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Thread: How Sydney is doing..

  1. #21
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    ***ANOTHER UPDATE***
    Well, we got the results of all the blood work done on Friday. His liver value has almost doubled which is not horrible but not good either. We will continue to keep an eye on that. The other levels were all in the normal ranges, except for the digoxin.

    This one is the most concerning one as his digoxin level has doubled and is now over the high/normal range. As this can be toxic, we are reducing his digoxin and next week we will do another blood test. I'm really worried about this and this affects his kidneys. The way I understand it, is that we may be close to being at a point where we can keep his heart going strong at the expense of other organs.
    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

  2. #22
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    Default Oh Joyce... so sorry to read this...

    It is so hard when medications for one thing start to have bad effects on other issues. I know very little about all of this, but I sure hope the vets can find a way to help Sydney keep plugging along. Sending you a big hug... for you and Sydney.

  3. #23
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    Hi

    Stay strong Joyce, and you as well Sydney my girls are watching you and you two
    are doing so well.
    Brian M

    Poppy the Tri, Daisy the Blen, Rosie the Ruby and Lily the B & T

  4. #24
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    Hello Joyce. Our prays for you and Sydney. Be strong. Sydney is getting the best care possible and she knows that too. You are so lucky to have each other.

  5. #25
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    Hi Joyce,

    Jus catching up on this thread- its like a rollercoaster of reading.

    All medications have some sort of side affects and when you are dealing with one thing that is your main concern you have to just concentrate on what you are fighting against!!

    I know that Ruby being on Metacam all the time will effect her badly in the future but foor now it means she can enjoy her life as she should ( she has SM).



    Im sorry your good news has been clouded but pleased that his heart in in better shape than you anticipated! Big hugs for little Sydney

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


  6. #26
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    Oh Joyce, I am so sorry to hear all of this. It is a tough road you and Sydney are on, but he is such a fighter it amazes me. I am thinking of you and praying really hard for Sydney...and for you too. I cannot imagine the ups and downs.
    Keep us posted. We are here for anything you need!!
    Hugs from me and Brooky

  7. #27
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    Joyce, I am so sorry to hear all this. I know you will do all you can for your precious Sydney.

    It's hard when the very drugs that are helping in one area can cause problems in another. Is there no other drugs for the heart that can be used that won't cause the same organ damage?
    Cindy and Claire
    Claire was born on Feb7, 2010

  8. #28
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    I am just catching up on this thread now. I would guess that you have already talked to the cardiologist, but all the things you are describing (in your original post) are actually really common with advanced level heart disease. there really isn't much you can do about the issues with incontinence–the best approach is to give the diuretics at least an hour before bedtime and then take him out a couple of times before to try and empty out his bladder. Some dogs have a much harder time with this than others, and it doesn't help that by the time many have MVD at symptomatic level, the dogs are elderly, they can often have weak bladders anyway. You can get special incontinent pants for elderly dogs, and those might help keep him more comfortable by keeping his bedding dry and so on.

    The hind leg weakness though is very typical of this horrible heart condition. Again, I don't think there's very much you can do.

    There is more information on symptoms here: http://cavalierhealth.org/mitral_val...e.htm#Symptoms

    A small excerpt:

    Cavaliers with murmurs of between Grade 3 and Grade 6 may display episodic weakness of the hindquarters, ataxia, or collapse, which is called presyncope, or combined with loss of consciousness, which is called syncope, due to a sudden decline in blood flow to the brain. See Syncope for a discussion of this disorder and its causes.
    My Lucy was very wobbly on her hind legs in the final months of her MVD. She also had collapsing episodes, which were pretty much always directly related to some moment of sudden excitement or exertion. I was quite careful about not putting her into situations where this would happen in as much as I could.

    It's great that you have had a good response to getting that fluid out of Sydney's abdomen and hopefully he will remain far more comfortable and happy now for a good long while. I hope you are able to manage the side effects that can come from the other drugs. It is very hard sometimes to know which direction to take and sometimes it becomes an issue of managing for as long as you can keep a very much loved companion comfortable, and recognizing the point at which they need their rest. Closely working with your cardiologist will help you to know where you are in this process and what options remain available. As MVD progresses, sadly the options typically begin to run out. We are lucky in so many ways that there are a good range of medications that can keep them comfortable for many months after congestive heart failure sets in –But at the same time these can have problematical side effects too .

    Lucy didn't have side effects of this type with her medications, but it totally broke my heart every day to see her heart disease progressing, because in every other way she was very active and healthy and except for the curse of this disease in this breed, she should easily have lived for several more years. Every day I could see her confusion at not being able to do things she expected to be able to do. It would have been easier for me if she had been less robust in every other way because this just underlined the tragedy of this condition. By contrast, I walk an elderly neighbor's very elderly collie who has had a heart murmur for several years now and it doesn't affect his quality of life at all. He is approaching 16 years of age–which is wonderful for him, but sometimes just emphasized to me how relatively young we lose our Cavaliers to this condition.

    It is very hard when they get to this quite advanced stage–all I can say is, many of us have been there and know exactly what you are going through and understand how heartbreaking and stressful this is.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #29
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    Thank you Karlin for your very well thought out response. I appreciate your sharing Lucy’s story with me as I am sure it is still painful for you.

    I have discussed all these issues with the cardiologist and his regular vet. We’ve decreased the dose of digoxin for now and next week we will do another blood test to see if the level has come down. Our cardiologist is great but sometimes hard to get in touch with for some minor questions. However, I also have a great vet and both doctors keep in touch so many times the vet can answer some of my minor questions and she will defer to the cardiologist for the more serious and complicated ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    It is very hard when they get to this quite advanced stage–all I can say is, many of us have been there and know exactly what you are going through and understand how heartbreaking and stressful this is.
    I am finding this very hard. Firstly and foremost is because this disease is progressing and no amount of medication will ever cure it, and it only make Sydney comfortable. Secondly, Sydney is an only dog and is my first dog, so watching my beloved pet age is a new experience for me and not knowing what to expect with MVD is hard. My heart breaks on a daily basis. I do miss the long walks we use to take, but we do take short 5 min. walks which he enjoys. He is still barking at the birds and sniffing around the yard. He gets excited for food and eats it all. But he also sleeps a lot, and that’s OK too.

    Thanks for the link to Cavalier Health. I have been there many times and there is always something there I missed the previous times. This is a constant learning experience.
    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. #30
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    Oh Joyce. I am so sorry this is so hard for you to go through...and for Sydney too. I cannot imagine. A first dog makes everything that much harder too because I don't think we ever realise just how much they will affect our lives when we first bring them home.

    Stay strong and we are always here for you

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