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Thread: Back to the Cardiologist

  1. #1
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    Default Back to the Cardiologist

    Sydney has been on low doses of all his hearts meds (furosemide, enalapril, diltiazem, digoxin, vetmedin). For the past few weeks, I've been noticing some coughing coming back, and overall weakness in his hind legs. He's not panting but his breathing does sound nasally. He also groans alot and seems bloated.. We have an appointment with the cardiologist for Wednesday.

    What it the usual course of treatment as symptoms become worse? Is it increasing the meds that he is currently on or are there other medications that help.

    I'm having a real hard time with this. I feel like I'm losing a tiny piece of Sydney every day. He still has a good appetite, likes to walk around the yard and his major form of exercise is his constant wagging tail . But he does mostly sleep.

    I guess I'm looking for your opinions and maybe some thoughts on what I should ask his doctor.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

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    Hi,

    Sorry to hear about sydneys condition getting slightly worse , it is tough.

    When my dog scooby started to get worse the vet introduced PRilactone to help with the syncope episodes but as for the breathing we had to increase his dose of fruisimide and it seems to have helped. Scooby is the same he sleeps alot of the day now too , he has a little wander around and eats/drinks but he cant bark anymore and like you I feel iam losing a part of him with each passing day....

    I hope the cardiologist can help him and take care.

    Sharon and Scooby

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    I would echo Sharon, as my girl Lucy is on the same scheme of meds for the same reasons. We have had no syncope episodes for weeks now. If Syndey is looking bloated, perhaps some of that liquid can be aspirated off, or the diuretics increased at least short term. I have been told to do the latter a couple of times when Lucy is having any problems.

    I think you do get to the point where you play it week to week, and then day by day. If a dog is still generally happy and content and not suffering and uncomfortable or struggling, Id just let them get on with their quiet sleepier phase of life they are now in.

    I have learned to just take things as they come -- these dogs can really bounce back in surprising ways (my own vet says you just cannot make predictions with cavaliers -- they adjust to live with heart issues that would cause other breeds to go within days of onset).

    I've now had three times in the past four months where I was sure we were looking at just a few weeks or days for Lucy. She is still snuffling about and demanding treats. But I also know she cannot keep going through these episodes and eventually the time will come for her to get her wings.

    I hope your cardio can give a couple of suggestions to you.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Thank you both.

    Sharon, I have been reading about Scooby. What a fighter he is! Sorry Karlin, I didn't know that Lucy was going through the same thing. I know you both understand what I'm feeling, as do many others on the forum.

    Part of my problem is that Sydney is my first dog! I don't know what to expect and all the information out there about the heart issues just seem to fly over my head. Just want to make sure I'm doing all the right things for him.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydneys Mom View Post
    ... Part of my problem is that Sydney is my first dog! I don't know what to expect and all the information out there about the heart issues just seem to fly over my head. Just want to make sure I'm doing all the right things for him.
    I think that as long as your cardiologist is in the loop and making recommendations, I would follow his/her advice. I don't want to complicate things, but in the earlier stages of congestive heart failure (CHF), when the cardio starts prescribing a diuretic and an ACE-inhibitor for our cavaliers, we tend to give more holistic medications instead. But when the cavalier approaches the end stage, we go with what the cardio prescribes. The only exception has been Vetmedin/pimobendan. We are particularly cautious about that drug, because if the dog's heart is still strong, despite the CHF, it can do more harm than good. So we watch our dogs very carefully when they are on Vetmedin.
    Rod Russell

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    I don't want to complicate things, but in the earlier stages of congestive heart failure (CHF), when the cardio starts prescribing a diuretic and an ACE-inhibitor for our cavaliers, we tend to give more holistic medications instead. But when the cavalier approaches the end stage, we go with what the cardio prescribes. The only exception has been Vetmedin/pimobendan. We are particularly cautious about that drug, because if the dog's heart is still strong, despite the CHF, it can do more harm than good. So we watch our dogs very carefully when they are on Vetmedin.
    Thanks Rod, but you have completely confused me as I know next to nothing about holistic medications. but I am willing to learn! Just for more info about Sydney, he is in a pretty serious state with his heart. The alaphebet list of his conditions is MVD, CHF, PAH, and arrhythmia. He was started on low doses of the meds so there would be room to add. Currently he's taking furosemide 25mg 1x daily, enalapril 5mg 2x daily, diltiazem 60mg 2x daily, digoxin .65mg 2x daily, vetmedin 2.5mg 2x daily. I would assume, in light of the change in his symptoms, some of these dosages will be upped.

    So, I guess my question to you would be, what is the holistic approach and what harm can the Vetmedin cause? Thanks for your help.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

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    Default Update on cardiologist visit



    Well, we were at the cardiologist yesterday. The good news is that the medications are helping to keep the fluid out of his lungs. The bad news is that he had fluid in his abdomen, around his heart and an enlarged liver. They were able to drain the fluid in his abdomen, so hopefully Sydney will be more comfortable now and his liver will go back to normal. The doctor said that this was the cause of the groaning. I can see the difference in his body size already, as they drained about a 1/3 liter. The doctor said it varies from dog to dog, but he may have to get his abdomen drained every so often and this type of fluid build up is better than having the fluid in lungs. Do any of you have experience with this type of draining?

    Also, his medications were tweaked. The dosages of furosemide and vetmedin have been doubled and spironolactone has been added. He needs to go back next week for a recheck.

    Today he just seems content to kick back and watch me do my thing around the house.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  8. #8
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    Hi Joyce,

    Iam glad you have been to see the cardiologist today and that draining the excess fluid from his abdomen should give him relief......

    He is on the same tablets as my dog scooby and new drug should help with any potential syncope episodes he may get in the future.

    I hope sydney gets some stability and keeps on going..... I have thought so many times that scooby was going to lose his battle but he fights on...

    Sharon and Scooby

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    Default UPDATE: More Medication, Viagra

    UPDATE: More Medication, Viagra
    Last week, when Sydney had abdomenal fluid drained, his cardiologist added another diuretic AND increased the doses of some of his other heart meds. Yesterday, one week later, we were back for a recheck. His abdomen is starting to fill with fluid again and the pressure in his lungs in increasing. Rather than increase the doses again which can damage his kidneys, we added Viagra to the mix. I hope this helps him. The good news is that they did a kidney panel and his kidneys are functioning great!

    I know I should be happy that there are still treatment options for Sydney, but I just can't stop crying today. I have a constant knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. I feel so afraid and lost. I don't even want to leave the house, just want to sit here and watch him sleep. I'm afraid he's going to wake up and need me and I won't be here. I know I'm rambling, I'm having a bad day and needed to get it out. I need to send this now, tears are getting on the keyboard. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know all of you understand.
    Last edited by Sydneys Mom; 16th June 2011 at 07:31 PM.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydneys Mom View Post
    UPDATE: More Medication, Viagra
    Last week, when Sydney had abdomenal fluid drained, his cardiologist added another diuretic AND increased the doses of some of his other heart meds. Yesterday, one week later, we were back for a recheck. His abdomen is starting to fill with fluid again and the pressure in his lungs in increasing. Rather than increase the doses again which can damage his kidneys, we added Viagra to the mix. I hope this helps him. The good news is that they did a kidney panel and his kidneys are functioning great!

    I know I should be happy that there are still treatment options for Sydney, but I just can't stop crying today. I have a constant knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. I feel so afraid and lost. I don't even want to leave the house, just want to sit here and watch him sleep. I'm afraid he's going to wake up and need me and I won't be here. I know I'm rambling, I'm having a bad day and needed to get it out. I need to send this now, tears are getting on the keyboard. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know all of you understand.
    What is the purpose of the viagara?

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