Canine Heart Disease: A Silent Killer

By Susan McCullough

Canine Heart Disease: A Silent Killer

On a percentage basis, more dogs than people suffer from heart disease. According to Novartis Animal Health, a Switzerland-based healthcare company, 25 percent of dogs over the age of seven have the most extreme form of heart disease -- heart failure. By contrast, the National Institutes of Health estimates that only 6.4 percent of men and 2.5 percent of women between the ages of 65 and 74 suffered from the same condition between 1998 and 2002 (the most recent period for which such data is available).

While both dogs and people can get heart disease, the reasons they acquire these conditions differ. "With human beings, it's a matter of lifestyle -- putting on weight, not eating properly and not exercising," explains Dr. Deborah Fine, assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine. "With dogs, what we see is mostly caused by genetics or breed susceptibility." 

Common Canine Heart Diseases and Their Symptoms
The two most prevalent canine heart diseases -- dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and mitral valve disease -- are believed to be at least partially hereditary.

DCM and mitral valve disease cripple the heart in different ways. DCM causes a swelling of one of the heart's lower chambers, which are called ventricles. The left ventricle is affected more often than the right. "The ventricle changes from a football shape to a basketball shape," explains Dr. Fine. "This weakens the ability of the heart to pump blood. The heart becomes large and flabby and beats weakly."

Mitral valve disease attacks the valves that serve as doorways between the heart's upper chambers, which are called atria, and the ventricles. The valves deteriorate to the point that they don't close completely. This failure to close allows some blood in the ventricle to flow back to the atrium instead of out from the heart to the rest of the body the way it's supposed to do. Consequently, the heart must work harder than normal to pump enough blood to meet the dog's needs.

With either condition, a dog may not show outward symptoms for years.  Eventually, though, the dog shows signs that all is not well. Those signs can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss
  • Coughing, especially during exercise or excitement
  • Gasping for breath
  • Fainting or collapsing
  • Gradual abdominal swelling

Although these signs can signify the onset of heart failure, they also mimic other conditions. For example, if the left side of the heart fails, fluid backs up into the lungs, but other conditions can do that too. That's why a dog with these symptoms needs a thorough examination with appropriate testing. "You need a chest X-ray to confirm left-side heart failure," says Dr. Fine. "Fluid in the lungs could also be pneumonia, bronchitis or a fibrosis of the lungs."

At-Risk Breeds
Due to inherited genes and as a consequence of breeding, DCM usually affects large or giant breeds, especially:

  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Great Danes
  • German Shepherds
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Mastiffs

Mitral valve disease, again due to genetics and breeding, affects a disproportionate number of small breeds, including:

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Chihuahuas
  • Miniature Poodles
  • Toy Poodles
  • Maltese
  • Bichon Frises
  • Beagles
  • West Highland White Terriers

Both diseases generally strike dogs in mid-life or later, except for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which can show signs of mitral valve disease at just 2 years of age.

Helping Your Dog
If your dog is one of the more susceptible breeds, expert monitoring from an early age is a good idea.  For example, some experts believe that every Doberman Pinscher over the age of one year should receive an annual electrocardiogram because DCM is especially prevalent in that breed. Similarly, other experts recommend that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels receive yearly screenings for mitral valve disease. Such monitoring won't prevent either condition, but it can lead to earlier, more aggressive treatment that can improve a dog's quality of life, and may even lengthen it. "With heart disease, it's not just about living longer, it's about living better," says Dr. Fine.

You can help your dog live better too. In addition to aggressive monitoring for early detection, good home care can keep a dog comfortable longer. If heart failure hasn't occurred, "Keep your dog active, maintain a healthy diet and a healthy weight," suggests Dr. Fine. "Excess weight makes the heart work harder." 

Treatment Options
Once a dog has been diagnosed with heart failure, treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and the condition's progression. A veterinarian may start treatment by prescribing a diuretic to reduce the dog's fluid level and an ACE inhibitor, which levels blood pressure, to help the diuretic work better. A dog with right-side heart failure may also undergo abdominocentisis, a procedure in which the veterinarian inserts a needle into the abdomen to withdraw excess fluid. A dog with DCM may be prescribed medications to help the heart contract more normally.

Because these conditions aren't curable, owners may question whether treatment is worthwhile. Dr. Fine responds, "I always encourage people to try therapy (treatment) because the medications can help their dogs return to their old selves. Give it a few weeks -- the vast majority of dogs do much better."

Susan McCullough is an award-winning pet writer and the author of Housetraining for Dummies, Senior Dogs for Dummies and Beagles for Dummies. She was also honored by The Cat Writers Association as a finalist for the Muse Medallion, which recognizes excellence in writing about cats.

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Posted on May 8, 2012

Selena says: My 8 year old chihuahua has suddenly become lethargic & shaking really bad while breathing hard. I checked her heart rate resting & it was 58. This is really scaring me as she has not gotten up on her own in 6 hours. Normally she is very active even up until this morning.

Posted on April 22, 2012

Barry says: Tarka has collapsed twice in the last two days.  Today the collapse called her some pain, as she actually made a sound after she fell to her side.  I have had Tarka for eleven years and now I just cry thinking of losing her. I took her to the best Vet Hospital in my state and they have done wonderful work for Tarka. But now we are out of time and we both can feel it as we glare at each other.  She sleeps next to me now every night but I can't do anything to help her except the arsenal of meds I give her.  I love Tarka because she always wanted to be around me, unlike so many other people in my words.  I spent every hour I could with her.  We walked at every park we could find.  We went swimming, eating ice cream, walking in the snow, and so much more.  Please give me the strength to let her go.  I love you Tarka!

Posted on January 21, 2011

Tamara says: I lost my Cocker Spaniel at 14 years of age, she had a level 4 heart murmur for 5 years, we did the range of medications: Enalapril, Lasix, Spironolactone. I was very lucky in the fact that Duchess passed away in her sleep. While keeping up with the medications could be difficult sometimes I am so thankful for the time I had with her.

Posted on November 6, 2010

dragonfly says: Your best friend knew your heart, knew your love for him...and he totally understands. Please be at peace w/ your memories of him. He will always be a part of your life. I came to this site because our 9 1/2 yr old mastiff was given apprx one month to live yesterday. Last week she was out running on the tennis court with us and now she can hardly get up from her bed. She knows she is loved, she doesn't want to go anymore than we want her to go. If possible, I wish to have medication to help her pass over while being at home, if she gets to the point of being in pain. Now she is just tired and sleeps. Vet said he believes he will go in her sleep. This is the hardest thing we have ever had to do.

Posted on September 16, 2010

Noni/Sasha says: My precious puppy Sasha was diagnosed with a heart murmur a couple of yrs ago. Her vet told me that eventually she will experience heart failure. She gave me Enalapril for her and I gave it to her for about a month, then stopped. I believed that giving her this drug might do her more harm than good, and just develope other illnesses in her so I just let her be. Three yrs later on Sept. 15th 2010, I had to put my Sasha down due to an enlargement of the heart. It was the hardest and most hurtful decision i"ve ever had to make in my life. I wonder if she would have done better with the med., But her doctor told me that there was nothing that I could have done. This situation was going to occur no matter what. That made me feel better, but I'd give anything for my sweet puppy Sasha to be here with me. Thank you for giving me the honor of having you in my life...RIP Sasha...Love u

Posted on June 20, 2010

Diane Stanley says: I also had to put down my Toy Poodle for the same reasons and manner that you did Foxy. Minuette had Congestive Heart Failure and had collapsed. She was experiencing very hard labored breathing and the vet informed me that her lungs were filling quickly with fluid. I had been informed that the meds were expensive and that my dog would continue to go through the collapsing, labored breathing, etc until her death. Minuette was almost 16 so I decided to have her put down. I thought that it was the most humane thing to do. My little dog kissed my hand and lips also and I will never forget the look that she gave me. She couldn't hear well but she saw the tears coming down my face. I gave her a hug and kissed her on the top of the head when the vet started what she needed to do. I've questioned myself over and over if I had done the right thing. My husband and I miss our little one very much. We think of her everyday. We have lost two little poodles within the last two years and our dogs are greatly missed. They were our family. So, please remember that you did the right thing so that Foxy didn't have to go through all of that pain every time.

Posted on June 16, 2010

lona says: my long hair chiuaha, and half cockerspaniel mix passed about 4 weeks ago. I ma devestated and dont know where to turn. I feel like it was my fault. He was 13 and a half when he passed. A couple years ago the vets would always mention that he had a heart murmur and I should take him to a cardiologist. I never did because he hated the vets and was always so nervous around them, I didnt want to cause him more fear. I just would take him on walks, play with him. I loved him very much, he was my best friend . He was normal until this year. Around end of october, begiining november 2009 he started to cough a lot. He would cough int he morning, afternoon, night. Thats when I knew I had to start taking him to the vet even though I really didnt want to, cause he hated vets . He would cough like he was trying to get something out, but nothing came out. Around november his vet thought maybe it was kennel cough, she gave us antibiotcs for him, cough suppresants..but it still got worse. He still ate, ran, played the same. Around the begiinging of january 2010, I was referred to a specialist for him. They did exrays, ultra sound, blood work. They said he had heart valvular disease, and theys uspected cancer in his stomach, from masses growing in his stomach, near his lungs. I was in denial, but he was put on meds enalpril, furemoside. I tried giving him the meds once in the morning and night 12 hours a part, but sometimes i would give it a dif times, but always 12 hours apart. He got MUCH better, didnt cough, ate alot, i fed him a lot..bad decision. He gained weight, and i thought thatw as a good thing cause the vet was happy when he gained weight. He was doing wonderfully until the dreaded weak of may 16,1010. It was a cold day, i went tos chool, came back and he looked a little sad. I had terriyaki chicken for dinner, I never give him my food but he eats chicken from my parents all the time. He was begging for it, so not thinking i looked at his cute face and gave him terriyaki chicken and beef. I gave him a couple peices, i wasnt keeping track He looked so happy eating it. My dad would always give him chicken and bones and he was fine. A couple hours later my mom gave him more steamed white chicken. At that time was about 10 pm. I gave him terriyaki chicken at like 6:30 pm that day. Around 11 he started looking very sick. He was just lying down breathing really hard. I never heard him breathe like taht before. I was going to take him to the vet but i was in denial. I took him on a walk, we came back he fell asleep. the next morning i was so worried so i took him to the vet. she took blood tests to test his kidenys from the meds. he was coughing when he was with her. she did exrays. she said his kidneys were a little high from the meds but it was ok. a TECHNICIAN WHO BROUGHT HIM BACK TO the xray room was so mean to him in front of me. He was yasnking his leash hurting his neck, forcing my dog to backlash and hit his poor head on the bench. i wanted to just take him and leave but was afraid that he really needed their help. We went home, now its wed. gave him 1/4 furemoside wed mornin around 11 am. he took his last dose or 1/4 furemoside and 1 and half enalpril at 2 am the night before. Now this is the oart that kills me, and i feel like it is my fault hes gone. I was so angry with how the vets treated my dog,and the attitude tehy gasve me that i went to another vet. I brought all his info. the new vet was aware of his prexisting conditions. He had a fever of 105, the vet said he needed antibiotics, 250 miligram. he was only 21 pounds. thte new vet said he prob only had 2 weeks to 2 months to live. I went home, checked with his original vets if he can take the enalpril, furemoside, and antibiotics together they said ya. so i gave it to him around 7:30 pm. The next day my ma gave him the same doses around 7:30 am. By then his original vet called me and said that antibiotics was not a good idea because 250 miligram is too much for him, but it shouldnt hurt him. those were the last doeses he would take, he wouldnt eat for the rest of the day. at that time his vet said i feel like the end is near. i sadi he keeps coughing, she talked to me about euthanasia. she said i can give him some cough suppresant. so thur night he had enalpril, furemoside, and antibiotcs. at night he onky took the analpril, furemoside,a nd cough suprresant. he was so sick all thurs. he was breathing hard, and couldnt even walk past my house, when a week before he was so happy to run out the door. How can this happen so fast, he got so sick so fast, i feel it was my fault for giving him to much meds. fri he didnt want to eat anything all day. i couldnt see him like he was, breathing so hard, very fast lying on my couch. as a defense mechanism i left, i couldnt see him in pain. he was my baby, i had him half my life, i was in denial. i thought if i left and came back he would be to normal..he wasnt. i left him alone all day in pain cause i was to stupid to deal with my baby. he was in pain all day and i left him.about 8:30 pm i came home and saw him. i cried so much, i said he can go, and i loved him so much. i ahd him for 13 and a half years, ive had him half my lufe, im 23 . my bro and parents came home and said it was his time, and he was in pain. i picked him up and went to the emergency vet. he was breathing so hard, and looked so tired. they put him oxyegen for 2 hours, and the doc was giving him injections of furemoside qand the cough supressant. she had givin him a dose fo furemoside 2 hours apart??wisnt that overdose??? they wanted to keep him in the oxyegn but i couldnt leave him there. i was dumb and in denial and i just wanted to take him home. they said..take him hoem, if he gets worse well be here, if its his time we can euthansia. i picked him up, he was so happy to get out of the cage with oxyegn being blown into it. i picked him up, went to my car. immediatley he looked so bad. he just looked so tired, and was searching for air. i ran to get tech to bring him to oxyegn, by then i layed him on the passenegr seat and he stopped breathing. the tech said he was passing. i said okay euathize him, after i gave him one kiss goodbye. my bro and the tech ran to the room. i couldnt go in. a couple mins later my bro said hes gone, he had a heart attack,. the tech said it was it was like he was drowing. tehy said he didnt even need euthanasia, cause he was already gone. god i miss him so much. i feel like it was my fault, i should of let him go peacefully with euathnasia but i was to stubborn , and a child to do what was best for him. i miss him so much, he was by my side everyday everywhere for 13 and a half years. i dont really know what to do, cause i keep blaming myslef. im writing this becfause im having trouble forgigiving myself. i just want to seem him again. his funeral was so hard. he was my baby, and i just dont want him to be mad at me. before he passed on the way to the vet i took him to the doorsteps of church he was having so much trouble breathing . please someone help me figure my feelings out...did i do something wrong? please help me im so depressed, and i miss my doggy so much. thankyou for taking the time to read this, ive been dealingw ith these thoughts for about a month now, everyone keeps teling me its not my fault but i cant help but feel like i induced his heart attack. his poor baby heart. 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Posted on June 13, 2010

J. Forst says: I lost my chihuahua about a month ago, I miss him so much I have not stopped crying everyday. I feel so guilty for his passing.

Posted on May 10, 2010

FOXY'S MOM, FRAN says: My beloved 12 year old Pom, Foxy Lady, never had a sick day until about 4 weeks ago where I awoke to find her wimpering. She was stiff and her eye's looked frightened. I picked her up and rocked her and crooned softly and she slowly relaxed and was ok. She did this several times. Then she began going under the beds often. Her appetite was good and she ate her cookies and treats well. She never left my side much, often at my feet wherever i went or laying on the chair by me when I was on the computer. Then i noticed she would suddenly sit up and pant hard. When I held her i could feel her little heart beathing so fast and so strong that it scared me. i had this bad feeling that something was very very wrong and it made me just sick at heart for fear of losing her. I took her to the vet, who on just looking at her said her eyes were fine and she said we had better take an x-ray and see whats going on. When she came back she said Fran, the worst new's ever for this sweet girl Foxy. I felt i could fall in a heap at those words. She showed me the e-ray and she said my foxy's heart was so enlarged it was pushing her tracia smack up against her backbone and her bredathing was at times, almost nil. none. She said I had 3 choices. 1. To take her home and let her die at her own rate, and with the fluid she had she would be drowning in her own liquid. 2. I could put her on a water pill to take care of the water, and a heart pill that would cost me a frotune and she might live a day, a week, a year even but it would miserable for her the entire time. 3. I could have her put to sleep and cease her suffering.....I live on a very very small income and could not afford heart medications that were costly, even for myself. I did not want to just watch her drown in her own water, nor even live a year in missery, so I had her put down. I held her little sweet head in my hands as the vet put the needle into her little foot and the last thing my Foxy did was lick me on the mouth and she was gone that fast. I have cried over her for over 2 solid weeks as i miss her so much. Yet my loving grandson who was with me at the time, and the vet who is a friend and knows what Foxy meant to me, said i had made the right decision. It was the heardest thing I ever did, but I kn0w she is at peace and not suffering. Later on today I read an article from a person who works at a shelter and they only give most animals 72 hours and then they put them to sleep and offten a vet don't do it and sometimes they poke the dog 14 times or so and the dog is in such pain, and flops all over and takes a long time to die. I know I now did the right thing. I an elderly and prayed she would go before me so i would not have to worry about her getting cared for. I am not ill and don't plan to die anytime soon, but now Foxy is at rest and somehow I feel my letting her go to sleep was the last loving thing I could every do for her and somehow with her last lick to me, she may have know it to....Now its me in pain for missing her so much.

Posted on April 5, 2010

kim says: my maltese kellan age 10 had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart last july , in the 1 year period since he has been taking the water pill to keep fluid from his heart he has lost 1/3 if his body weight now you can feel every bone in his body even thou his appetite is still good. I have decided to go to a holistic vet to see if they can do anything for him I have researched holistic sites and there are a few treatments that look promisng I encourge anyone that has a sick vet to also check alternative remedies for this disease I know he cannot live forever but he can live better

Posted on February 23, 2010

Chris says: I'm torn. I just lost my Dobie, Austin, to heart failure. I took him to 3 vets and never got the correct diagnosis until we took him to the hospital after he collapsed and died very suddently while playing in the park. I'm torn because he died happy, doing his favorite thing, in his favorite place with his favorite person; and it was very quick. I didn't have to see him deteriorate and he did not suffer but I sure wish he was still with me, I can barely contain my grief. But he had 11 good years of being my special boy and loved constantly. I feel for you all who have lost pets and are worries over your sick and older pets.

Posted on December 30, 2009

Diana says: My beautiful 12 year old maltese Missy died on Dec. 28th of congestive heart failure. She was diganose with it 6 months ago. She started to slow and was on medication Vetamin, Lasik and Enapril to help her live a comfortable life. She started to weak the past month until the last two weeks she lost her ability to walk and appeittie. Her kidneys failed and she went into a depression. The vet believed it was best to put her down. It was one of the most difficult things I had to do b/c Missy was part of my family. It was and always will be one the saddest day because she was my best friend. Missy you will always be in my heart.

Posted on November 2, 2009

liz says: my loving cutest dog of all maltese boss passed away today. he was 12 years old. he had heart murmur and had it for several years. sad day for me.

Posted on September 21, 2009

Lee says: My 9 year old chin - Chloe has been coughed off an on all day -I took her for an emergencdy visit to t vet ourt of my town because I was on vacation with my dog and they gave her a complete exam and she has an enlarged heart the same as her twin sister who died of heart failure 3 years ago. she was the runt and not as robust as Chloe. The vet prescribed 20mg Furosemide for fluid and 10 mg Enalapril for fluid. They are recommending that I take her for follow-up with my reg vet (cardiologist) for ultra sound. They also told me that the meds will not cure her they will only make her more comfortable. So I am not planning to have ulta sounds, etc., I am not sure how long she has left on this earth with me but I will continue with the meds and regular vet check ups.

Posted on September 1, 2009

Chele says: I have a darling maltese who has been our family compainion for the past 12 years. He was recently diagnosed with a heart mumur and has begun to have seizures. It is so sad to watch the dog and faithful companion begin to slow down. I am so afraid that we will lose him soon.

Posted on May 31, 2009

Elaine Remington says: My puppy, 7 months old has an enlarged heart. She is on fluid medication and antibodics. How long on average does a puppy with this condition live? I think I bought her with this condition. Meanwhile I'm trying to keep her as comfortable as possible. Is fluid on the lungs considered heart failure?

Posted on July 4, 2009

Ann Lynn says: I rescued a Maltese/Poodle and found she was having trouble breathing. We found out she couldn't breath from her nose. I took her to my vetr (I trust) and she looked at her x-ray and said she had an enlarged heart, but she also had nasal problems. So she was given antibiotic and a antihistimine w/steriods. We have not handled the heart problem yet. One step at a time. I love her and will do everything to keep her healthy.

Posted on August 25, 2009

Noah says: I got my maltese "Cotton" when he was 3-4 years old from the animal defense league. When I had taken him in, he already had a collapsed trachea which caused coughing an hacking so when I noticed him coughing and hacking recently, I assumed it was due to his collapsed trachea. His excess lethargy and frequent vomiting coupled with a "gurgling" sound in his chest compelled me to bring him into the vet immediately. Because of the gurgling sound, I was thinking some sort of pnuemonia or bronchitus. Unfortunately, my vet informed me that this sound is coming from his heart and is due to heart failure. He pescribed Vetimed and only charged me for the medicine...not the visit. He informed me to return in a week to determine if this drug is helping. He said "I can refer you to a specialist if you like and you can get an EKG done, but this will only tell you how bad his heart failure is with greater spcificity, something I can tell you is bad by the sound of his heart. It will not change the treatment" Alot of young vets rely on tests because they make more money on them and yes, they are more accurate...but accurate in the sense that they tell can tell you the location of the Wal-mart within 3 inches of it's central point when all you need to know is the cross streets. That being said, I am sad to watch my baby boy die of heart failure, but confident that with my vet of 35 years, I do not need to worry that I will go broke being ripped off because I care so much, or that m baby Cotton will suffer a lower qality of life in his final years. My vet is comitted to preseving and extending the life of my pet, who is like a son to me. I only wish his little heart will last longer than the prognosis's that I have read because I love him so much.

Posted on April 15, 2009

Penny says: My 14 year old bearded collie has just been diagnosed with an enlarged heart (heart failure). She has been holding her own since diagnosis with meds, then suddenly she seems to be unable to walk more than a few steps before her back end collapses, she is off her food. Also she appears to have stopped coughing - does this mean that she is responding or that her lungs are filling with fluid that she is unable to get rid of. Basically does this mean that she is at the end of her life. Please help, it's hard to bear

Posted on May 7, 2009

Cindy says: My 12 year old terrier mix has been on Enalpril heart meds and a diaretic for 1 year. He is slowly doing worse. He has coughing spells several times a day. He is going to the vet for another set of xrays and blood work this week. I wonder how many months he has left. So far, no fainting spells. I have him on lower salt diet (by using senior dog food.) He goes for walks just fine, but when he runs around to play ball he coughs. Sad.

Posted on May 19, 2009


Posted on November 19, 2008

Rev Marty McGrail says: Our toy poodle was Dx by x-ray w/slightly enlarged heart. There are times we have seen her gasping for breath. The ER Vet told us to bring her to a Cardioligists should she encounter problems. Can you provide any info regarding this subject and what we might expect. Thank you.

Posted on June 16, 2008

Cindy says: My dog Scooter is a 16.5 year old Chihuahua. He's been on heart medication Enalapril for the last 3 years. He'd occasionally have boughts of coughing,which we knew was a result of his condition,but generally had been leading a normal,happy semi active life. About 3 weeks ago however,over a weekend he began to have coughing fit's and his breathing became labored. My husband and I also noticed when we'd carry him that his heart was pounding hard in his chest. I took him to our Vet and he did an EKG and CXR which showed an enlarged heart with a bit of fluid in his lungs. His heart is so enlarged now that he hardly has any lung space left,poor buddy. We've been diligent with regular Vet care and med's,as a matter of fact his last EKG in December showed an improvement. Anyway, his Vet upped his heart medication adding a diuretic to remove the fluid from his lungs. His breathing has improved, although thus far ( 2 weeks in ) he has good days and bad.His heart isn't pouning hard either. His energy level has been way down tho, understandiby so. I'd like to have him on oxygen therepy when he need's it, like they would give a human in this condition. He obviously has reduced oxygen levels so I'm going to present this to the Vet at this weeks appointment,we'll see how that goes over. He does seem much better today, but was eh yesterday so as I said,some day's are good and some not so good, all in all though he's improved since they upped his heart medication and added the diuretic. I love this dog and it's sad to see the change in him. He'll tire easily when I take him out and we usually carry him back inside,He sit's down in the grass alot and seems to take in his surroundings,listening to the birds and watching the bunnies and squrrels dart by. The old Scooter wound bound after them, but not anymore, it's almost as if he know's he's at the end of his life and as I said, is taking it all in.

Posted on May 11, 2008

carole says: hi i have two dogs one sadlay paste away a year in june the one thates left hase a bade heare two she wase really bade pasing blude in here stool she keeps thinking i will give here a row but she is ill and not here falte we get dogs thay give us love and companionship all there lives so do we not tacke care off them my furst dog jasper paste at15years off age i walk a nuther dog for a laday with altimers she was pout in two a home so jaspe and i took here home with us we hade here for three years but she hade cancer and i hade two get here pout two sleep jasper after thate when i took him out barked till i brot him home all the time so i sed to my frend i will have to get a nuther dog as in his waye he wase telling me he miss her so my pale got me a toy poould as i only have a smalle flate not fair two big dogs the poould oner hade goninto a home as she hade athris mitzy went two three difrent homes as she wase being notay and doing number2think she thot if i am nottay i will be sent home but she came two live with jasper and me insted i did know wate i wase tacking on but it didnt matter two me i understood wate wase rong but now eight years on and nursing two throw this condishon still dusint bother me i have hade grate fun and enyoment from my two companins i still have mitzay some days i think how am i gowing two get this med in here as she is not eating then at three she get to be a difrent dog playing ball and beeng a pup agen so as i sed at the biging threr wase blud in here stool and she wase so fragil looking after a nuther bout dermont the vet sed its about time so my frend how got my mitzay in the furst plase is the one ho dusint want me two do it but to see my we pall go thow it allagen isint beeing fare i have to do it for hir i have two be humain as and strong for mitzay as much as i love her i love hir two much two see hur suffer enay more so if she hase a nuther bout we will see its not esay but woodent we wish the same? janettee go to canda soon and i feel thate we have hade a grate time all off us time is a grate healler and we do find the stren to go no all the veray best tinking off you c ps i have fond three years on med .

Posted on March 2, 2008

rose says: i brought my maltese up to emergncy care and at firts he listend to his heart and he said he had a hart murmur. I brought him him bcasue he was coughing weird and not eating any of his hard food or cookies. He first told me he was taking blood and a few xrays then he cam ein and said his heart wa beating very fast becasue he would not let him take a xray so he wanted to sedate him in which i was concerned of because he is 11 and they gave him 50 mg of morphine. he told me he had to stay over night and of course the bill went from 900...which is fine if he really needed to stay over BUT i think he just ripped me off for 900 dollars . my dogs blood work came out fine amazinly as he said...Its so sad that they take advantage of pople that are so worried about there animlas

Posted on April 17, 2008

Judi says: My Japanese Chin male just died from DCM which he had for over 3 years. He was on a diuretic and increasing doses of an ACE. My boy was 12 years old. DCM is a terrible disease just like it is in humans. I don't know why some get it and others don't but it is universally fatal. You can extend the life of your pet with careful monitoring of symptoms, regular vet care and a healthy diet and activity level. You really need to be in tune with your pet to know when and if he's fatigued, when to adjust doses of medications, etc.

Posted on April 25, 2008

Bev says: My baby, Britney, is 7 years old and has just been diagnosed with an enlarged heart.She is on meds but I am wondering what her life expectancy might be.I know it will be just a guess but I need to hear something.Thank you.

Posted on May 1, 2008

Lisa says: I adopted a Jack Russell / Bassett Hound mix last year, he is 3 years old now, and was just diagnosed with an enlarged heart. Jax just finished heart worm treatment as he was diagnosed as heart worm positive in February. (the vet believes he must have been biten by something before his adoption, as his test the shelter did was negative, and I had him on preventative for the year!) I took him back to the vet on April 21 for his final heart worm test that was negative, but the tech drew the blood and read the results, as a Dr. was not in that morning. Jax had a small lump on his side that I was concerned about so I asked to have another appt with the vet, we went back on that following Saturday, they believe the lump is from the injection, but in talking to him, I said I was also concerned as he has been getting winded on walks, and still sleeping an awful lot for such a youngster, the Doctor decided to do a chest x-ray which revealed the enlarged heart. I am scared to death for this little one! He started the medication on saturday, and we have to go back for an ultrasound in two weeks, I just would like any info about what his quality of life will be like? and how much exercise is good or bad??? Thank you!

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