View Full Version : Please help if you can - MVD

Nicola Norridge
13th August 2011, 02:50 PM
Good afternoon all,

I have just joined as I have a beautifull Cavlier called Wilbar who is now 10years old, he went to stay with my in laws whilst we had a holiday and when we got back he was unwell, he had developed a cough and was sleeping alot.
I took him to the vet last night to be told that n
my baby has a grade 3 heart mummer... we have been given some dieatratic tablets, which made him wet himself within 35 minutes.
He is a little over weight at 12.8kg and is breaking my heart as all the wants to do is sleep.

We haven't told our two boys how worried we are as i just just know if he'll be better in a few days or if he is going to get worse.

It's such a shock, maybe one of you have had something simular and can give me some advise or tips on how to make him better.

thank you in advance for your help, i have never been on a forum before and hope it will help.

13th August 2011, 03:19 PM
I am not experienced with this issue, but there are some great resources here under the Health section of the forum. Look there for info on MVD. Also, www.CavalierHealth.org (http://www.CavalierHealth.org) has very good information on heart murmurs. This is very important reading until you hear back from others who have had murmurs too. I am not sure if the murmur is fully the cause of poor appetite or not. Hopefully, someone here more familiar with MVD will weigh in soon. big hugs and take a deep breath.

Love my Cavaliers
13th August 2011, 03:55 PM
I'm so sorry you have received this news about Wibar. The first thing I would do is to get him a consult with a cardiologist if you can. They are the ones who know the most about hearts and can tell you exactly what is going on with Wilbar's heart and what his prognosis is and what the best medications are for him. Luckily I do not have a dog with heart disease but I know many others on the board will be able to give you a lot of good advice. Unfortunately many, many cavliers are plagued with this nasty disease. You've come to the right place.

Nicola Norridge
13th August 2011, 06:58 PM
Thanks ladies for your kind words, hopefully we will get some answers soon xx

13th August 2011, 07:32 PM
Hi Nicola. I'm so sorry about your Wilbar is so poorly. This is a good place to start and you've already got some good advice so far. Just know there are a lot of people on Cavaliertalk who have dogs with similar conditions and we are here for you.

13th August 2011, 07:39 PM
Hello Nicola, I am so sorry to read about Wilbar, I can only speak from my own experience, I have a nearly 11 and half year old who has a grade 6 murmur who like Wilbur started to cough when he was 9 years old, we went to the vets and he was prescribed Frusemide tablets and also Fortekor tablets, the Frusemide over the last two years has changed in the amount he has but he does have these tablets daily and they have helped him greatly lead a normal life, he still eats well and loves his walks although he does sleep more, the cough does get a little worse when it is hotter or if he has been lying around a bit, he also has had an ECG and heart scan at the vets and has regular 3 month check ups at the vets, I am sure Wilbar`s cough will improve in a few days and he will feel a lot better.

13th August 2011, 09:07 PM
Welcome to the forum Nicola, so sorry to hear about Wilbar.

I'm going to move this to the MVD section, you can have a read there some of hte posts which I think will help you.

I would say though that the best thing you can do is to see a cardiologist, vets are really just like your GP [doctor], a cardiologist will have considerable knowledge and experience in managing MVD. You will need to get a referral from your vet, if you post the area where you live someone might be able to recommend a cardiologist, there is also a list on here http://www.bsavaportal.com/vcs/Information/HeartTesting/Dopplerechocardiographyexamination.aspx

Karen and Ruby
13th August 2011, 09:07 PM
Hi Nicola,

Sorry you are here under these circumstances and you have been given some great advice so far!!

I have a dog myself with heart problems, although he is a lot younger than Wilbur (he's only 2.5 years) but here is what I would do :

1- get to a Cardiologist ( its the best place for him, vets just don't have the expertise in this area)

2- you say he is a bit over weight- that weight NEEDS to come off, get him on a Senior/Light food asap (if he isn't already) and cut out 25% of his daily feed and replace with Veggies to stop him becoming hungry.
The problem you face if he isn't very active is lack of excersice and if a dog isn't excersicing every day then really you need to cut his food in half! Make up some Veggie Ice cubes or something to keep him feeling like he isn't missing out too much.
Green Beans, Brocolli etc are a great alternative and can be given raw!

3- Start him on Supplements of Vitamin E and Co-enzyme Q10, these aren't officially tested but are natural blood thiiners and mean the heart doesn't have to work quite as hard to pump blood in and out. They are available at Holland and Barratt or other Pharmacy/Drug stores. I give 20mg of each a day.

4- The tablets you have been given are a diuretic and are there to reduce fluid around the lungs which is what has caused the Coughing (at least thats why your Vet has prescribed them)
They mean that they have to Pee ALOT!!! I would take him out to Pee with in 15-25 mins of giving the tablet. If you are giving Meds before Bed then make sure it is a couple of hours before bed and take him out a few times before he settles for the night. The Peeing is normal but should calm down once the excess fluid is reduced.

Hope this helps!!!

13th August 2011, 10:07 PM
Hi Nicola,

I own scooby he has end stage MVD and he is the same age as your guy...... We have been battling this disease for the last 2 years and he is heavily medicated so the tips I can give you are :-

1) Get you vet to refer you to a cardiologist for an expert opinion there are so many drugs which give the dogs a great quality of life and you will know more about exactly what your dealing with too.
2) The first thing my vet said that excess weight is not good for a dog with a heart condition so get advice about trying to trim your little guy down a bit
3) scooby is on fruisimide and this is good to clear their chests and should help the cough , there are other drugs which can be introduced at later stages.
4) The most important is NEVER GIVE UP HOPE , my vet told me 18 months ago that scooby wouldnt last 3 months and he is still here so dont underestimate how well cavaliers adapt to this condition....

If you ever want any more advice or just want to voice any concerns about MVD feel free to email me ....

Take care
Sharon and Scooby XX

13th August 2011, 11:05 PM
Hi Nicola welcome to the forum
I know what you are going through and all I can say is shift that weight! The heavier your dog, the more the heart has to work, which means less life span. My Murphy is 6 years old and has a grade 5 murmur and is 1kg overweight which we are shifting now. He sleeps alot too. Our cardiologist is fabulousa and is always willing to give advice,even about things not to do with his heart.
Hope all goes well.

14th August 2011, 10:37 PM
I'm so sorry to hear you have this diagnosis. You've had some good advice from people here :), and there is lots of information throughout the forum on MVD ( Both in the library section, and if you search on MVD/hearts). Sadly, it is endemic and the number 1 cause of death in the breed and is extremely widespread–half of all Cavaliers will have a heart murmur by around age 5, and almost 100% will have it by the time they are age 10.

As with humans, this is not a condition which can be cured, but at least it is a very well understood disease and there are a selection of medications that can be introduced one after another as needed, and which can add many months and sometimes even years to a dog's life. It is really important to see a cardiologist if you can, because by the time a dog is coughing, the condition is fairly well along and you would want an accurate murmur grade–vets are not particularly accurate at giving grades. To me, a grade 3 might seem a bit low if your fellow is already coughing and needing a diuretic. The coughing generally means the dog may have gone into congestive heart failure and the heart is no longer working efficiently enough to keep fluid from gathering in the lungs. Nonetheless, many dogs can go for quite a while with this condition at this stage.

I recently lost my nearly 12-year-old Cavalier to MVD. Just to give some context, she had a murmur for many years, and lived for about 9 months after she started medications. In the end, she was on about 5, including 2 diuretics.

Getting any extra weight off is so critical–every extra ounce means the heart has to work considerably harder to supply all the extra blood vessels that need to run through the extra fat tissue, and the heart will work less efficiently, causing the dog to struggle. I would work to get that weight off in consultation with your vet. :thmbsup:

There is a lot of information on this condition and managing it, here: http://cavalierhealth.org/mitral_valve_disease.htm

Nicola Norridge
17th August 2011, 11:14 PM
Thank you all for your support since our first post. It has started to skink in with me now and everyday I see him getting worse.

I feel helpless and am having to hide how I feel for the sake of my family.
We're back to the vets on Friday to check him over and get a x ray booked in. His back legs are struggling is this common ?

Many thanks for all of your advice xx

18th August 2011, 09:35 AM
HI Nicola,

You are being so brave and believe me it amazing where you get the strength from to support your family...... Problems with legs can sometimes occur as their heart is under more load they can struggle to support their oen weight...... Your doing the right thing going back to the vets to get the complete picture , as I said before dont dismay cavaliers are amazing little dogs and they seem to adapt and with all your love and support Iam sure this will happen again.....

Good luck at the vets tommorow and let us know how you get on....


Sharon and Scooby XXX

18th August 2011, 01:34 PM
So sprey to hear about the back legs. I've read many posts here about folks commenting on back leg weakness with this disease. But I believe over time, and with the right Meds you'll see a difference.

Just wanted to say I'll be praying for a good outcome tomorrow.

Nicola Norridge
20th August 2011, 04:39 PM
Hi everyone

Not good news I'm afraid we went to the vets and wilbar has to go into hospital for x ray full blood tests scan on Monday.

They want to determine how far advanced the mvd is,

I am struggling to get him to eat at the moment, he won't touch his food and has lost nearly half a kg in a week so scrambeled eggs for dinner I think .

We will know more on Monday night :(

Thanks everyone for support, we're still not telling our boys and my mum who is normally really good at advice and support just said oh well he might get better aahhhh bloody women.

20th August 2011, 05:13 PM
Hi Nicola,

So Sorry to hear the sad new about wilbur..........

I have a cavalier scooby with MVD he has been on meds for 19 months and there has been plenty of times when we thought we would lose him but hes still going and he has a grade 6 heart mumur.....

Dont give up hope there are some miracle medications that can give them a good quality of life so wait and see what your vet recommends , in the meantime give him lots of treats.........

Sharon and Scooby

20th August 2011, 05:14 PM
I know this is scary stuff. I hope he feels better soon.

Sydneys Mom
20th August 2011, 05:46 PM
Hi Nicola
Sorry to hear about Wilbar. MVD is scary but it can be controlled win medication. Sydney is 11 yrs old and has been on several medications since early this year and it has made a big difference in his health.

Don't be afraid of getting Wilbar tested......its a good thing. This way you know exactly what his condition ks and the doctors can give him the proper medicine.

Good luck and keep us posted. You are not alone here.