Regarding the breathing issue, my vet told me recently that she sometimes sees dogs with seasonal allergies or dust allergies, and they can have breathing problem from that. Tess is going in for an ultrasound and consult with a cardio in a week, and they will be listening to her lungs. In the past year and a half, Ive gotten one Golden, then another, and I've had a hard time keeping the dust under control. They track it in from the back yard. So I'm hoping the breathing troubles Tess is having is in fact from dust and not the MVD. You might ask your friend to be sure Kennedy's vet has considered allergies as a source of the trouble.
I think it's very important to keep in mind that just bc they "pass the neck squeeze test" doesn't mean that they are free of SM/CM. My sweet Scarlett, who I finally had to put down due to her SM pain, never ever yelped. She was stoic, yet she had one of the worst cases of SM that her neuro had ever seen. During her neurological exams, she never uttered a peep yet her MRI was terrible. Just something to note.
Oh holly, thanks for sharing that. I still think about your Scarlette. If only a "neck squeeze" breezer test? Would be that simple.
Originally Posted by Holly
I think a visit with Dr. Bergman (neurologist) would be good but the results came back from when they looked at breathing (palette, nostrils, etc.). He does have inflammation and something else but my friend was rushed into emergency surgery Monday and is in the hospital. She can't really handle Kennedy so I'm in charge of getting meds etc.
Originally Posted by Karlin
On the muzzle issue, Kennedy was diagnosed with BAOS and obviously has problems. I always thought Kennedy had such a big head but looking back on photos, you can see a difference in him and Ella side by side.
Yes very true! Some of mine with SM and other SM symptoms aren't sensitive around the neck.
Originally Posted by Holly
Sorry your friend is having problems, Anne. :(
In fact, with Scarlett, oddly enough, her sensitive area was on her chest. Everyone always wanted to pet her there and I would have to ask them not to because it would send her into a tailspin. She couldn't wear a harness, either, but did fine with a wide, soft collar. The neurologist said it had to do with where the syrinx was, the width of it, and the nerves.
Originally Posted by Karlin
Sorry to hijack your thread, Anne, and I am also sorry that your friend's dog is having problems. I just thought it was important to note that not having neck sensitivity doesn't mean the dog isn't suffering.
Things have gotten extemely worse and my friend is extremely frustrated. She took Kennedy to see the surgeon about his BOAS on Monday and he said there was nothing he could do... In the meantime, Kennedy had an extreme episode the past week where he got to the point where he got off the bed, his back legs collapsed and he was on his side. There also was foam at his mouth. She called the vet today because she is extemely worried and I wondered if it was anything neurological. She said this:
"So nobody can figure out what is going on with him. Dr. Springer thinks that ďepisodeĒ the other night was not a seizure but more like the blood was not flowing correctly to his brain. He seems to lean towards the heart causing all this problems. Both him and Dr. Seyer agree that one of his heart valves is pumping blood the wrong way causing the heart to be enlarged, blood not fully flowing to his brain and the water around his heart. Both Dr. Springer and Dr. Sayer and the surgeon want to see a video of Kennedy ASAP to see what needs to be done. I donít like that nobody can seem to figure out what it could be."
She has explained his episodes as this:
"He has what I call "episodes" they usually start with him sleeping and his breathing being irregular. I mostly see it at night, he will be in deep sleep snoring and all of a sudden his snores will stop or change frequency. Once that happens it seems like he stops breathing and then jumps on all 4 and stands and pants as hard as possible for a few minutes. I always get up and pet him till it calms down, I can feel his heart beating out of his chest and him having a hard time catching his breath. His nose is always warm when it happens and itís worse when the room temperature raises, so I keep my bedroom super cold. He also has episodes similar to that during the day when he just starts breathing super heavy like he ran a marathon, but he would be sitting on the couch, not even walking around. Itís very hard to explain and I have not been able to get a good video showing this."
I really feel for her and she has been updating the cardiologist throughout and she still does not feel the breathing issue is his heart. So there is a disagreement with the vet and cardiologist. Please can anybody help? I know we can't give advice but I don't know where she can turn to next?
To me that does sound like heart and breathing problems related to his faulty heart valves (heavy breathing/fast breathing while at rest -- typical with later stage MVD).
Sadly quite often it IS difficult or impossible to know exactly what is causing a problem. Sounds like they are doing their best. I do not think she would want to risk anaesthesia for an MRI on a dog with a heart potentially that bad, given that these collapses are actually often due to poor blood oxygenation to the brain (see Rod's section on syncope/presyncope).
I think the specialists are right in suggesting she try to get a video of what happens.
I don't think keeping the room really cold makes much difference -- find that quite alarming actually -- surely must make him way too cold and contribute to his stress and discomfort. :-? I would think normal room temp is much better for him unless these specialists have said otherwise. Have never heard that keeping a dog in really cold temps inside would help a breathing much less a heart problem. Could well tax his heart instead. :(
I agree with not having an MRI but anesthesia would have also been required if the surgeon suggested surgery (for scar tissue from surgery that vet did on his elongated palate). Strange because the cardiologist suggested that Kennedy sees the surgeon and so that was her next step which was a waste because he said he couldn't do anything.
I was with her at the cardiologist and her exam didn't make her or me think he was at this stage or that from what she saw would cause the breathing episodes. She actually didn't think he needed any medication yet.
Obviously things can progress and change since she saw the cardiologist. I told her to call the cardiologist and ask some questions (mainly that her vet is in disagreement about breathing) and that she is very concerned. I will have her ask the cardiologist about syncope. If it is heart related, then he has already done all the tests with her and she is a specialist. I personally feel a cardiologist would know more than a vet no matter how smart they are. if she has doubts about this one she may need a second opinion or have her look again?
She told me today that she is scared to go home because she fears he will be dead :(. I feel for her and I love Kennedy as my own.
Anne - do you still have my phone number and email address? It will be easier if we can have a conversation about this rather than playing "20 questions" via email. I have a LOT of questions. I re-read the entire narrative, and it's difficult to follow. I often can't tell who (cardiologist, vet, owner) said what. Do you have written reports of what tests were done and results?
I don't think this is heart related - based on the quotes you've given from the cardiologist. There would have to be HUGE deterioration since the echo done five months ago which showed minimal cardiac changes. I would agree with the cardiologist on the problem - and it sounds like this is related to respiratory function with some abnormality. It almost sounds like sleep apnea, which could be the result of a physical abnormality.
The GP vet sounds clueless about heart disease, and I would only follow the advice and treatment recommendations from the cardiologist. (In fact, I'd look for a better vet.)
Is Kennedy overweight? Middle-aged - right?
If this were my dog, I'd go back to the cardiologist for a follow-up visit so that I could completely rule out heart disease as the cause of the problems, and I'd follow through with her recommendations about seeing further specialists. If heart disease is ruled out, I'd find a new GP vet because I would lose all confidence in his/her ability.