View Full Version : How can I expect to lose my little one? :(

11th July 2010, 05:42 PM
I recently posted a topic about my cavalier who I took to have his hair cut and how I noticed his mvd symptoms had eased considerably. Looks like I spoke too soon as he has took a turn for the worse :( it started last night when he wouldn't eat his food unless I sat and spoon fed him, the same thing happened this morning. He's very agitated and has been coughing and sounding very hoarse today. He is sitting a lot as opposed to lying down (which is normally his favourite hobby!) whenever he lies down he starts coughing and has to get up again. He seems fragile today and can hardly keep his eyes open sometimes. His nose is still very wet though and is stil l enjoying strokes and attention.

Could this be one of his last days? Could anyone that has lost a cav from mvd give me any advice as to what to look for as he comes to the end?

No amount of trying to prepare myself for when it happens. He's my best little buddy I don't know what I'll do without him :(

Kate H
12th July 2010, 09:43 PM
I hate to say it, but it does sound as if your boy is in the advanced stages of congestive heart failure. Have you spoken to your vet? He may be able to suggest something to ease your dog's discomfort, or tell you that there is nothing more that can be done - either way, you will know where things stand.

I have lost two Cavaliers from MVD, and in both cases it was very clear when they had reached the end of the road. Meg was seriously ill for several months but still enjoying life within limits, but the day came when she couldn't put her head down to drink (I'd been hand-feeding her for some time) and she just sat and looked at me, saying so clearly 'Mum, I can't go on'. When we took her to the vet for the last time, he said she had hardly any heart beat left, and she slipped away very quickly and peacefully. Rowley's heart failure was much more sudden, he'd only had a mild problem for a couple of months, and then one evening he couldn't manage all his short walk and I had to carry him home, and the next morning he couldn't control his back legs or put his head down to eat or drink. He spent the day in an oxygen tent at the vet's, but as soon as he was taken out, he was gasping for breath and I made the decision to let him go.

I'm sorry I can't be more positive - in a way, the decision is taken out of your hands, which makes it a bit easier: it becomes so obvious when your dog can't go on and needs your help to bring the struggle to an end - it's the last kindness we can do for them in return for a lifetime of joy. Which doesn't mean that you won't miss your boy like hell - I'm crying for my two as I write this. But they give us so much pleasure in their all-too-short lifetimes, the measure of our grief is the measure of our love for them.

Thinking of you,

Kate, Oliver and Aled

13th July 2010, 01:00 AM
I agree that it is important to talk right away to your vet -- it is hard to guess from a post what might be going on, and whether this is due to MVD or some other problem, and if MVD, whether he just needs his medications adjusted or to be put on meds he isn't on right now. It does sound like congestive heart failure but there are many things that can be done at that point for many dogs. A variety of meds can keep a dog quite comfortable for a good while but your vet or ideally a vet cardiologist can give you the best advice for your particular situation. If he is struggling I wouldn't leave it and wait and see what happens -- you do not want him in unnecessary discomfort of course, and also, you want to make sure there is not something else going on that has not been diagnosed. Let us know what your vet says, and how he is doing. :flwr:

13th July 2010, 10:17 AM
Hi thankyou for your advice and kind words :flwr:

Yes Harry was diagnosed with MVD a while ago now. He is currently taking 1 fortekor, 1 vetmedin and 2x 3/4 of frusemide every day. The night after I wrote the thread he was really bad, I was in floods of tears not expecting him to make it through the night. He was sat all evening and could barely keep his eyes open. He refused to lie down and when he would it would last a few seconds before he started coughing and had to get back up again. His tummy seemed bloated which was probably the cause. I could see he was desperate to get to sleep but would only sit down, he kept drifting off and fell to the floor a couple of times.

I woke up at 3am as he was scratching the door to go to outside. He came back in and seemed better and he was really hungry (which was good, he had been off his food all day) then he managed to get to sleep.

Yesterday he was a better but still not his usual self - he is eating though (his own food after trying to steal mine as always!) and seems chirpier.

I dont know what the vet would have to say about this, I dont particulary like our vets and Harry gets VERY stressed when he goes in. Our vet wanted to put Harry down this time last year BEFORE trying him on fortekor which really changed his life. Putting him down like the vet advised would have been 10000% the wrong decision.

It seems like a lot of owners have to put their cavaliers down due to MVD in the end. I am greif-stricken at the idea of putting Harry down, Im hoping he may drift off peacefully in his sleep when it is his time :(

Kate H
13th July 2010, 01:07 PM
Sounds as if a cardiologist would be more helpful than your regular vet. I'm glad that Harry seems to have got over his recent episode. Cavaliers seem to have a great capacity for enjoying even a life limited by illness. For several months my Meg woke me several times a week in the early hours of the morning, gasping for breath, and I would give her a pill and cuddle her until her heart rate steadied and she went back to sleep. Three hours later she was demanding her breakfast and pottering round the garden! My vet told me not to worry about giving extra medication in an emergency - something you could check out with your own vet? It was the red pill that helped - but I think it has a different name now!

I know we all hope that our dogs will die in their sleep, but as Karlin says, it usually doesn't work out that way with MVD, and you just have to monitor the distress level with each episode - and hope that something can be done to alleviate the present situation.

Hope your vet can help today

Kate, Oliver and Aled

13th July 2010, 05:40 PM
They can be amazingly resilient, recovering from bad episodes.