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View Full Version : Enlarged Heart - Please help me get informed



Leo's Pal
28th July 2007, 12:25 AM
Help, I'm facing a very long weekend...

My vet just told me that my one-year-old Cavalier, Leo, has an enlarged heart. She saw this while doing an x-ray because Leo was yelping when we picked him up. She says his heart is enlarged on the right side. Does anyone have any information on enlarged hearts? She said that she did not detect a murmer. We have an appointment with the cardiologist on Tuesday but we're sooooo worried :(

I would really appreciate any info or encourging words right now.

By the way, Leo has been an extremely active dog.

Karlin
28th July 2007, 12:38 AM
Is your vet very familiar with cavaliers? If not, let her know that apparently cavaliers can appear to have enlarged hearts when they do not (for the breed). Also they can appear to have low platelet counts when they do not, as about a third have large platelets that won't be picked up on routine tests (see the Library section here on health issues, where these key things are explained :thmbsup:. There's info you can print out for your vet on platelets that would be good to give her).

It would be really unlikely for a dog as young as Leo to have an enlarged heart, but by all means have the cardiologist check this out. MVD and this type of heart issue do not tend to become that noticeable until dogs are at least 5 or 6. Usually the heart enlargement is caused by the long term presence of a murmur. That's why it seems very unlikely that your dog has an enlarged heart.

If Leo was yelping when you pick him up, I would think you'd more likely want to have your vet consider whether to check for syringomyelia, which is more likely to produce a reaction of this kind. It does sound like she has been eliminating probable causes for the yelping, which is exactly the right thing to be doing. :flwr:. But if she or you are unfamiliar with syringomyelia, be sure to read through the information here: www.smcavalier.com.

While many things could cause discomfort when a dog is picked up, this is definitely one thing that should be considered amongst other possibilities -- not least because early diagnosis gives more options on what to do next.

I hope neither of these things are present and you find some other reason for the yelping, but all cavalier owners need to be aware of both MVD and SM. Let us know what the cardiologist says!

Leo's Pal
28th July 2007, 09:23 PM
I went to my regular vet today (the one I went to
yesterday was in a nearby town where we are for the summer). My regular vet says
he feels there's nothing wrong with Leo's heart. He says cavalier's
hearts are rotated a bit which often makes them appear enlarged.
He says Leo's heart sounds
absolutely fine (no murmer) and he appears really healthy.

I still may go to the cardiologist for peace of mind, but we'll see.

Thanks Karlin (and everyone!).

AT
28th July 2007, 10:43 PM
my friend uses a specialist in paris for her dogs heart exams & she said its normal for a certain part of cavaliers & charlies hearts to be larger to compensate for the shorter nose?

Karlin
29th July 2007, 12:34 AM
I'm glad to hear your regular vet doesn't think there's a problem. I don't think I'd worry too much as your regular vet's explanation makes sense. :flwr:

Cathryn
29th July 2007, 01:05 AM
Hi!

When one of my old dogs went in to the cardiologists for some routine tests for his MVD some years back, the cardiologist told me that Cavaliers have naturally larger hearts than a lot of the other toy breeds. If your regular vet thinks no worries then I wouldn't worry overly either!

Of course they do need slightly bigger hearts anyway, to keep all that love in!! :lotsaluv: ;)

george108
29th July 2007, 09:12 AM
Hi!

When one of my old dogs went in to the cardiologists for some routine tests for his MVD some years back, the cardiologist told me that Cavaliers have naturally larger hearts than a lot of the other toy breeds.

I was told the exact same thing at the vet hospital.

judy
1st August 2007, 09:30 AM
Help, I'm facing a very long weekend...

My vet just told me that my one-year-old Cavalier, Leo, has an enlarged heart. She saw this while doing an x-ray because Leo was yelping when we picked him up. She says his heart is enlarged on the right side. Does anyone have any information on enlarged hearts? She said that she did not detect a murmer. We have an appointment with the cardiologist on Tuesday but we're sooooo worried :(

I would really appreciate any info or encourging words right now.

By the way, Leo has been an extremely active dog.



zack was erroneously diagnosed with enlarged heart by an emergency room vet, he was in the ER for vomiting.

I found this very detailed article about difficulties drawing conclusions about heart size from chest xrays (zack's xray wasn't even a chest xray, it was an abdominal xray). The article does show that cavaliers have a higher score on combined measurements than other breeds, except for boxers, and that breeds differ in what's normal for them.

http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2004&PID=8633&O=Generic

Karlin
1st August 2007, 11:43 AM
Judy that's right; I'd forgotten that. It was a real headache for you too at the time but you eventually got it removed from his record. I know vets are doing what they think best but a casual note on a vet record about something like this can have implications for insurance coverage, etc! :yikes

Cathy Moon
2nd August 2007, 02:17 AM
We're going to see the cardiologist on August 13, so I will ask about this.