Leo's vet check
Leo had his annual health check today. There was both good news and not so good.
The vet was pleased with his weight, he was just over 10kg today...he was nearly 13kg a couple of years ago, so she was pleased he keeping the weight off.
Unfortunatly his teeth werent very good and she wants him back for some dental work next week. He has a wobbly tooth and the rest need a serious clean.
Then came the heart check........
She said he has a barely audible murmur....she's put it as a Grade 1. I know thats not as bad as it could be, Leo will be 7 this year by the way, but Im still upset that a) he has a heart murmur and b) Ive not been vigilent enough with his teeth.
Many dogs of all breeds get heart murmurs as they get older and many die of congestive heart failure in old age. The difference with Cavaliers is that they get it so young, typically before the age of 5. Oliver started a Grade 1 murmur at 7 too, but at nearly 12 it's still only a Grade 2, so I don't think his or Leo's murmurs really qualify as 'early onset'! Just the heart beginning to wear out a bit with the start of ageing,and as always all you can do is keep him fit (well done, by the way on losing all that weight - not easy!) and perhaps add Omega 3 to his diet if you don't already.
Oliver too has not very clean teeth - but if you try to open his mouth at all he clamps it shut with a bite that would do a Staffie proud!
Kate, Oliver and Aled
Can I ask how much omega 3 you add, I will certainly do anything I can to keep Leo as healthy as possible.
Teeth cleaning is very much a battle, sometimes its like 3 falls and a submission, but Im going to have to persevere and Leo's going to have to get used to it......he maybe doing a staffie proud just like Oliver:grin:
I know we all dread hearing our cavalier has a heart murmur, but I agree with Kate. A grade 1 isn't bad for 7 years old, unfortunately, it's just part of the aging process. You're already doing a good job keeping his weight down and with regular check-ups, he will hopefully be healthy for a .long time.
As for dentals, when Sydney went into MVD/CHF he wasn't able to have cleanings anymore. I started using a liquid tarter/plaque removal. You just put a small amount in the water. It did help some, but his teeth were VERY bad. I've been using it now with BellaMia to help keep all her brand new teeth clean. Smells good too when she comes up to give me smooches! Maybe it will help with Leo after he has his dental.
Omega 3 is one of the things suggested by the cardiologist Simon Swift (who does all the heart checks at Cavalier Club shows) as possibly slowing down the progression of heart murmurs. I don't really bother to give it to Oliver (he takes so many pills already for his SM!) as he comes from a family with good hearts and I don't think at age nearly 12 is about to go into heart failure! But Aled is 5 with a grade 3 murmur, so he has 2 x 1000mg Omega 3 capsules a day (he just munches them with his supper!). A lot of the 1000mg is gelatine capsule, of course, but this gives the equivalent amount of essential ingredients that are in far more expensive specific heart medicines such as Cardigard - but at about a quarter of the price. I get mine from Simply Supplements, who do a buy one get one free deal that means 6 months supply costs around £11. No real way of proving that this works, but I keep Aled's weight around 9.5kg, give him plenty of exercise, and the Omega 3, and he's stayed at a grade 3 for the last 3 years - so perhaps I'm doing something right!
I take both of them to the club championship show at Stoneleigh every March, so that they get a free heart check from Simon; I'll be interested to see whether either them has changed grade in 2 weeks' time. You could probably find a club health clinic somewhere near you (they're listed on the Cavalier Club website) where you could get a quick check for Leo - cardiologists' stethescopes are much more accurate than the standard ones used by GP vets.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
Again ladies, thank you.....good advice. I will source both the Omega 3 and the tarter removal liquid.