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Smiff

Cardio Myopathy? Information and Experiences?

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Smiff   

Could I get as much information and personal experiences regarding Cardio Myopathy in a giant breed dog. She is currently on Vetmedin 15mg twice a day. Thanks in advance. 

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Hi there :)

 

My boy Jager (7 year old weimaraner) was under care at SASH (Dr Rita Singh) for myxomatous mitral and tricuspid valve degeneration (MMVD and MTVD) with severe left sided cardiac enlargement, ventricular premature contractions and congestive heart failure.

 

Daily: 

Frusemide 100 mg PO BID

Benazepril 10 mg PO SID

Pimobendan 10 mg PO BID (Vetmedin)

Mexiletine 200 mg PO TID

 

Vetmedin helps the heart contract better. 

 

What would you like to know? What breed? How old? What symptoms are you experiencing?

 

- Ann

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Smiff   

Her heart is dilated and an irregular shape. Just after experiences in relation to what to expect, how long improvements lasted when on the medications etc . St Bernard, 11yo. Was experiencing Breathing heavily, Pale gums, slight hind end weakness, lack of energy and enthusiasm and night grumpiness. Since being medicated with Vetmedin, breathing has improved, not huffing and puffing as much and no where near as raspy sounding, pink gums have returned, wanting to exercise more, less grumpy when sleeping, strength returned to hind legs able to get back up the couch etc.

Thanks for your reply

Smiff 

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Hi Smiff,

 

Great news that you have experienced improvements on Vetmedin - the symptoms you were experiencing are from lack of oxygen circulating so the fact you are enjoying improvements is fantastic. 

 

Respiratory function is key - generally what will happen with heart failure is the lungs will fill with fluid - heavy breathing, coughing, then overflow into the abdomen giving the appearance of bloating - so I would suggest keeping a diary. Each night when shes asleep - not dream sleep, get out your timer and count her breathes for 15 seconds multiple by 4. A normal sleeping respiratory rate is < 30 per minute. Should it be consistently more than 40 call your vet and ask for advice. More than 60 take to the vet. 

 

As you progress she may be prescribed Frusemide - a diuretic to remove fluid - she will need access to water and access to outdoors to wee. Once on a diuretic you may be prescribed Benazepril to support the kidneys since they will be working hard to expel the fluid.   

 

Have you asked for a prognosis? Generally shorter in larger breeds but depends greatly on how damaged the heart is at this time. 

 

My darling was still bouncy until his last week. He went off his food, which made giving tablets so much more painful, his digestive system began to shut down, diarrhea and vomiting, more lethargic, started to look bloated, slower to walk around, respiratory rate slightly increase, however still happy to see people, would eat McDonalds - if nothing else! - drinking lots of water. 

 

He died peacefully at home during the night which was best case scenario. The photograph attached was taken the day before he passed. 

 

Hope this helps in some way, I know its not easy. 

 

 

- Ann 

 

IMG_8909.JPG

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Our great dane Whitney was diagnosed with DCM in August, 2014.  We were told she would be lucky to make Christmas.   She in on compounded Vetmedin and Furosemide, and is still going.  The medication has worked remarkably well, and she is now 11 yrs and 1 month old. She has not had any deterioration to her heart, as she was scanned again last year, and there was no change.  The results were passed on to SASH for confirmation, and they concurred with our vet.

 

She was also diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in November, 2015, and now with bone cancer last week.  Remarkably she is still going, we can't believe it!

 

Her DCM is well controlled, so her survival well past the prediction for a giant breed is a great bonus for us, although apparently the meds don't always work so well.  

 

Fingers crossed you have as much success!

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