View Full Version : My new Cav puppy is not healthy please help

23rd January 2012, 09:15 PM
Hi everyone my name is Nadine myself and my partner bought an 8 week only Cav puppy on Friday and he is beautiful. His name is Elvis and he has been a dream in the few days we have had him. We took him to the vet today and found that he obviously hasnt had a vet check as he has a hernia and a grade 5 out of 6 heart murmur. We are absolutely devastated.

His heart is extremely fast and you can hear and feel it. His belly is also swollen which the vet suggested could be fluid.

We can now not get insurance for Elvis and cannot afford the four figure operation he needs. The breeder has offered us our money back but we want to give him a happy life even if it is only a few small years. Can you give me your experiences? How many operations will he need? Insurance advice? Any help at all. Anything but comments on the fact he should have been health checked before we got hm as we are really upset and just want some experiences shared. Thanks so much. Nadine

23rd January 2012, 09:27 PM
Hi Nadine,
Many cavalier puppies have a small umbilical hernia and it's not usually harmful.Is this in the centre of his tummy and about the size of your thumbnail?

23rd January 2012, 09:32 PM
Yes it is but I am not worried about that so much it's his heart and the fact we cannot insure him for these operations. Thanks. N

23rd January 2012, 09:33 PM
This is a link to a short article written by the UK cavalier club cardiologist. It describes murmurs in cavalier puppies.
Again they're not necessarily life threatening..
How experienced is your vet in dealing with the cavalier breed?
Oh and welcome to the site, we'll do our best to help in any way we can.

Brian M
23rd January 2012, 09:37 PM

Wow you have a big big problem with him poor baby if he is graded 5/6 and the higest grade is 6 you have lot of thinking to do ,there is
no opearation as in humans to help we just start medication early to delay the inevitable .My daisy is five and graded 2 so we hope she will be here for another 5/8 years but at a high cost but we are insured .So with you position and no insurance you do what you can till the end or take him back ,have a good think .

23rd January 2012, 09:56 PM
Brian this wouldn't be MVD at this age.

I suspect it is Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) - occurs when a special blood vessel, used to bypass the pup's lungs in the womb, fails to seal after birth. This compromises the circulation of blood through the heart.

More about the condition here http://www.heartydog.co.uk/diseases/en/patent_arteriosus.shtml

It is hereditary and so the breeder should be made aware if this is the problem.

Usually it only needs one operation to correct it - and 90% of dogs go on to lead a normal life following surgery. Without the surgery, and obviously depending on the severity, the prognosis is not so good :(

Is the breeder saying they will only give you the money back if you return the pup? That is very hard when you are obviously already very attached to him. Did you sign a puppy contract? Do you have anything in writing to say that he had been vet checked by their vet? Not sure where you are in the World, in the UK Kennel Club registered puppies are sold with a period of free insurance to cover this type of eventuality.

I would still recommend you insure him as there are many other health issues that Cavaliers sadly suffer from, and at the very least EVERYONE should have 3rd party insurance for all their dogs. Insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions - and in this case I suspect they would exclude any heart issues from future claims.

If you are not able to do the surgery [sometimes vets will agree payment schemes, might be worth looking into?] then just enjoy him for every day that you have him and follow the care instructions from your vet - ideally see a cardiologist.

23rd January 2012, 09:57 PM
Didn't want to read and run - just wanted to say hope the poor boy is alright and I'm sure you'll do what's best to give him the best possible life. Good luck.

23rd January 2012, 10:00 PM
Thanks for posting the link Sins, that is helpful to keep.

innocent flow murmurs tend to be fairly quiet (up to grade 3) so I am pretty sure this is not just a flow murmur

23rd January 2012, 10:15 PM
Sory to hear you are suffering Nadine. Hopefully you will understand more soon.
The pdsa may be able to help you with bills. Are you in the UK? If so, I can give you their number.
Kitty x

Karen and Ruby
23rd January 2012, 10:54 PM
Hi there, so sorry you are going through this with your puppy. There are a couple of things this could be. One has already been mentioned but the other is what my little man has, which is valve displasia. Birth defect and causes the grade 6 murmor he has. He can't have valve replacement surgery as he isn't a big enough dog but he is doing well at 3 years. Need to find out why he has the murmor and go from there, but enjoy him x

24th January 2012, 12:11 AM
I'd certainly start by taking him to a cardiologist rather than a vet so that you can get the best information possible on what is going on and what the options are. If he has the murmur Nicki mentions it would be shame not to try and seek whether there are possible sources of funding as with one surgical procedure that can even be done simply by keyhole, he would likely live a normal lifespan. It doesn't sound as if he has a great breeder but if she would take him back and do the surgery, maybe as painful as it is, that would be an option to consider to give him a chance of a full life. I kind of doubt she would though.

Maybe let us know generally where you are (ie what country) and people may have some suggestions.

Sydneys Mom
24th January 2012, 12:34 AM
I'm sorry you're worried about your puppy so soon after you have gotten him. I have to agree with all they others that getting him checked by a cardioligist would be the best way to see exactly what you are facing then go from there. Best of luck to you, whatever you decide.

25th January 2012, 01:10 PM
Hi everyone, thanks so much for your replies. We spoke to the "breeder" and he said he would refund me the money (minus the money to pick him up) but I really do not want to give him back. I feel like Elvis is my baby now and god knows what kind of treatment he would get from the "breeder" I just do not trust him.

Myself and my partner were hoping we could just keep him and ride it out, knowing that his life will be shorter. But in a way we feel like we have rescued him.

We went back to another vet last night for a second opinion and he couldn't have been nicer. He said if he had the facilities to scan his heart in Glasgow he would do it as cheap as he could for us, but he doesn't. He advised us to give our puppy back as we did not ask for this and in the long run he will cost us thousands of pounds. I wish he had said we could keep him and if he got too ill we could make a choice based on his best interests.

He told us that the scan and seeing a cardiologist would be about 800 and we could get good news- that his condition isnt too serious, or we could be right back where we started and hear that it is bad news and he will be on drugs every day of his life. We would struggle to come up with that money and apparently the PDSA do not offer such specialist vet care.

I feel if we give him up we are abandoning him and letting him down- we both feel terrible. I can't stop crying and we really don't know what to do. His breeder keeps telling me that the vet makes it out to be worse than it is and that he will probably grow out of it and he doesn't seem to be taking what I am saying the vet has told me seriously at all. The vet made it clear he is very poorly. One of his comments were "I don't want you to go through saying a sick puppy get more ill."

Here are some pictures of Elvis, I love him so much.
http://i1110.photobucket.com/albums/h442/bimbobeautiful2/399654_10151180563325015_551630014_22499837_138835 5139_n.jpg


25th January 2012, 01:21 PM
I really think if you take this route–you should do what others have suggested (and which I mentioned above too) --you need to get the actual name of what he has, then you need to see if there are any possible funding sources ( people made a suggestion earlier) and get a distinct idea of what would be involved in treating this condition. You also need to get an understanding from a vet or cardiologist on what is the alternative if he doesn't have the surgery, and how long he would live. Without that specific information, I don't think you can possibly make any informed decisions and people here are only making wild guesses.

We are not cardiologists and cannot give any further specific help, as you have a puppy that clearly has a rare congenital disorder and I don't think anyone here has ever dealt with it or can give you any further information on what to expect.

Can you let us know what the vets have said? Do you now have the specific name of what the puppy has? What are they talking about in terms of surgery–is it a single surgery and then that will be it or are they saying it's multiple surgeries? Are they saying that it's a simple to repair issue though expensive, and that he will have a normal life, or that he may never have a normal life? How long are they saying a puppy can survive with this condition without treatment? if you didn't get this information from the 1st vet, I assume you did ask for it from the 2nd vet?

25th January 2012, 01:26 PM
If you want to try to keep him,ask the breeder for a full refund of the price and put it towards his medical costs.
I think it's the least he could do as it solves the problem of him having to deal with a sick puppy.
Get a copy of the vet records for the breeder...
I'm glad you have a second opinion,I think someone else suggested the PDSA,who may be able to help with treatment costs.
Maybe try contacting them for advice.

25th January 2012, 01:31 PM
Hi Karlin,

Yes we asked all of these questions both times but the vets weren't able to give us even ball park figures.

The vet advised the PDSA in the UK wouldn't fund specialist treatment or scans that he needs. So at this stage, we have no idea if we could get any funding or help. I aksed the PDSA if they could pass me on to anyone else that could help and they said they couldnt.

The vet said at this stage he does not know the cause of the murmur or what type of problem it is (valve hasn't closed, heart isn't functioning properly etc etc) and he would need to be scanned and seen by a cardiologist before he could tell us what the problem is / called. He also said that for the scans it would cost 800. The result of the scans would then lead on to him being put on drugs appropriate for his problem and he said he doubts he would need an operation. The drugs would cost a lot and he would need them every single day.

He said he doubts he would lead a normal life, he would likely not be able to run around in the park like other dogs etc. He may never lead a normal life.

Without treatment the vet refused to give an estimate of life expectancy. He said he could be absolutley fine until he is 10 years old or he could live weeks/months.

It really is terrible to try and make a clear decision. I feel like my head is full of mud- I cannot think straight. And having him cuddling and playing with us is making us bond further with him which is really hard.

Thanks again, I know you cannot offer medical advice I was only using this forum as a comfort, or for any websites / info people knew of which you have been so kind to pass on to. I am merely looking for support at this difficult time and any experiences that you can share (I appreciate all posts thus far.)

25th January 2012, 01:39 PM
OK, that helps a lot to have the additional information.

I think I'd ask for a referral to a cardiologist, explain your situation, and ask if maybe he could just have a basic exam and then get the cardio's view? The cardio may have a quite different view than the vet and may have a good idea of what is going on and be able to suggest a treatment approach.

I think you need a more informed opinion than a vet can offer.

I also think Sins suggestion is good -- try and get the refund, to go towards a cardio visit.

Maybe someone here can suggest a good cardio in your region who might be helpful.

25th January 2012, 01:40 PM
Also are these vets sure this is not a puppy flow murmur?

25th January 2012, 01:46 PM
Why don't you call a cardiologist, and explain the situation? Just because your vet can't give an accurate diagnosis from just a stethoscope doesn't mean a specialist will have the same limitation. It will not cost as much if he just listens, and doesn't do the scan. Then he can advise from there what the puppy's chances are, and whether he thinks the scan is needed.

25th January 2012, 02:09 PM
Sorry for not giving all that info in my post I am finding it hard to function just now!

Great advice re cardiologist I will get on that this afternoon. If anyone has any recommendations in SCOTLAND that would be great.

I hhave contacted breeder again as haven't had reply to my last two message we defo want a full refund.

The poor pup doesn't have a clue whats going on I hope we can get some help and give him the best possible life.

Thanks again everyone! N

25th January 2012, 02:17 PM
I'm so sorry that you and Elvis are going through this. :( Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way.

25th January 2012, 02:41 PM
Thanks so much. xx

And Karlin, no not a flow murmur but he said you never know with these things it could be worse than he thinks or he could be our loving pet for a long while yet.


25th January 2012, 03:27 PM
im so so sorry to read about your puppy please give him a kiss and cuddle from louie and his mum

Kate H
25th January 2012, 04:42 PM
As far as neurologists in Scotland are concerned, you could always go to the top and take Elvis to the Dick Veterinary School in Edinburgh, because they are the people doing the major research into Mitral Valve Disease in Cavaliers. I've seen Prof Brendan Corcoran at various conferences and he seems a very nice person who would be sympathetic (as far as is possible!) to your financial concerns. I think your vet would need to give you a referral. But I think Prof Corcoran would be a good person just to go and talk to.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

25th January 2012, 04:45 PM
If anyone has any recommendations in SCOTLAND that would be great.

Here is a list which was sent to me by Nicki only a week ago. I hope it helps.

Lots of gentle hugs to your furry baby.


25th January 2012, 07:50 PM
Thanks so much this is so helpful!
We have decided to keep him as we cannot give him back not knowing what would happen. We need to try our best. I thank you so much for all your kind words and look forward to sharing our journey with you all! Thanks so much again, I will keep you posted.

Nadine and Elvis

25th January 2012, 08:34 PM
We will all be anxious to hear what a cardiologist tells you :). Hopefully you will have a long long time with this little guy.

25th January 2012, 09:02 PM
It's very difficult to make a decision without full information about the condition.

I used to see Dr S Brownlie BVM&S PhD CertSAC MRCVS Kileekie, Crosshill, Maybole, Ayrshire KA19 7PY 01655 740 510
who is absolutely brilliant. She is a mobile cardiologist so may even visit a practice nearer to you. Because she works from home and is below the threshold there is no VAT which makes it cheaper. [that was the case a couple of years ago anyway]

You are lucky though to be close to Glasgow vet school which is an amazing facility but would be rather more expensive they have a cardiologist Dr P Wotton BVSc PhD DVC MRCVS Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH

0141 330 5848
0141 942 7215

I have been to the hospital on quite a few occasions but only to see the neurologists, but the care we have received is 2nd to none and I have no reason to expect anything less from the cardio [unfortunately Dr Wotton was away when Kayleigh had issues whilst the hospital but the neuro did follow it up and write back to me, which was good. There was only a very weak pulse in her left leg but it was found to be ...Femoral artery occlusion (FAO) It causes no problem since other arteries take over for the blocked femoral artery. Diagnosis is made when the pulse on the inside of the dog’s rear leg(s) is found to be weak or absent.]

I think you should try 'phoning rather than e-mailing the breeder, it's easier for them to ignore e-mails. Once you have a definite diagnosis you could write sending them a copy of the report by recorded delivery so you have proof they received it. It does not say a lot for the breeder that they are not interested in your puppy. [He is very sweet by the way!]

Is he Kennel Club registered? If so he should be covered by the insurance plan.

21st April 2012, 04:41 PM
I'm newish here and just looking back at past threads and found this and poor wee Elvis and just wanted to say I am totally thinking of you and him and hope is still getting on ok and would really like to hear how things are now its been a couple of months since this thread. Did you manage to find any help from cardio specialists? With love from a fellow Scot x