3rd December 2013, 06:51 PM
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
Post Thanks / Like - 1 Thanks, 0 Likes
3rd December 2013, 09:53 PM
appreciate all your comments. keeping my fingers crossed he remains well and off meds
Originally Posted by Karlin
4th December 2013, 12:15 PM
I would echo what others have said - MVD drugs are given to deal with symptoms, so that the dog is kept as comfortable as possible, and to support the heart. No symptoms - no drugs are necessary. Symptoms don't usually appear until the heart reaches a Grade 4-5, congestive heart failure usually appears at around Grade 6. So your Cavalier is a long way off that and may never reach it. It's not a matter of, as your vet said, just keeping him going for a couple of years; your dog may have many years of more or less healthy, symptom-free life ahead of him, as my Oliver is still going strong after 6 years with a murmur and still only a grade 3 at 12 years old. I'm afraid it's all a bit of a lottery - some Cavaliers live for a long time with a mild murmur, others deteriorate quickly; I hope your boy is one of the former.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
5th December 2013, 09:38 PM
I like you comment!
Originally Posted by Kate H
I sometimes wish I had never have listened to his heart! he is my best friend
Met some other cavaliers and their owners on the beach on holiday yesterday. They advised me that two of their previous cavaliers had murmurs and didnt live beyond six. They had a lovely 8 yrs old tricolour with a mild murmur. They asked me to look out for increased respiratory rate. Typical me I came in that evening after a great day in the beach and he was breathing fast. I had a very quick listen with my ear and his murmur is louder than before probably grade 5, it was still a grade 2/3 when he had his vaccination a month or two ago. Now I am desperately worried. I think I will have to go back to the vet and get him on the vetmedin, I'm wondering if I have left it too late. To everyone else in my family he is the same dog but I know now that he is a ticking time bomb and that I need to switch the timer off or slow it down. Any advise would be great, I am very worried.... Should, never have got chatting to those owners, should never have listened to his chest with my ear.....
Definitely not listened with your ear! Even with a stethoscope, some vets can't accurately interpret the level of a murmur. It would be pretty unusual to jump from a 2/3 to a 5 in a couple of months, unless there was some additional heart problem. Before you go back to your vet, take your dog to a cardiologist for a thorough examination (you may need to ask your vet for a referral) - I can't emphasise this enough. You wouldn't expect your local doctor to treat you for a serious heart problem - he/she will refer you to a heart specialist. In the same way, 'local doctor' vets are not heart specialists. And other things than heart can cause rapid breathing - Was it a hot day? Is he overweight? Was air quality poor? Or a simple question - was he thirsty (very easy when out for the day to forget to offer water regularly)? And it isn't just increased rapid breathing that is a symptom of a worsening heart problem - you also need to look at coughing, reluctance to exercise, and a few other things. You can learn the proper way to monitor your dog's breathing rate (not just looking from the outside!) - I think there's an app you can use - someone else can tell you about it.
If you're not doing it already, there is some evidence that Omega 3 (as liquid or capsules) and Co Enzyme Q10 given daily can slow down the progression of a heart murmur. Readily available at health shops or online from somewhere like Simply Supplements.
I hope a new day has calmed your panic a bit - get that cardiologist appointment and take it from there
Kate, Oliver and Aled