This is an introduction as much as an MVD post - ironically I found this forum when we got our diagnosis and found that a fellow Kentish CKCS owner thought her dog might have MVD.
I rehomed Charlie from Battersea in March 2006, and apart from being extremely overweight, (over 15kgs)they couldnt give me any history although his health (including his heart) was sound. They estimated his age to be between 3-5 years old
In March 2007, I took him to our vet for his annual booster and was told they could hear a heart murmur, although we had done well with his weight loss - he was down to 13.5kgs, and again, outside of the murmur, a healthy, happy dog
March 2008 - 12kgs, March 2009 10.5kgs and advised castration on the basis that as he was getting older, although still overweight, it was safer and would be better for his long term health than to leave it longer and give him an anaesthetic in later life, so we agreed to go ahead with the op. He recovered well from the op and after the initial moping through being a bit sore, we noticed his already soppy temperament was even more loving and caring, and he appeared to "better behaved" on walks (coming to call, etc)
This March we took him to the vet and was told he had a heart murmur. "I was told that for the last 3 years, has it got worse?" The vet advised that they have to alert their findings, although there was no change. I didnt realise at that time there were degrees of heart murmur, so I dont know where he was at at this time. However, she did advise that as he was getting older that he may start to develop a cough and urinate unexpectedly.
4 weeks ago (not quite 3 months on) Charlie developed a harsh cough and sounded like he was wheezing. I immediately telephoned the vet who advised to bring him in, and they gave him 40mg frusemide twice daily and 5mg vetmedin twice daily, to take him back in a week to see how he goes. Within 3 days Charlie was much brighter and coughing and wheezing less than previously. We told the vet this at our next visit and he said he would like to perform a heart scan to rule out any heart problems, but as the vetmedin would influence the scan results to stop the tablets. Again a couple of days went by and Charlie was a state I thought he was going to go in my arms - he had no life and was just struggling to breathe. Another telephone call told us to put Charlie back on the frusemide but not the vetmedin as they wanted as clear a result for the heart scan as possible.
Another improvement and Charlies heart scan day. The news was heartbreaking - Charlie has advanced MVD - an enlarged heart which is compressing his breathing tube, and fluid on his lungs. I asked about longevity and was told that they cannot give a time, but months not years.
He is now on 5mg Vetmedin twice a day, 20mg Frusemide twice a day and 2x 5mg benazepril. A further weeks check specified that he is coping well on the tablets, but they are just making him comfortable - the outlook hasnt changed. I asked if there would be a deteriation or if it will be sudden and again was told there is no answer - just to expect Charlie to start slowing down but there is a possibility of a heart attack. Charlie has taken to sleeping anywhere other than his bed, and at night sleeps at the bottom of the stairs - very uncharacteristic for him. I wont get up in the morning until a family member beats me to it as I dont know how I would face the inevitable.
I guess what I really would like to know now is if anyone has had a ckc with MVD and if you could tell me what to expect, how to make Charlie as comfortable as possible etc. Exercise is practically out of the question - his minds fit, but his body cant keep up. There was a time when the door would open and we would have to chase him down the street - he struggles to cross the front doorstep now
Im sorry for my very long post but I really hope someone can help me - I think if I have a better understanding as to why this has come on so fast, I will be able to prepare mentally.......