View Full Version : Loosing my bestfriend to heart faliure.

17th July 2011, 12:50 AM
Laying next to me now is my beautiful boy blenhiem cavalier George. For the past 10 years he has been my therapist, my shoulder to cry on, and most of all, my bestfriend. Yesterday, we took our little angel to the vet for his anual checkup. Come to find out, he is suffering from dialted cardio mypathy (spelling?) . We had no prior knowledge of this. The vet gave us a grim prognosis 6 months to one year . After more research, I learned DCM ends in congestive heart faliure. I'm very upset. He is the best dog I've ever owned and 10 years old is too early to let him go. Every time I look at him I break down. I can't even imagine life without my trusty side kick. I was wondering if anyone has been through this (loosing a cavalier to heart faliure.) before. I want to know if the end is painful for them? (My worst fear). And how fast their condition progressed? I definatly need a friend right now,I'll miss him more than words could ever say..

17th July 2011, 04:42 PM
I just have a minute before I need to run out to an appointment - but I wanted to ask if you are located in the midwestern US. If so, what city/state?

You really need an immediate evaluation by a board certified cardiologist or (if a cardiologist is not available) a board certified internist. In 25 years, I've never heard of a Cavalier being diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. I suspect that your GP vet did this diagnosis. Cavaliers generally suffer from degenerative valve disease - sometimes called MVD (for mitral valve disease). MVD and DCM are VERY different diseases; DCM is generally found in large breed dogs. There is very much information here and on other sites - http://www.cavalierhealth.org - about MVD since this is a significant problem for Cavaliers. Every Cavalier owner should know about MVD because near 100% of Cavaliers have this disease by the age of 10.

Read up on MVD and let us know where you live. Let us know exactly HOW your boy was diagnosed - what tests were done, etc. I strongly suspect that you have an incorrect diagnosis. If you truly have a Cavalier with DCM (or even if it is MVD), you need to work with a specialist immediately in order to get the best results for both quantity and quality of life.


17th July 2011, 06:01 PM
So sad to hear that George is poorly, but I agree with Pat, this does not sound an appropriate diagnosis for a Cavalier.

Many vets in the US are not that familiar with Cavaliers and their health issues, we have to learn all about the conditions and work with them to manage them effectively.

So pleased you have joined the board and hopefully with correct veterinary intervention George may have more time left than you fear...

Please do as Pat suggested though and get him to a specialist - but keep us posted, you will both be in our thoughts. :flwr:

17th July 2011, 06:28 PM
I do not have experience of this and cannot help you. Pat and Nicki have given you great advice and I wish you all the luck in the world. I wanted to say how sorry I am for you both and you are in my thoughts.:hug:

18th July 2011, 07:45 PM
We live in omaha, nebraksa. We have not seen a specialist yet, but I would like to. We've known he's had a murmur for a while (a couple years). The vet heard him coughing and asked if he coughed often. He decided to take an xray of his heart and found it to be much larger than it should be. Right now he is taking Enalapril once a day.I read up on the disease, and it said cocker spaniels often suffer from this. Cavaliers are fairly close relatives so that's how I connected the dots. George is also fairly tall and large for a cavalier. Weighing 25lbs which is appropriate (okay maybe a tiny bit chunky :)) for his height.Anymore information you could give me would be amazing. Thank you guys sooo much!!

18th July 2011, 08:18 PM
I don't have much experience, but, my pippin was recently diagnosed with MVD,

An ECG and doppler scan helped us to see better what was going on. I don't have insurance and it was a bit expensive but well worth it, just an idea, hope it helps...

18th July 2011, 10:52 PM
Yes, seek all the help you can for George! but for you please get this book. It will help you through this rough time. Well worth the reading.

http://beezerandboomer.com/ With out it you will miss much that George can still give you.

19th July 2011, 02:30 AM
Pippa, yeah I've been wanting to see a cardiologist, but it is so much money. That we really don't have right now. Chuck, that book looks like a good read. Definatly buying it. Thank you so much for your support everyone!

19th July 2011, 09:49 PM
Did your vet not give you a diagnosis?

The heart also becomes enlarged in MVD, it is much more likely that George has MVD.

I hope you managed to read the section on the Cavalier Health website which explains the condition and the treatments available?

If you are not able to get to the specialist, try to find a vet with experience with cardiology, hopefully experienced with MVD. If George is coughing that much it sounds like he had fluid and needs to be on a diuretic too.

Management of MVD involves balancing a combination of medications which is why it is much better to work with a cardiologist.

19th July 2011, 10:14 PM
He diagnosed him with dilated cardiomypathy when we took him. We're definatly gonna try to get him to a specialist in a week or two when we have more money to spend. Any tests you guys recommend we get done? And what is usually the prognosis for MVD? I'm gonna read up more on it.Thanks for your help!

Karen and Ruby
19th July 2011, 10:15 PM
There are some vets about that do have much more Cardiology experience that others- I'm very lucky to have one at the practice I aam registered with.
He happens to be the owner of the practice as well but his field is Cardiology- but I don't pay as much to see him as maybe a Cardiologist would be.
I like you can't really afford to pay the consulation price for a Cardiologist at the momment and my little one has an exclusion for his heart on the insurance as it was pre existing.
All the while we are just keeping an eye on his heart for changes (which there hasn't been so far) I feel comfortable with that desision, although I must say that if it deteriorates I will certainly go and see a specialist.

There are many different problems that can occur with hearts and medicaion will be different for all of them and even if you just take George in for a definate diagnosis and then go beck to the vet for treatment It may be well worth it!