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Thread: Heart Clinic today at CKCSC Nationals

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    Default Heart Clinic today at CKCSC Nationals

    I brought Lucky and Sparky to the Nationals today for the heart clinic.

    Sparky was fine, but Lucky has a grade 2 murmur. No meds yet, no restrictions on anesthesia. I had an echo done at the clinic and am getting baseline chest x-rays, blood pressure etc. done at my vet and then we'll repeat the echo in a year.

    Lucky was six on 6/19. I know the statistics, so I wasn't really surprised, but it is still sad news to hear!

    I've been working hard to keep them both trim ... any other advice for slowing the progression of this horrible disease?
    Last edited by Lani; 21st October 2012 at 12:33 AM.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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    There is some evidence that Omega3 can help to slow down the progression of heart disease. Seems to work with my Aled, anyway, who has 2 x 1000mg capsules (bought over the counter but they give the same amount of Omega3 and other good things as the more expensive specialist Omega3 products for dogs); he was diagnosed with a Grade 3 murmur at 3 years old, is now 5 and his heart hasn't got any worse. Simon Swift, the UK Cavalier researcher, says beta blockers don't really do anything for low-grade murmurs, so really all you can do is keep them fit and get paranoid about their weight!

    A grade 2 at six years old actually isn't too bad - I know it would be better if Lucky didn't have a murmur at all, but there's a good chance of many years of normal life to come. My Oliver was diagnosed with a Grade 1 murmur when he was 6; by next year it had gone up to a 2, but he's still at 2 four years later, as an active 11 year old with no signs of heart problems.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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    That and CoQ10. Rod has a lot of good advice at www.cavalierhealth.org on things you can do. Fit and trim is the number one thing of course, and then I agree, fish oils and CoQ10. He has a paper with advice on MVD treatment by cardios and they suggest omega 3s and CoQ10. Given that pretty much every cavalier will eventually have heart disease, I have all mine on them already regardless of current heart health.
    Karlin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    I brought Lucky and Sparky to the Nationals today for the heart clinic.

    Sparky was fine, but Lucky has a grade 2 murmur. No meds yet, no restrictions on anesthesia. I had an echo done at the clinic and am getting baseline chest x-rays, blood pressure etc. done at my vet and then we'll repeat the echo in a year.

    Lucky was six on 6/19. I know the statistics, so I wasn't really surprised, but it is still sad news to hear!

    I've been working hard to keep them both trim ... any other advice for slowing the progression of this horrible disease?
    It sounds like, thus far, you have done just about everything you should have been doing. Taking your cavaliers to heart clinics annually is important. Once a murmur is detected, re-checking the dog's heart annually or even more often than that, is important.

    The advice you have been given about no medications and no restrictions on anesthesia are the current consensus advice for a cavalier with a minor murmur, and yes, a grade 2 out of 6 murmur is minor. The fact that Lucky apparently did not have a murmur by his fifth birthday means he does not have early-onset MVD, which statistically progresses faster than MVD with a later onset. But still, no one can predict how fast Lucky's MVD will progress. It is possible that it will not progress much at all.

    Here is much of what we have been doing with our cavaliers:

    -- As you are doing, we try to keep our dogs slender, in the "ideal" range of 4/5 in the 9-point body condition system.

    -- We try to exercise our dogs daily. We have trained most of them and competed them in agility. A few of them have not enjoyed agility, so their main exercise is walking on a leash or running around the fenced part of our property.

    -- We feed species-appropriate foods. That means fresh, human-grade meats and vegetables, and no or limited grains. That means no dry dog food and being particular about what canned foods we choose. Most of our dogs' meals are home-prepared raw diets, but there are some really good canned foods that meet our standard of "fresh, human-grade meats and vegetables, and no or limited grains".

    -- We add to their meals some cardiac supplements. Our list is here: http://cavalierhealth.org/diets.htm#Cardiac_Supplements but which of those we give depends upon how far the MVD has progressed. At the grade 2 stage, we add vitamins C and E, CoQ10, fish oil, Thorne's Bio-Cardio, and Standard Process' Canine Cardio Support. Even for cavaliers with no murmurs, we give vitamins C and E, CoQ10, and fish oil.

    I know there are cardiologists and others who poo-poo vitamin C and E, but all of the supplements we give our cavaliers have been recommended to us by one or more of our veterinarians.
    Rod Russell

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    This is a helpful reply. Thankyou. What are the canned, human grade dog foods with meat and vegetables that you recommend without or limited grains that you recommend ? I am very interested in your selections. Thank you Rod.

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    Quote Originally Posted by godblessthem View Post
    This is a helpful reply. Thankyou. What are the canned, human grade dog foods with meat and vegetables that you recommend without or limited grains that you recommend ? I am very interested in your selections. Thank you Rod.
    Canned foods we like include Merrick Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Merrick Cowboy Cookout. If you check the ingredients list for, say, Merrick Thanksgiving Day Dinner, you will find these top ten items:

    "Deboned Turkey, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Carrots, Green Beans, Apples, Peas, Potato, Dried Egg Product". There are no "by-products", no corn, no wheat, all of which are common in many canned dog foods. Merrick represents that its meat products are "human grade", meaning they are safely edible by humans.

    This is not a paid endorsement. We have no business relationship with Merrick. We feed our dogs home-prepared raw meat and vegetables in properly balanced recipes. But we keep a few cans of these two Merrick products on hand when we get caught short of our frozen raw meals or when we travel. Not all Merrick canned foods have as good a list of ingredients as these two do.
    Rod Russell

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    Sorry you got this news. Can't add much to what the others have already said as it does look as though you are already doing everything right. The only other thing I would do is to start researching the cardiologists in your area so when the come comes that his condition starts to change, you already have someone in mind to go to.

    I've always enjoyed all your pictures. Both Lucky and Sparky are beauthful.
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    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

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    Thanks for all your advice!! Lucky just had his first meal with CoQ10. I ordered some from Monica Segal a while ago and just had not been feeding it ...

    I'll look into Omega 3's as well. I had fed him Grizzly Salmon oil in the past (a long time ago), but stopped because his tummy seemed to act up - not sure if related to that, but it felt as if it was (anyone have dogs that have issues with salmon oil? Is there a better source of Omega 3's I should look into?).

    I had been feeding Lucky and Sparky The Honest Kitchen Force which is grain free - just meat, fruits and veggies, dehydrated. I switched them to Keen after we had some tummy issues. Not sure why ... just felt like it was time for a change, but maybe I'll switch them back to Force and supplement with some frozen raw medallions.

    When I was thinking of changing from The Honest Kitchen, I had a really hard time. I don't have enough freezer space to do all frozen raw and I want something that utilizes as many organic and Non-GMO ingredients as possible. GMO is a bit of a deal breaker for me ... It is near impossible to control it in my diet, but THK is non-GMO in all formulas which through my research I found out is REALLY rare with other brands of dog foods. I'll look into the Merricks - the ingredients sound great - hopefully they don't use GMO ingredients.

    I'll also check out your article on CavalierHealth.org, Rodd. Thanks so much for the advice & optimism. Lucky's dad had MVD right at 5 and his was a grade 3 when the regular vet discovered it. it took 3 years before he had to go on meds, so that is good. If Lucky had to start on meds at 9.5, I guess I could be okay with that. ;-)

    Speaking of vet's catching murmurs, I think this is really important to note so you are all aware:

    My regular vet did NOT catch Lucky's murmur. He was in for tummy issues 3 weeks ago and a dental 2 weeks ago (where he was hooked up to heart monitor the whole time). So two things I guess to take from that: 2)
    1) Lucky's murmur is very soft, as the Cardilolgist said
    2 Don't count on your regular vet to catch a murmur!!! Lucky and Sparky have been to Cavalier health clinics every year since I have had them. The clinics are really easy to find on Rodd's website CavalierHealth.org, and the cost is not much for peace of mind to know that if there is an issue you have caught it early. If I didn't go to the clinic, it might have been another full year or longer before my vet discovered the murmur
    Last edited by Lani; 22nd October 2012 at 12:16 AM.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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    Entirely agree with you, Lani, about vets not catching murmurs - or not being able to grade them accurately. They just don't have the right stethescopes. For people in the UK, it is easy to find a health clinic run by the Cavalier Club or one of the regional clubs where a cardiologist will check you dog's heart for free if you are a club member or for a small sum if not. You can find details of health clinics on their website, www.thecavalierclub.co.uk. I take my two to the Cavalier Club Championship show every year, enter them Not for Competition (I think it's free, can't remember!), as they are both KC registered (Aled on the Activity Register as he doesn't have a pedigree) and they are checked by Simon Swift.

    This really is something that all Cavalier owners need to do every year so that they know what is happening with their dog's heart. If there is cause for concern, a full visit to a cardiologist is a good idea.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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