Max has suffered so much already....

is it time to call it, to give up? or do we put him through this very dangerous operation adn see what happens??

any advise or thoughts anything... please


31st March 2007, 02:50 PM
Oh My Goodness I am so sorry to hear about Max ***HUGZ*** :hug: :hug: :hug:

TBH I have absolutely zero knowledge about this type of thing but I do want to say that I hope Max is able to pull through and will be alright. :flwr:

Did the vet check to see if it was Addison's disease?? Are you still feeding his regular food?? A lot of people on here say that boiled chicken and rice is supposed to help with the upset tummies. If he has addison's disease at least there is treatment available.. ..

Hopefully someone else will chime in soon for you ... Keep your head up and think positive :flwr:

31st March 2007, 03:15 PM
yes they are mentioning Addisons deliese alright, but as i said he need a pace maker.. doing some research on addisons now

31st March 2007, 03:35 PM
Hi Fi,

So sorry to hear that poor little Max is suffering once again :( . Can I get this straight in my head? The Vets think he has Addisons and he needs a pacemaker?

This is where I am confused as Addison's disease affects the adrenal glands which are just above the kidneys. These glands make the hormones that help the body relate to stress. In turn this regulates your water, salt and blood pressure too.

It can be fatal if left untreated but I have never heard of it causing the heart to swell so is this another separate problem that Maxx has or is it because the water in the body has gotten so out of control that it is pushing against his heart and causing it to swell? OR has the problem been caused by extremely high blood pressure over a period of time?

I think that I would speak to the specialist again to get everything totally clear. Could treatment possibly save Max's life and if it could then what sort of quality of life would he have afterwards? Also, would it lengthen his life span or could there be complications? What are the odds of complications?

I'm not trying to baffle you here but I think these are questions that you should be asking the specialist. If you can't get hold of the specialist then could your vet answer them for you?

It seems very unfair that they have left you in this situation over the weekend & I really hope you can get some answers quickly. If your Vet is telling you he doesn't know what he would do then try asking him 'If Max was your dog then what would you do?' I have always got a very honest answer when I have put this question to my own vet. It's not always the answer that I have wanted to hear but I do trust my Vet implicitly.

Take care Fi and hope you get some answers and quickly. :flwr:

31st March 2007, 03:48 PM
I have no idea of the protocol for dogs, but for congestive heart failure in humans they prescribe diuretics to help clear the fluids out and permit the heart to function more normally. Was that mentioned?

31st March 2007, 03:52 PM
We did look at alot of stuff on Addison's when our Duffy was having an issue. Here's a few links. Have you seen a cardiologist yet?




Joanne M
31st March 2007, 04:29 PM
My sister's cat Bandit lived for a few years with congestive heart failure. He took daily medication, a few times a day, if I recall and periodically his lungs were drained of fluid. He had to have ultrasound tests done every two or three months. He was finally pts, however, before that, he did not seem to be in much distress. He lived with me for 6 months after my sister relocated.

My father also suffers from congestive heart failure and as Pat said in her comment it is related to the fact that his kidneys are not fully functioning. My father has had a pacemaker installed. Since my father is a very proud and independent man I'm not completely aware of all of his medical history and diagnosis, as he does not like to talk about his health problems.

I'm very sorry for this very serious condition in a dog so young as Max. I'm sorry for your obvious sadness and dilemma about knowing what is best for him. Please know you have our support and prayers.

31st March 2007, 07:12 PM
WOW thank you all so much for your kind words and help....

let me address each question...

Max went off his food but i changed it from teh dry red mills to canned pedigree chum, and he is eating that, i dont like it as a food but anything to get him to eat.

As i am not sure yet on what addisons desiese is i will tell you what teh vet said to me, it is related to addisons desiese but his heart is swollen and his lungs are filled with fluid, he is on a dioretic which doesnt seem to be doing naything, he is also on antibiotics and a powder put on his tounge to dry out the lungs, he is also on predislone for his other illness,

he heart isnt firing correctly and although it is firing which they said is good, it is firing sufficently to make the heart pump

if they replace this pacemaker they said they cannot guarantee it will improve and think it MAY help, i did say to my vet what would he do if this was his dog and he got a bit upset as he knowns Max so well and loves him... he said he didnt know, he said he would "possibly" try the medication and the operation, but he too wonders has Max had enough.

going to have a family meeting tongiht about this and see what my children think...

the dioretics are not halping and the heart is too enlarged for it to return to normal at all... they have said the operation may not work, they also do not think medication will improve the situation and we still have the problem of the lungs...

In Ireland [for those reading this who are not here] i am finding the local veterinary clinics very limited... in both thier knowledge and thier equipment, they do not get the volume of patience with such illnesses to warrent having the equipment there.

i want to make the right decision, and i do not want to put him to sleep if it can be avoided, like any owner it would break my heart and the heart of 3 children and everyone else involved...

i have to ring the vet at 11 tomorrow morning to tell him what i want to do.. but the specialist is giving my vet the impression there is no hope... my vet knows me very well and i think he is afraid for me... if you understand, it must be very hard to tell an owner that thier pet needs to be let go.. i certainly woudlnt like to do it... god this is hard, but thank you all for your kind words......

31st March 2007, 07:37 PM
sorry forgot to say Max is also Fitting, it started 2 weeks ago and lasted 2 days then stopped, the vet had me monitoring it and him he did not notice the irregular heart then, he now feels the fits were a direct result of the heart not getting enough oxygen around the blood, but on reading teh articles i do not see a connection between addisons and his heart problem so like you i am confused now too... think i need to write down some questions...

Barb B
31st March 2007, 08:41 PM
I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. Max is very lucky to have a family that cares deeply about him and loves him so. I hope things work out for all of you. Such a tough decision to make.

31st March 2007, 09:06 PM
Max is the wee dog next to my Ruby. everyone that meets my dogs all love Max the most he is so placid compared tot eh others!! the girls are mad and demanding!!!!! like my kids really!!!!!

31st March 2007, 10:04 PM

I am so sorry, I certainly wouldn't like to be in your shoes right now. I am sure though that whatever decisions you make for Max they will be the right ones.

Sending you positive thoughts and gentle :hug:s for Max. I'm sure he knows how loved he is :flwr:

Donna :flwr:

31st March 2007, 10:12 PM
He looks like a sweetie--I'm so sorry he and you are all going through this. Max is indeed very fortunate to have the family he has got. It's a shame that nothing seems to be helping him at this point. It sounds as if you have a caring vet who is doing his very best to advise you. {{{{Hugs to you all}}}}

31st March 2007, 10:29 PM
I am really sorry to hear Max still has health difficulties; I know he has been through a lot.

Is this Syd offering to do the surgery? And is this Syd's analysis of his ailment or the cardiac specialists?

If it isn;t the cardiac specialist who did this interpretation I would hold off on making any decision til you talk directly to a cardiologist. To be honest I would NOT recommend having Syd do a surgery he has never done (no way in hell would I have anyone try a surgery on my dogs that they haven't done many times before). I would go talk to a cardiac specialist who has done it. I would seriously be weighing up what risks are there and what quality of life he would have after a surgery of this sort.

You should also immediately contact Max's breeder with these results as they would be very important to their breeding programme not to repeat that same breeding, ever, and to probably never breed from any of the puppies from any of the same crossings.

The only vets in Dublin I would trust with a serious surgery would be Anicare (three branches, the Blanchardstown office is state of the art and I think is the ONLY vet surgery in Ireland to qualify as a vet hospital designation). I would recommend talking to Susan, Tanis or Fintan at any of teh Anicare branches (they rotate between them) as they can give you a realistic picture. They are also very good on conditions specific to cavaliers.

31st March 2007, 10:39 PM
Alternatively I would recommend Finbar or Adrienne at Beaufield vets in Celbridge. Both are very up on heart and other conditions in cavaliers.

31st March 2007, 10:42 PM
oh Karlin, thank you, i had not heard of this place before and Blanchardstown is so close to me so will definatly look into it, he [syd] refered me to a vet [cardiac specialist] in Nutgrove. what Syd told me was recanting what this man ahd said to him. i do not know if Syd is thinking of doing the op or giving him to this Tom guy in Nutgrove, but like you i would be scared stiff for Syd to do it, even though i have the utmost respect for him and know he only has my dogs best interests at heart.

re the breeder well theres a story... when Max got ill the first time wehn he was only a few months old i raang ehr to tell her of his illness, she was insulted adn told me it was not her concern.... more or less hung up on me.. i did no more but when he got this muscle desiese i felt it was serious fenough to get her to stop breeding from the parents... [and the reason i decided never to use Max as a stud] remember the battle i went through about getting him spayed but was glad when it was done, anyway i digress... when i rang her back she told me to stop annoying her she wasnt going to give me a refund, i tried to explain i didnt want a refund i just wanted to know were any other pups ill and had she noticed any of these symptoms, she told me in no uncertain terms her stock was fine and it was my Max who was ill, nothing again to do with her.

I was shocked, and would deffinatly not have anything further to do with this woman, it is worring to hear of this attitude and im sure you will be upset by it as well.

Thanks for your continued support.


31st March 2007, 11:08 PM
I don't know the different cardiologists; most are based at UCD vet school, so am not sure if Tom is one of them or in private practice. I think I'd go for a second opinion anyway at Blanch; the numbers for all the Anicare branches are at Anicare.ie. They will likely refer you to UCD but explain the situation. They would be able to contact Tom for Max's records.

Regarding the breeder: if she has IKC reg for her dogs I'd mention her to Evelyn and to the breed club generally as she shouldn;t be allowed to continue getting club registration with that attitude (she clearly isn't health testing nor giving any backup support to her puppy buyers). That is a shocking response and sadly is the attitude of many uncaring breeders.

31st March 2007, 11:16 PM
yea i know Evelyn well and will definatly mention it to her next time we talk.

I was told this Tom is THE cardiac specialist.... all teh top of the range equipment etc... looking into the other place you mention now

1st April 2007, 01:33 AM
I am so sorry for your little man to be going through all this.
Big hugs and kisses to all.

How is max in himself ? if you were to go on this journey with him and have the op etc how would his other health problems be ? and overall quality of life ?

I would try and spend some time alone with Max and ask him what he wants to do ? I think if you can find a calm place, give him a nice a massage and put all the options to him you will both manage to come up with the correct answer.
Healing prayers and thoughts to Max, you and your family.
This is not a position I would cope well with being in and I have a great admiration for your strength. Know whatever you do is ok as it is clear you are doing your best and that is all you can give. :flwr:

1st April 2007, 12:05 PM
Thank you again for all your support, just to update you on this mornings call.

I rang Syd and to over all thing is we do not have enough information for me to make an informed decision yet.

I explained that from whar i had read addisons was nothing to do with what Max had and he agreed with me and said he too was confused, and we should rule out addisons and take teh heart as being a problem on its own.

he said that if he has a pace maker fitted it would have to be a human one and he does not know the availability of getting one nor the cost nor if it is covered by insurance.

He also said that Tom is the only cardiac specialist in Dublin Syd said that there are only one or two cardiac specialist in the country.

In the mean time i have decided to start him on the drugs to try to speed up his heart, these are human drugs and Syd is ordering them in, Cloe gets her stitches out in the morning so i doubt he will ahve them by then.

Syd is going to discuss with Tom what he feels the out come will be and the quality of life...

so emotions on hold till i get more information. if you find any web site with information relating to this please let me know...


1st April 2007, 01:41 PM
I am so sorry about your little boy and all the problems he is facing.

I cant offer any help or vetinary knowledge but I do know of a cavalier on another forum that I am a member of who had a pace maker fitted. The pace maker is doing its job but the dog has a number of other health problems, including really bad allegies and skin problems. He is also a very gentle loving boy.

Edited to add I have got and checked the other site and Patch was first thought to have Addisons but when they did a test it was no. He got his op last Aug.

1st April 2007, 02:07 PM
So sorry to hear of your poor Max's troubles. I'd definitely get him referred for a second opinion, vets vary so much :flwr:

1st April 2007, 03:34 PM
Arne, wow thank you, is there any chance you can put me in touch with this other person? i can pm you my email address and maybe we could talk,

george thanks but there is only one cardiac specialist here in Dublin that my vet knows of and he is taking direction from him, so i dont think going to another vet will help when this is such a rare problem, but i have more questions to ask thanks to the support here reminded me fo things i do need to find out.

Karlin Syd does not plan to do the operation as he said he wouldnt know where to start, this Tom guy will be doing it. but if he is having negative thoughts now i wonder.... Ma is such a good dog and even now wagging his tail and i even saw him play with a ball rolling form side to side for a few minuites today... it was amazing to see, but after a few rolls he was exausted and needed sleep. he wags his tail when you call hi as if to say come get me i love you but so very tired..... :(

1st April 2007, 03:41 PM
Primarily I am curious as to why they would think this isn't MVD/CHF related unless he has had a heart issue ongoing that the vets didn't pick up?

I would still recommend a second opinion on his range of symtpoms.

1st April 2007, 04:35 PM
I'm so sorry that you're having to go through all these troubles with Max.

Realizing that it may not be the same issue, our Charley managed on heart medications and diuretics for many years. He had MVD/CHF.

His heart was enlarged....in the later stages, and he too had fluid build up, trouble breathing and coughing at night.

Once we "upped' his diuretics and got his meds sorted, he did very well for quite a long period.

He never appeared to be in pain, was a tail wagging happy guy.

I sure hope they can find a solution for your Max. :flwr: :flwr:

16th April 2007, 12:27 PM
Hello, and thank you all once again for your support.

Max has been on the steroids, the tablets to clear his lungs of fluid, and tablets to make his heart beat faster...

he has made somewhat of a recovery, but now they say the operation to replace the valve is a non runner.

he is going back on Monday for an ECG

although the tablets have made his heart beat marginally quicker ie now about 40 BPM when he runs this does not increase

Cloe has to go back for an Xray on Monday also as he wants to make sure all is ok, however she is still limping badly and i wonder if it is....

all in all things looking up i think......

16th April 2007, 12:30 PM
Sorry to hear Max is doing only a bit better -- hopefully you will find the right mix of medications for him.

I guess I missed that Chloe is limping. Has she been checked for luxating patellas? That is often the cause of limping -- again if this proves to be the case be sure to let the breeder know as breeding dogs producing luxating patellas shouldn't be bred. If that is causing the limping, she'll likely need surgery to deepen the socket at the knee joint.

4th May 2007, 10:14 PM
Yes she had an operation but he found her [well the thing you mention that needs to be deepened,] was perfect, the problem came for a ligament... this was fixed and she is still limping but he says this si to be expected.

5th May 2007, 01:02 AM
I read in the other thread about Max's seizures. That poor little man is having a bad run & he is in my thoughts. :hug: