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Thread: Kayla is sick!!!

  1. #1
    Gillian Guest

    Default Kayla is sick!!!

    Poor Kayla is sick. She hasnt been feeling well for two days. Sleeping all day. Not eating and just generally not feeling like doing anything. So when she threw up, today we took her to the vet. She has an infection in her uterus. Dont know how she got it. She just was in heat. But the worst is that the vet, who was a different one to the one we usually go to, same clinic, found a heart murmur Our worst nightmare. she is only 1 year one month old. You can imagine how worried we are. The vet said not to let her do any vigorous excersise , like chasing a ball, which she loves doing. Of course right now she is sick so she wouldnt feel like anyway.

  2. #2
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    Did the vet who found the murmur tell you what grade of murmur he thinks it is? They are graded from 1 to 6. Anything is possible, but for a 13 month old female Cavalier, I would be surprised if it is a high grade murmur, if any at all. Statistically, the likelihood of her having a real MVD murmur at her age are about 1 out of 10.

    You definitely ought to get her to a cardiologist soon. If you live in the US, there is a list of heart clinics on this webpage: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/health_clinics.htm and the cost of having a cardiologist examine her at one of these clinics will be very reasonably priced.

    Also, a young Cavalier with a low grade murmur usually does not have any significant exercise restrictions. We run Cavaliers with low to moderate grade murmurs in agility practices and trials. Of course, follow the vet's advice, but the vet giving the advice in a case like this ought to be a cardiologist (or at the very least a board certified internal medicine specialist). I have found that, with some general practice vets, a little bit of knowledge about MVD can be a dangerous thing. Some find MVD murmurs where there are none, and some immediately start prescribing medications usually reserved for dogs facing congestive heart failure.

    Rod Russell
    Orlando, Florida USA

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    Gillian, the infection in the uterus sounds like a Pyometra - there is more information here:

    http://www.iol.ie/~pjmathew/faqpyo.htm

    If so, then at present this is the most urgent problem to worry about. Did the vet prescribe antibiotics? Have they mentioned surgery?

    It is unusual for a young dog to have a Pyo, but have heard of two recently.

    With regard to teh murmur, these are always more obvious when a dog is poorly. Rod's advice is good, not sure if you'd have access to a cardiologist there, but that is the best route if at all possible. Wait anyway until she is through the infection and then take her back and get the vet to check her heart again.

    If it's only a Grade 1 murmur, they can't be heard all the time and may only be apparent due to her current illness.

    The main thing with that is to watch her weight.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    i'm really sorry to hear kayla is sick. it's really hard to see a dog be sick like that, one who is normally so fully of energy and antics. I hope she will heal fast. Is she refusing food and water?

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    If you have access to a cardiologist I would definitely get her heart checked that way rather than relying on a vet's interpretation. Shelby was diagnosed with a mild murmur at 2 years old. Having two of them and knowing the statistics I wasn't surprised. Disappointed but not surprised. We weren't given any restrictions for her activity. I think it would be interesting to find out how many cavaliers on this board alone have any kind of heart issue. I think the numbers may surprise you. The nice thing about the heart issue (I try to look on the good side when I hear things like this!) is that there is a lot of data and lots of good treatment options.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    Both of my dogs have heart murmurs, Monty's is congenital due to a pulmonary stenosis. Gem's was diagnosed recently (at 2 years) as a grade 1 murmur. Both have been evaluated by board certified cardiologists. Neither has any activity restrictions. We are currently training in agility with both dogs. You would never know there was anything wrong with either dog. I take them to the cardiologist for annual check ups and will follow their direction regarding meds and activity. So far so good. I know that at some time, it may (and probably will) be different but we take things one day at a time. Sending good wishes your way that Kayla starts feeling better really soon.
    J.

  7. #7
    Gillian Guest

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    Thank you all for your replies and advice. Unfortunatly I dont think there are any Vet cardiologists in Malta. In fact when we mentioned the problems that Cavs get and the tests they do in England and USA on these dogs , she laughed and said { We havent had these machines and tests for people longer than a few years let alone dogs} So I will wait and see how infection goes. Yes she gave us antibiotics for 20 days and also some kind of vitamins that is like a food supplement.
    Kayla did eat her supper last night. thank God.
    Thanks again

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    Hope she is feeling better very soon - it's a shame that you don't have the facilities for animals in Malta like we do in US, Ireland and UK....

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    Oh I hope she improves quickly! And I am so sorry to hear you also had a heart murmur diagnosis.

    I agree with others that if you want to correctly treat her heart condition, she needs to see a cardiologist for a proper assessment of what is actually going on -- vets are not able to make a very thorough or precise diagnosis on this condition. You should consider taking her over to the UK for a cardio exam if that is at all possible. Also be sure inform her breeder -- this is very early onset for MVD and he should not repeat the mating and should not breed either the dam or stud again, full stop, unless they have very good cardio histories themselves and there are VERY strong outweighing factors to not breed.

    Also you will probably strongly want to consider spaying her as soon as she is able (not just because of pyometra, but because of the high risk of any puppies having early onset heart murmurs as well -- you don't want to pass those genes on, at any cost). I am sure the vet probably mentioned this and the possibility of recurrence and that you have lots of information. You can read background info here on the condition and why spaying is very important now -- there is often a recurrence in a dog and every incidence of it is a life or death matter. Did your vet say why she decided to treat with antibiotics rather than spay?

    From http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_pyometra.html

    WHAT IS A PYOMETRA?

    The word “pyometra” is derived from latin “pyo” meaning pus and “metra” meaning uterus. The pyometra is an abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus. Toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream causing life-threatening toxic effects, Without treatment death is inevitable.



    WHAT MIGHT MAKE THE VET SUSPECT THIS INFECTION?

    Classically, the patient is an older female dog. (Pyometra can occur in the cat but its not nearly as common.) Usually, she has finished a heat cycle in the previousl 1-2 months. She has a poor appetite and may be vomiting or drinking an excessive amount of water. In the more usual “open pyometra” the cervix is open and the purulent uterine contents is able to drip out thus a smelly vaginal discharge is usually apparent.

    There is also a form of pyometra called a “closed pyometra” where the cervix is closed. In these cases, there is no vaginal discharge and the clinical presentation is more difficult to diagnose. These patients also tend to be sicker than those with open pyometra due to retention of the toxic uterine contents.

    Lab work shows a pattern typical of widespread infection which is often helpful in narrowing down the diagnosis. Radiographs may show a gigantic distended uterus though sometimes this is not obvious and ultrasound is needed to confirm the diagnosis.

    HOW DOES THIS INFECTION COME ABOUT?

    With each heat cycle, the uterine lining engorges in preparation for pregnancy. Eventually, some tissue engorgement becomes excessive or persistent (a condition called “cystic endometrial hyperplasia”). This lush glandular tissue is ripe for infectionf (recall that while thei inside of the uterus is sterile, the vagina below is normally loaded with bacteria.). Bacteria ascend from the vagina and the uterus becomes infected and ultimately pus filled.

    WHAT IS THE USUAL TREATMENT?

    The usual treatment for pyometra is surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries. It is crucial that the infected uterine contents do not spill and that no excess hemorrhage occurs. The surgery is challenging especially if the patient is toxic. Antibiotics are given at the time of surgery and may or may not be continued after the uterus is removed. Pain relievers are often needed post-operatively. A few days of hospitalization are typically needed after the surgery is performed.

    It is especially important that the ovaries be removed to remove future hormonal influence from any small stumps of uterus that might be left behind. If any ovary is left, the patient will continue to experience heat cycles and be vulnerable to recurrence.

    While this surgery amounts to the same end result as routine spaying, there is nothing routine about a pyometra spay. As noted, the surgery is challenging and the patient is in a life-threatening situation. For these reasons, the pyometra spay typically costs five to ten times as much as a routine spay.

    PROS:

    The infected uterus is resolved rapidly (in an hour or two of surgery). No possibility of disease recurrence.

    CONS:

    Surgery must be performed on a patient that could be unstable.

    IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO SURGERY?

    In the late 1980’s another treatment protocol became available that might be able to spare a valuable animal’s reproductive capacity. Here, special hormones called “prostaglandins” are given as injections to cause the uterus to contract and expel its pus. A week or so of hospitalization is necessary and some cramping discomfort is often experienced. The treatment takes place over the course of a week. This form of treatment is not an option in the event of a “closed” pyometra as described above.

    PROS:

    There is a possibilityof future pregnancy for the patient (though often there is too much uterine scarring). Surgery can be avoided in a patient with concurrent problems that pose extra anesthetic risk

    CONS:

    Pyometra can recur. The disease is resolved more slowly (over a week or so). There is a possibility of uterine rupture with the contractions. This would cause peritonitis and escalates the life-threatening nature of the disease.

    PREVENTION

    Spaying represents complete prevention for this condition. Spaying cannot be over-emphasized. Often an owner plans to breed their pet or is undecided, time passes, and then they fear she is too old to be spayed. The female dog or cat can benefit from spaying at any age. The best approach is to figure that pyometra will eventually occur if the female pet is left unspayed; any perceived risks of surgery are very much out-weighed by the risk of pyometra.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #10
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    Default PHEWWWWWWW it is not PYOMETRA

    HELLO everyone thank you for your concern for Kayla as you can imagine i have been going crazy... Gillian is my MOM and i am the owner of Kayla....... after hearing all these things.... and knowing the lack of facilities we have in malta i decided to call the vet straight away to see if the infection is called PYOMETRA ..................

    NOOOOO she said thank gooodnessssssssss

    She said it is a hint of Endometriosis or something like that?????

    Do you know anything about it?

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