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Thread: Low blood protein and chest fluid

  1. #1
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    Default Low blood protein and chest fluid

    I've never felt the need to post on a Cavalier forum, but now I feel myself needing to ask advice from fellow owners.

    Out Cavalier, Bobby, is 10 years old and has had a medium grade murmur for the last 4 years, but no outward symptoms of CHF/MVD. Following a short bout of diarrhoea and vomiting last week he has had much laboured breathing over the weekend, even when asleep, and has been very restless. He's eating fine, and no coughing, just lethargic and not wanting to go upstairs.

    Took ok to the vet today and X ray shows chest cavity filled with fluid - suspected pleural effusions. Blood work shows very low total protein and albumin - total protein at 28 when lower end of reference range is about 55. The vet says it's very serious and a matter of days or weeks, rather than months left. We are distraught.

    We we take Bobby back in the morning for bile acid test to check for liver function, and for urinalysis and ultrasound. Vet doesn't feel it's MVD/CHF related and his murmur still reasonable, though might be masked by the volume of fluid.

    So it's a tumour somewhere, or his liver I guess. Anyone with suitable experience please?

  2. #2
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    We've had this kind of experience, too. Since MVD is always on our mind, when one of our cavaliers with a murmur, aged 14 at the time, began showing what we thought were symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF), we took him to a cardiologist. The vet said that his vital signs indicated that his symptoms did not appear to be heart-related, and that his MVD remained below the level of CHF. We ran out of time before we could pinpoint his disorder, but it was believed to be in his abdomen.
    Rod Russell

  3. #3
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    By way of update - Bobby was back to the vet all today. Chest drain and sample off to lab. Protein:creatin ratio blood test to the lab.

    Bile acid stimulation test clear. Protein urine dip test clear.

    I had hoped the pleural fluid removal would give him some breathing relief, but this far hasn't.

    Back on Friday.

  4. #4
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    Can't add anything by way of help; just to say I sure hope you can find some answers and figure out what is going on. It's so frustrating to be dealing with a health issue with no diagnosis.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #5
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    Further update. So all kidney and liver tests clear. Possible lymphangiectasia, but most likely CHF (due to MVD) related. Vet want to treat as CHF pending abdominal ultrasound on Monday to check intestinal linings and for any tumours. Low proteins thought most likely due to the large pleural effusion and some abdominal oedema.

    Now on furosemide 10mg three times daily, pimobendan 1.25mg twice daily, 20mg spironolactone daily, benazepril 2.5mg daily - due to likelihood of CHF being the cause of the pleural effusion, now that they aren't contraindicated due to kidney or liver failure.

    Starting to to transfer him to feeding Royal Canin Vet Cardiac diet, as it's low salt, high protein and relatively low fat - so not a bad food tip fit turns out to be lymphangiectasia (either primary or secondary to the CHF).

    just fingers crossed for the ultrasound - at the moment CHF is a good diagnosis for him compared to alternatives.

    if it turns out to be 100% CHF then the pleural effusion is fairly unusual, particularly when no exercise-induced dyspnoea or hear able lung fluid.

  6. #6
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    With a very sad heart we had to put Bobby to sleep today.

    The ultrasound showed multiple abdominal and chest tumours.

    We love you our little Bobby. You will be forever in our hearts.

  7. #7
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    So very sorry to hear your sad news, it's truly heartbreaking to lose our beloved companions. You did the kindest thing for Bobby, preventing him from suffering.

    He will always be in your heart.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  8. #8
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    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's always hard to say goodbye to your beloved pet.

    RIP sweet Bobby.
    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

  9. #9
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    Oh poor little Bobby. That's just too much for one little soul to have to deal with. I'm so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. It's just so sad.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  10. #10
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    So sorry to read this.

    With such a diagnosis the only loving thing possible was to let him go, but it must have been hard when it all happened in such a short space of time.

    RIP Bobby.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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