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Kate H
5th March 2011, 10:48 PM
Good news at the Cavalier Club show today, when Oliver and Aled had their hearts checked by Simon Swift - neither of their murmurs have increased since this time last year. Keep them fit and give them Omega 3 was his advice (and that ace inhibitors and beta blockers don't seem to work for dogs).

I also had a chat with the opthalmologist doing eye tests about Oliver's light phobia (a symptom of his CM rather than his SM). He shone a light in his eyes and reported that the pressure behind the eyes created by Oliver's dilated ventricles is inhibiting or damaging the mechanism controlling the pupils, so that they respond slowly to light and don't fully contract to protect the eye - hence, they allow too much strong light into the eye, which is what causes the pain. Fortunately, this has not caused any damage to the retina, which is possible. He suggested goggles for the summer - so I may be taking Snoopy as the Red Baron to obedience shows with me this year!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Pat
5th March 2011, 11:18 PM
Good news at the Cavalier Club show today, when Oliver and Aled had their hearts checked by Simon Swift - neither of their murmurs have increased since this time last year. Keep them fit and give them Omega 3 was his advice (and that ace inhibitors and beta blockers don't seem to work for dogs).


An important clarification - I'm sure that Dr. Swift was saying that studies have shown that ace inhibitors and beta blockers will not increase the occult period of time - that time before heart failure ensues - and not that these drugs don't work at all when a dog is in heart failure. I have read the drug studies extensively and the conclusions are a bit different between the studies. Cardiologists don't seem to agree 100% on when to start ace inhibitors. I have had very good anecdotal experience with my own dogs with starting ACE-I's when there is significant remodeling of the heart and cardiac function (i.e., when the heart is quite large and the velocity of the leak is significant) but before the dog is actually in heart failure. I sure can't say that I wouldn't have had the same good results had I not started the enalapril - however, I will likely continue with that practice with future Cavaliers with heart disease.

A big ditto on the omega 3 fish oils - wonderful benefits for heart, kidneys, skin, cognitive functioning, inflammatory diseases, etc. Make sure you use a product with only omega 3 and no omega 6 or 9. I give them to all of my dogs, even those with no health problems.

Also, the info about light sensitivity makes good sense. Check out a product called Doggles - I've used them before.

http://www.doggles.com


Pat

Wagtails
6th March 2011, 06:11 PM
A big ditto on the omega 3 fish oils - wonderful benefits for heart, kidneys, skin, cognitive functioning, inflammatory diseases, etc. Make sure you use a product with only omega 3 and no omega 6 or 9. I give them to all of my dogs, even those with no health problems. Pat

What dosage would you recommend please, Pat?

Kate H
6th March 2011, 07:09 PM
I think what Simon Swift was saying about Ace inhibitors and beta blockers related to the use that is often raised as a possibility for humans - that is, as a preventive of heart disease. In the popular press here, they are sometimes spoken of as if everybody routinely took them, no-one would get heart attacks. What Simon said was that at the early stages omega 3 will slow down the development of heart murmurs more efficiently (and far more cheaply!) than the other two - however good they may be at a later stage, as Pat mentioned.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Pat
6th March 2011, 07:30 PM
What dosage would you recommend please, Pat?

Just grabbed my bottle - it is a Puritan's Pride product and the front label reads "Double strength Omega-3 fish oil, 1200 mg." Look on the back of the bottle because the important numbers are the EPA and DHA figures and these are lower than the mg. contained. You want the highest possible EPA and DHA numbers - for this product, they are 600 mg total for EPA and DHA.

I should also say that some dogs do not tolerate fat and may have digestive problems from fish oil, and one must be careful of any dog prone to pancreatitis - so please consult your vet if your dog has one of these conditions.

My bottle also reads "purified to eliminate mercury" - Mercury in fish is a real issue, which is why I like to use human products after I've done some due diligence on the company and assay results. Remember that supplements are not regulated as drugs are.

Pat

Pat
6th March 2011, 07:36 PM
I think what Simon Swift was saying about Ace inhibitors and beta blockers related to the use that is often raised as a possibility for humans - that is, as a preventive of heart disease. In the popular press here, they are sometimes spoken of as if everybody routinely took them, no-one would get heart attacks. What Simon said was that at the early stages omega 3 will slow down the development of heart murmurs more efficiently (and far more cheaply!) than the other two - however good they may be at a later stage, as Pat mentioned.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Ah, I've been meaning to make a post about heart attacks - dogs do NOT have heart attacks as humans do. I'll find and cross post something I wrote for the yahoo canine congestive heart failure group.

I think there is no "preventive" for Cavalier acquired valvular disease, but there are some things that we can do to help the dog's body cope with the disease process to achieve a longer lifespan and better quality of life. These things include supplements, drugs, and environmental factors such as weight control and seeking the best possible clinician for diagnosis and treatment planning.

Pat

Kate H
7th March 2011, 10:18 AM
I'm beginning to regret posting about my talk with Simon Swift, since I obviously didn't make myself very clear. I am perfectly well aware that dogs don't have heart attacks, and at no point did either Simon Swift or I say that they did. What I did say was that interest in ace inhibitors and beta blockers for humans has focused (at least in the popular press) on preventing heart attacks. The interest in them by MVD researchers seems to have been on whether they could also prevent or slow down the progress of MVD, and Simon simply said to me (as he said in his talk at the Health Day in November) that there is little evidence that they make much difference at that stage of the disease (we were discussing mild murmurs, not congestive heart failure). I think some Cavalier owners, having read about the use of these drugs in humans, have been asking their vets to prescribe them for their Cavaliers on the assumption that what works for humans will also work for dogs - and it's not that simple, unfortunately (not least because dogs don't have heart attacks, and a lot of people don't realise this)!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Pat
7th March 2011, 02:36 PM
Oh no, Kate - don't regret posting! I did understand what you and Simon Swift were saying, just wanted to make certain that those who are completely new to heart disease in Cavaliers understood exactly. I was simply trying to clarify that Simon Swift was not saying that the drugs aren't effective at all, only not effective during mild disease.

I understood your heart attack reference (for humans) but it reminded me that I've intended to post something on that subject. There are members here in the past that have posted that their Cavalier "had a heart attack and died." It seemed to me to be unkind to point out that dogs don't have heart attacks (myocardial infarcts) as humans do in response to someone who has just lost their dog so I've stayed silent. But your mention of the term gave me an opportunity to post something not in the middle of a sad experience. I'll make a separate post about that not on this thread.

It's wonderful news about Oliver and Aled and I'm sorry if I've caused you any annoyance.

Pat

Kate H
7th March 2011, 07:26 PM
Thanks Pat. I do appreciate your expertise. I can understand people getting confused about the different heart diseases in dogs, because to laypeople some of them can look like sudden heart failure/heart attack - my black and tan had no heart murmur (or at least not bad enough to be picked up by a vet) until at 10 years old he had a sudden onset of congestive heart failure and died 3 months later. I'd already nursed a Cavalier with CHF, so knew the symptoms, but his sudden collapse and gasping for breath was really scary and some people would have described it as a 'heart attack'.

Look forward to your post on this topic.

Kate, Oliver and Aled (whose heart result was a great relief, as his murmur went up from 2 to 3 in the first year I had him and a Grade 3 in a 3-year-old is a bit worrying)

Margaret C
11th March 2011, 07:03 PM
I also had a chat with the opthalmologist doing eye tests about Oliver's light phobia (a symptom of his CM rather than his SM). He shone a light in his eyes and reported that the pressure behind the eyes created by Oliver's dilated ventricles is inhibiting or damaging the mechanism controlling the pupils, so that they respond slowly to light and don't fully contract to protect the eye - hence, they allow too much strong light into the eye, which is what causes the pain. Fortunately, this has not caused any damage to the retina, which is possible. He suggested goggles for the summer - so I may be taking Snoopy as the Red Baron to obedience shows with me this year!

Kate, Oliver and Aled


I thought you might like to see this photo of Flossie modelling her Doggles on the beach.

Flossie is the sweetest little cavalier who was born with Dry Eye/Curly Coat syndrome.
She belongs to my good friend Diana, who has become an expert on managing the condition.


http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5217/5517434429_902fdbd31d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39096140@N03/5517434429/)
flossie googles (http://www.flickr.com/photos/39096140@N03/5517434429/) by Monty92 (http://www.flickr.com/people/39096140@N03/), on Flickr

Kate H
11th March 2011, 09:15 PM
I have a series of little pots into which I put money every week - for training class, the monthly bag of Burns, obedience show entries, and so on. I now have a pot for 'Sunglasses for Oliver'. No wonder some people think dog owners are mad!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

AT
9th October 2011, 01:43 PM
Thanks for posting this, I'd noticed some dogs had what I call the "headache look" where they always seem to be squinting but I didnt realise what the cause may be.