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tupup
23rd March 2010, 05:22 PM
Hi,
As you know from our "bad news" thread from friday i took Rubes for chest x-rays today.She's home but a bit spaced out.The results are that her heart is enlarged left & right,he showed me the xrays & where there should be gaps there isnt & you could clearly see her heart lying ontop of her chest wall,Its round instead of elongated.If id brought her in with a cough he'd have diagnosed "being in heart failure" but she hasnt a cough so isnt.He's taken a blood test,then he will check the meds he's going to start her on will be ok with gaberpentin & then will ring me.He's happy to refer to a cardiologist at any time.
Ive not to wrap her in cotton wool& walk her as normal.

thoughts or advice please?

Nicki
23rd March 2010, 06:03 PM
I'm so very sorry to hear this :(

I would strongly recommend seeing the cardiologist, they are brilliant with managing heart conditions - {obviously if it was for ourselves, you would rather a cardiologist manage it than your GP...}


It is good that Ruby's heart is coping - Teddy has a grade 5/6 murmur and likewise is not in CHF; also Fufu - she has been at a 5 for several years now and again is not in CHF, it is dependant on how the heart is coping.

If they are starting to fill with fluid, then that means the heart is not copiing so well - if it's the left {Mitral} valve then fluid builds up on the lings and they cough; if it's the right, then it builds up in the belly {ascites}. the belly looks tighter and if you tap it, you can see a fluid wave across it.


Teddy is on a very high dose of Gabapentin and has also been on Benazecare [Fortekor is the palatable version of the same drug].


A cardiologist would do an ultrasound and an ECG - they would also want to see the x-rays. This gives them a good picture of what is going on.


The vet is right, don't wrap her in cotton wool, she doesn't know anything is wrong - but also try to avoid stressful situations for her; and do not take her out when it is hot - really just common sense.

It is very important that she is not allowed to become overweight as that puts added strain on the heart - a lesson for all of us :)

Try to include some free running every day if you can, really let her do as much as she likes - keeping fit really helps.


If you search heart on the forum you will find lots of other posts...

I know you must be panicking at the moment, but remember they can go on for a long time with medication - Fufu started a grade 1 after having a Pyometra aged 8 {the infection can affect the heart}; she is now 12. The grade is not as important as how the heart is coping - some dogs have a grade 6 for a while before they even start to show symptoms!!

Take care of yourself too

team bella
23rd March 2010, 07:21 PM
Sorry to hear the news, I can only agree that a specialist is next best step. Hope your ok.

Wagtails
23rd March 2010, 08:49 PM
Hi there and sorry to hear you and Ruby are still going through a lot of problems. Nicki has already offered some superb advice, which I couldn't really add to, other than to say that our Cavs are valiant little souls, who don't know they have problems and just keep going if you let them.

I've been through heart problems with three now and, once you've got any necessary medications sorted, it's amazing how well they can do. I've had one on pills for 3 years (from the age of 7), one who only needed them for the last 3 months and, currently, her daughter, who is now 9 and still doing well.

Up to now I've always just trusted my own general vet, but I think the advice to see a specialist is probably better, as they must be more up to date with changes in treatment, especially as Ruby has SM as well.

I'm sure everyone on CT will be thinking of you and wishing you all lots of luck.http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv97/Cavviewagtails/Animations/Flowerspoog.gif

Phoebe
23rd March 2010, 09:58 PM
Ah Tupup, I've not posted on here for ages, but I've just come on for a browse and seen your thread.
I'm so sorry to hear about your worries with your darling girl. I wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you.
It sounds as though you have been given some good advice from those on here with experience of Cavalier health problems.
Just wanted to let you know that I'm sending my love :hug:

diddy
23rd March 2010, 10:40 PM
Sending love to you and your girls

Sabby
23rd March 2010, 11:39 PM
So sorry about your news. I definitely would see a cardiologist. My vet said that there was no need to see a cardiologist for my Ebony but I wanted a referral. It made a lot of difference for my peace of mind. Like Nicki said we wouldn’t trust our GP to manage a heart condition we would want to see a specialist. Sending lots of :hug::hug:

Tania
23rd March 2010, 11:41 PM
Molly, Dotty and Dougall send lots of love and cuddles to you all. Let me know if there is anything
I can do to help :hug:

Cathy Moon
25th March 2010, 12:02 AM
Nicki and everyone else has given you lots of good advice. :flwr:

The only thing I can add is that keeping her weight low will do her a world of good. Our cardiologist kept telling us that Geordie needed to lose a little more weight, and finally last visit he told us Geordie is at the right weight for him, which is 7.9 kg and the last report said, "Geordie has an ideal body scoreof 3/5 which is characterized by being able to see his waist from above and from the side and ribs palpable without having to push to feel them." I had always thought Geordie was thin enough previously, and was a little concerned when I could feel his hip bones - but evidently this is very good for a dog with heart issues. So if Ruby is not lean, help her get there slowly but surely.

Also, based on the latest research, you might want to monitor her respiratory rate daily when she's resting (I check Geordie every evening). If her respiratory rate is above 40 respirations per minute, or increases rapidly and significantly from normal, she should be taken to the cardiologist as soon as possible for an evaluation.

Hugs to you and Ruby. :flwr::hug:

Nicki
25th March 2010, 09:20 AM
That's really helpful Cathy.

If you're as obsessive as me, you can also buy a stethocope - I bought mine on E-bay - and check the heart rate!! Ask the cardiologist what to listen for...


I think the most important thing though is to try to relax so that the dog does not pick up on your stress, and to enjoy every day. :D

pippa
25th March 2010, 08:00 PM
Just letting you know I am thinking of you.

Margaret C
26th March 2010, 12:32 AM
Dear Tupup

All good advice, especially the fact that Ruby herself does not know there is anything wrong.

I know you will worry, but try to relax and just love and enjoy her. The chances are she will be with you for quite some time yet.

tupup
29th March 2010, 02:50 PM
Thank you everyone,your help & support is invaluable:)

Rubes bloods came back as all ok& by thursday our vet had spoken to a cardiologist of my choosing (thank you Nicki :thmbsup:) so now im waiting for the cardio to ring me directly to make an appt, my friends who drive us to our appts & I are on high alert to go at any time,route has been googled etc!

Rubes is doing well,as you all said she doesnt know any different & ive calmed down to only checking her about every 20 steps as we walk along instead of every 2 steps, she's pottering along as normal & doing a little running to catch up & see what Jels might have found!
I think i will relax a bit after we get her on some meds as the vet hasnt started her on any,he feels it better for the cardio to see her as she is, tho' he would have done of course if i'd wanted to wait to see a cardio.

Thanks again everyone, i'll update as we go but in the meantime please keep her in your prayers x

jasperpaw
29th March 2010, 03:54 PM
Glad to read that Rubes if doing OK. When Jasper got worse during last year and had to have an ECG and heart scan, when the results came back we were just told not to wrap him up in cotton wool, keep him slim and as long as he was still eating and excercises well just to keep an eye on him and act as normal which I found as first to be very hard like you have said.

tupup
14th April 2010, 11:48 PM
Hi heres an update as promised,it wasnt great news so i can only state the facts as im trying to hold it together & be positive

We saw a wonderful cardiologist yesterday who we were with for 2 hours,she scanned Ruby,no sedation was needed & Rubes didnt move even once & i was allowed to stay with her thro' out.Rubes diet,weight & amount of excercise got the thumbs up. Her heart however is reasonably advanced condition, 2 leaking valves,one on each side with one worse than the other, which accounts for her heart being enlarged, dealing with the extra volume & chest wall weakened. She feels Ruby has had this for some time but possibly due to her other health issues it hasnt been picked up tho it would have been if she was otherwise healthy.She said Rubes is somewhat older than 6 y.o & will not make double figures. In maybe a year or so she will begin to have the fluid in lungs & stomach & generally,will get a cough etc. She is being started on 3 different tablets to improve her quality of life.Ive to ring her in a few weeks & see her again in 6 months.

Our vet rang today & said he'd had a long conversation with cardio & was I ok? I said at least i know now & he said, yes we can only concentrate on Rubys quality of life now.

I took a deep breath before we left cardio's & asked her to listen to Jellys heart, jels was not at all impressed but was given the ok! This lady was so caring & lovely with my girls I would recommend her anytime,& again thank you Nicki for recommending her to me & giving me her details:hug:

I cant tell you all how i feel other than ive sniffed & shaken thro' typing this out & sadly I know too many of you know exactly how i feel

Brian & Tania thank you both so much for ringing last night my friends,it helped x

Margaret C
14th April 2010, 11:59 PM
Dear Tupup,

I'm sending you a hug.:hug:

Brian M
15th April 2010, 12:04 PM
Hi tupup:(

Just spotted your post as I have been waiting to read it ,and as promised will ring again tonight .

brian :)

Nicki
15th April 2010, 01:18 PM
I'm so sorry :(:( I think we're all sniffling along with you.

This is really hard to hear - also that she is older than you thought too, but maybe in some ways that makes it easier to hear that her heart is bad {does that make sense?}


I'm so pleased that the cardiologist was good with you and the girls, and great news about Jelly - my friend couldn't speak highly enough of her, she was fantastic with her Cavalier.


I think we've all given all the advice we can offer - but look after yourself too, and remember most importantly, that Ruby DOESN'T know, so she can enjoy life to the full.

We're all thinking of you xx

Wagtails
15th April 2010, 02:06 PM
Thinking of you, Tupup, and all healing thoughts to Ruby. I've been through the same kind of thing 4 times now, so I hope you will find things improve once the new medication has a chance to work.

Cavaliers are just so amazing and, as others have said, they certainly don't know they are ill unless they are having a particularly bad day, so try to stay strong for your little one's sake. You've got lots of support on here.
http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv97/Cavviewagtails/Animations/Heartpoog.gif