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Thread: Mvd

  1. #1
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    Default Mvd

    Hi,
    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.......

  2. #2
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    Hi

    Your post is very sad. Unfortunately MVD is very common in this breed.
    I cannot give you any advice but I know there are people here who will.
    My heart goes out to you, Charlie and your family, I am so sorry this happened.

    kind regards.
    Last edited by Tania; 1st July 2010 at 06:39 AM.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  3. #3
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    Default Mvd

    Quote Originally Posted by phanmale View Post
    Hi,
    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.......

    MVD

    I just don't know what to say about Charlie,the one thing is there seems to be Two Types of Heart Trouble in our Cavalier Breed.

    One which seems to progress slowly ,and the other which advances quickly.

    We are Cavalier Pet Owners just like you, and have gone through what you are going through just now with Charlie, so I can sure Sympathize with you,all you can do is make him as comfortable as possible, and Grit your Teeth when you feel he is Suffering.

    Bet
    Bet (Hargreaves)

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your replies - and being there. I reread my post this morning and was in floods of tears again, but I had to go out for a bit this afternoon and left Charlie with my son. It was great to be met by Charlie and his tail wag and who is getting very good taking his tablets now - he thinks they are treats! Any chance a Charlie gets to be spoiled and they take it, hey?

    Thanks again everyone

    Jan

  5. #5
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    Default Mvd

    Hello ,
    I am sorry to hear about Charlie. I like to share my experience with you .I had a cavalier called Prince who was diagnosed with grade 4 heart murmur when he was 9, he was on fortekor and frusemide for a number of years, and then vetmedin, frusemide when he was 12.These medication kept him comfortable for a long time. He finally succumbed to the MVD with a sudden arrhythmia when he was 14, a good old age. Prince had a very good quality of life, a happy dog, tail always wagging , he liked chasing squirrels and ball, until his last 1-2 years, when he had difficulty breathing and has fainting spells. Prince avoided the stairs, and I was told by the cardiologist they are very bad for dogs with advanced MVD. I also limit his exercise in the park. I used to carry Prince up the stairs and he slept under the bed. I hope the medication will help Charlie for some time to come.

    I now have two cavaliers ,Paris(black &Tan) ,age 4 and Daffy (Bleinheim) age 5. Daffy was diagnosed with moderate SM last year and is currently medically managed by Clare Rusbridge. Paris is clear of SM. Both are clear of heart murmur.

    Daffymum

  6. #6
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    I am also very sorry to read about Charlie, I am the owner of a 10 year old cavalier who started to have symptoms of a cough at nearly 9 yrs old - he has a grade 4 murmur, he had ECG and heart scan last year and was put on 1 Fortekor tablet per day and various doses of Frusemide to reduce the fluid and he has 1/2 per day now, he has been on meds for about 18 months and going very well, he sleeps a lot in the day, but loves his walks and gives it his all, and monitored every three months. I do hope that the medication will help Charlie and improve his quality of life.
    Pam

    and my two special boys Jasper age 13 and Ollie age 3.

  7. #7
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    Thank you again for the new posts. It is becoming apparent that Charlie's MVD seems to have got to the advanced stage a lot sooner in life and a lot quicker than the stories of your Cavaliers - obviously without any history I cannot say if his parents had the same symptoms or if it was just a case that his previous owner treated him just that bit too well.

    Battersea were of the opinion that he was a well looked after dog, his toe nails had been recently clipped and his coat was well groomed. The only criticism was that he was so overweight. We will never know why he ended up in the dogs home as no-one phoned to claim him, but when we first got him, and tried to take him out on his lead, he would go to the car and sit down. If we opened the door, he would jump into the footwell! These are great memories that will never leave.

    The comments about him being carried up the stairs - I never gave it a thought that his refusal could be that he *cant* manage, I just assumed he didnt want to. I will try that tonight and let him roam upstairs and decide where he wants to go I think.

    Regarding the vets, after his initial weekly visits for the last 4 weeks, the vet has given us enough medication to see us through till his next visit in 6 weeks. Id like to hope that there is no deteriation in that time - 6 weeks seems nothing, but then I saw how quickly he became so ill when we stopped the tablets on advice, so it is only hope Im holding on to. Who knows, Charlie might put a new paragraph in the text books as defying all the rules regarding MVD

    Smiling through the tears, thanks again for your support, it really helps so much

    Jan

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    How is Charlie today?
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  9. #9
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    Hi Tania,
    I thought I had posted an update today, but I have been a bit brainfuzzled, so perhaps I didnt after all!
    I asked Charlie if he wanted to go upstairs today and he was like "move aside mum, Im coming through!" He had to lay down immediately to catch his breath at the top though, and only minutes after getting comfortable and his breathing easing, he came back downstairs to sleep.
    I havent attempted to walk him as well today, currently he is laying aside me, and although he has a fairly rythmic breathing rate, I can see a flicker behind his left front leg - Im assuming this is the tremor of his heart.

    He seems very comfortable though - and sat patiently waiting looking up at "his cupboard" at dinner time, so for the time being at least, he hasnt lost his appetite!

    I will keep you posted, thank you everyone for your support, it is very much appreciated

  10. #10
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    I'm sorry for not replying sooner - and so sorry that you are having to deal with MVD

    Tragically 50% of Cavaliers have a murmur by the age of 5 - many breeders are trying very hard to reduce the incidence, but it is very widespread throughout the breed. As Bet says there does seem to be different types - some dogs have a murmur very early in life but never seem to get any worse and often it is something else that takes them - others have far more rapid progression in symptoms, which sadly seems to be the case with Charlie.

    However the grade of murmur is not as significant as the symptoms they are showing - dogs with grade 5 murmurs may act "normally" for many months, others show quite severe symptoms at grade 3 or 4.


    Carrying a lot of weight is a huge stress for the body particularly the heart and this may have contributed to his problems - you have done very well to slim him down.


    I think the current hot weather is creating a lot of problems for our dogs - I'm not sure how much coat Charlie carries, but it might be worth thinking about having him clipped very short - others have found this to help. I know we all like our Cavaliers to look like Cavaliers and not be clipped off, but when it is for medical management reasons it is best for them to be as comfortable as possible.

    Maybe a small fan near where he lies in the house would help too?

    I suspect this might be why he is choosing to lie in different places rather than in his bed.


    I would carry him up the stairs if he will let you - and just really allow him to do what he wants in terms of exercise. Often they want to go for a walk - go out the house, do 10 yards and then turn around to come back again. But it's great that they just want to do that...

    Cut his food down if he's not exercising - not sure what you feed but something like Burns dry chicken and rice is good for keeping weight off - generally 10g per kg of dog {that's target weight not actual weight}. You can give human rice cakes for treats - very low in calories and salt. Obviously avoid anything salty. Veg and fruit are also good - no citrus, no apple pips or stem, no grapes. Carrots are usually popular, also the round bell peppers.


    It's very hard to judge the progression/prognosis - all we can say is to enjoy every day, Charlie does not know he's that ill, and will still be enjoying life, albeit at a slower pace. Management wise - try to keep his weight off {although in later stages they tend to lose weight anyway, so keep him slim but not too slim}; avoid heat stress {keep him in the coolest room of the house particularly during the day; avoid too much over excitement - VERY hard with Cavaliers; avoid stress if possible.


    You can try some natural supplements such as Co-Enzyme Q10 {30mg daily} and natural source Vitamin E 200 iu daily {NOT the supermarket ones which are a by product of the petroleum industry }. www.zipvit.co.uk have pretty good prices. These have both been shown to be of benefit.


    Yes the flicker you can see behind Charlie's leg is his heart - this is known as a trill or thrill. There is more information about MVD on http://cavalierhealth.org/mitral_valve_disease.htm {although written by Rod in the US but still very relevant to us too!}


    The medication for MVD is very effective, it is getting the balance of meds right that can be difficult. Have you seen a cardiologist with Charlie? They are extremely knowledgeable and very helpful in managing the condition.

    Dr B Koffas MVB PhD DipECVIM-CA(Cardiology) MRCVS
    North Kent Referrals, Warren Road, Blue Bell Hill, Kent ME5 9RD
    01634 666655

    would I suspect be the nearest one to you - although check with http://www.bsava.org.uk/vcs/, heart testing on the left hand side. Your vet would need to refer you.


    If I think of anything else I will add to this - anyway wanted to say that you are in our thoughts - sending healing, comforting thoughts to you and your family, and of course Charlie.

    Please keep us posted
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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