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Kelz
7th December 2012, 11:18 AM
Hello, I haven't been on these forums for years and have returned :)
I have an 8yr old cavalier called Harvey. In April his murmur jumped up a few grades and he began showing lots of symptoms, he then got put on vetmedin.
Since April he has got worse and symptoms were not easing, he is now on a right load of pills bless him!
Two weeks ago we got told he doesn't really have a lot more time, medication isn't making the results the vet hoped as he keeps deteriorating fast between new doses and there is no more medication. Last weeks ECG wasn't good either.
Last night I noticed his body shape seems different, his body is rock hard, he can't seem to poo and he's awfully uncomfortable trying to sit or lay down.
He is other wise happy and barking etc and wagging his tail.
We are off to the vets this afternoon as I think he is badly constipated or just generally something isn't right with him, he can't seem to pass stools today and keeps trying.
Horrible disease to have to see our pets go through :(

Brian M
7th December 2012, 02:35 PM
Hi
So sorry to hear about Kelz ,are you seeing a Vet or is Harvey seeing a Cardiologist ?If he is on Vetmedin he really should be
seeing a Cardiologist for his diagnosis and medication .My Daisy has a grade 6 murmur ans we go to http://www.nwsurgeons.co.uk/specialists/40/simon-swift.php

Also have a read here .
http://cavalierhealth.org/mitral_valve_disease.htm

Kelz
7th December 2012, 03:53 PM
Hello there, Harvey has input from both the vet and a cardiologist since his medication started when his condition got worse in April bless him.
We've been to the vets again today as he was struggling to go to the toilet and it wasn't good news, he is getting weaker now , since his ECG last week his condition has deteriorated very fast . The vet said while his tail is still wagging to enjoy the time we have left.

Sydneys Mom
7th December 2012, 03:59 PM
So sorry to hear this. I understand how tough this is for you. I lost my boy in April to MVD and it is certainly hard to see them suffer. I am glad you are getting advice from a cardiologist and a vet. The best you can do for Harvey is enjoy all the moments you have left. He doesn't know he's sick, but he will know he is loved.

Please keep up updated.

Karlin
7th December 2012, 04:41 PM
Hi -- So sorry to hear about Harvey.

I just had a second girl go through this (she actually belonged to a neighbour but was a rescue dog I homed to him and looked after the vet care for).

They can have problems toiletting simply because they have little ability to strain, which exhausts them and can even cause them to pass out sometimes when the heart is getting weak. If they feel 'solid' and hard it may be because they are retaining fluid in belly or chest, which causes them to bloat a bit. Then, finding a comfortable position to sit or sleep in can also become difficult as the fluid presses further on their heart and other internal organs and it can be more difficult to breathe in some positions. This has happened with both my MVD dogs.

Caring for a cavalier that is fine in every other way, except for breed-related heart disease that they often get way too early :( , is emotionally difficult for many of us. It is so frustrating and sad that they struggle with this illness, and I and I know many others, find it really helped to talk to others/share here what is happening. So many of us have gone through this and can offer support.

So this is mainly to say, what you are seeing is unfortunately, some of the common side effects of MVD and congestive heart failure. It sounds like your vet and cardiologist have done what can be done. Sometimes meds can help for many years and sometimes only for a short time. It really varies greatly with each cavalier that goes through heart disease.

Joyce's advice is good -- they don't know they are ill and will live for each day. Our difficult job and the greatest kindness w can give them is to support them all we can at this time but also to be honest with ourselves when they are really beginning to struggle and quality of life is getting more questionable, and then to be there with them at the end, for all the love and care they have given us over the years. Some people I know feel that if they had the chance to do it again, they'd let a loved companion go a little earlier than they did. It is a matter of balance but the final stages can be very hard for the dog and owner.

If he has declined swiftly I'd keep a very close eye on monitoring him, as you clearly are, and know many here know and sympathise with what you are experiencing. It may help to read the article I have in the health library section on 'deciding when it's time.'

Kelz
7th December 2012, 05:04 PM
Thank you so much for you're lovely replies, it feels sad that I have returned to the forum in such sad terms, I guess normal life got in the way, I have three children aged 11, 7 and 1 as well as a job :) the Kat few months have been hard with Harvey, I have seen the medication work less and less successfully , where are are at the point that no more tweaking of doses our new medications can be tried as we have tired them all, the vet and surgery is brilliant to be honest, they also didn't expect to see Harvey decline do quickly between each new medication.

Today they offered removal of.fluid but the said at the stage Harvey is at, it would be too uncomfortable for him and it would return again within days, so we agreed to not do that a he is enjoying some quality of life at the moment even though things ate obviously getting more difficult for him.

Yes he explained that about the straining too, I thought he was constipated but i'm glad I took him to be seen as I now know that this is happening faster than anyone hoped
Last visit to the vet we were given details of a pet service to help us talk about or felons and for the children, we have used this service and has been a great help, and e have also spoke to a pet crematorium as another way to help us all deal with what is to come, I feel like I am his nurse and I love him so very much that I would do anything for him.

He is not eating too well now, he refuses any sort if dry food, he has always been very food obsessed :( he will however eat some ceaser tin things that I ended up buying!

Thank you, Kellie xxxx

Love my Cavaliers
7th December 2012, 07:13 PM
I'm so sorry you're going through this with Harvey. Eight years old is just too young - but at least you've had eight years of loving him and him loving you. I feel so fortunate that not one of my four has MVD. I certainly have dodged that bullet so far. Thinking of you and Harvey and hoping that he can stay happy for a time longer.

Kate H
7th December 2012, 10:23 PM
Hi Kellie

One of my Cavaliers, Meg, also died of congestive heart failure at the age of 8 after several months of being seriously ill but still enjoying life. Sounds as if you and your vet are doing a very good job. Meg loved a freshly cooked chicken thigh chopped up small and held up on a saucer so that she didn't have to bend her head to eat - Harvey probably finds it's quicker and therefore less strain to eat something soft, besides having an uncomfortable stomach. And with both my Cavaliers who have died of MVD (and others will corroberate this), there came a moment when they just looked at me and said so clearly 'Mum, I can't go on', that it became so much easier to give them release because it was so clearly what they wanted and needed.

But Cavaliers have such a capacity for enjoying life even when it is so restricted by illness. I remember taking Meg to a weekend conference with me a few months before she died - I live alone and anyway she was taking 7 pills a day, so difficult to leave her with a friend! She lay on her blanket next to me and I carried her out into the garden, where she pottered around with her tail wagging, and everyone loved her and made a great fuss of her, and she seemed happy. I really treasure having those few last months with her, as I hope you will your time now with Harvey.


Kate, Oliver and Aled

Emkaybee
8th December 2012, 06:55 AM
I'm so sorry your dog is going through this. My Tess was just recently put onto a daily regimen of heart medicines and I've been watching her closely to see if they're helping. We go to the vet tomorrow for some follow-up tests. I'm not sure how much they're helping. I hope you are able to have fun with your boy in the coming weeks.

Kelz
8th December 2012, 12:20 PM
It breaks my heart reading fellow owners stories :( but also feel like I am not alone in this heartbreaking time.
He had in unsettled night but got up and went downstairs tail in full wag ready for breakfast :)

lindylou
8th December 2012, 07:46 PM
hi kelz
i'm so sorry to read what you are going through with harvey its very hard to let go of our beautiful cavaliers
my rowley at the bridge died of mvd at the age of 10.5 yrs after being on fusimide and vetmidin for 2 yrs he also had his stomach drained but the medication no longer worked it broke my heart to say good bye to him
but you will no when its his time to say good bye

Kelz
8th December 2012, 09:48 PM
Thank you so much! Today hasn't been too bad, he's played, eaten and barked haha, his panting is pretty excessive now and getting comfortable is hard work but he just battles on bless him! I have no idea how long we have left as I didn't dare ask but I fear it isn't long, it's a scary emotional roller coaster . We have a check up on the 21st again and repeat prescription. I am in fear every day that he won't be hear at Christmas :( xxxx

Kelz
8th May 2013, 10:32 AM
Harvey very very sadly, passed away yesterday. he had a lovely morning in the garden and he was sat on his favourite stair at 4.30pm and suddently collapsed, he died while i cradled him.

cavie3
8th May 2013, 02:19 PM
I am so very sorry to hear this, I am sure he felt love and comfort from you until the end, thoughts are with you all. RIP little man

wolf23
8th May 2013, 04:46 PM
So sorry for your loss of Harvey. RIP sweet boy.

Margaret C
8th May 2013, 06:20 PM
You did so well to give him those extra months.

Although it must have been a terrible shock for you, it is a wonderful way for your little dog to go, at home cuddled in his owner's arms. That does not happen very often.

RIP Harvey

meljoy
8th May 2013, 09:31 PM
Take comfort in that is how we all want out beloved cavaliers to go to the bridge, cradled in our arms and feeling the love only you can give him.

8 is no age to lose him but it sounds like he had a lovely morning before trotting off to the bridge.

Sending best wishes your way.

Mel :hug: