Just diagnosed enlarged heart need advice

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  • #132690 Report Abuse

    Patricia A
    Member

    I think the regulars on this board know I have the three Chihuahuas’. My Hannah Belle has been coughing for a few months now. She will be 17 in June. Initially diagnosis was collapsing trachea and she was given cough meds. It was impossible to get the drops in her. Hiding little drops in appealing food to her did not work. Would not eat it. At one point her cough got so much better. Just a little before sleep. Vet said on our second visit that she did have a heart murmur caused from the mitral valve and how that’s contributing to the cough. He said X-ray with ultrasound was necessary to give meds. He suggested not to put her through all this. Her cough got worse and I took her back today. We started with an X-ray which did show enlarged heart contributed not from diet but age. I asked for pill form of cough suppressant since he said the coughing is causing the heart to work harder. He said good news is she does not have any fluid on lungs. So he said ultrasound will be very beneficial in determining what heart meds she needs.I will do anything to make her more comfortable and just maybe my Hannah will have more time with us in comfort. She eats well. At this point only fresh food. Loves her steak, salmon, chicken etc. She still is alert and will even walk around backyard recently now that it’s sunnier and on a warmer day. I feel she still has quality of life left.
    Now this is the problem. My vet has a traveling ultrasound guy. He said he’s a pain because he wants all dogs there by 7am but might not show up till 11. I asked if he can call me when he gets there and take other dogs and i’ll be there in less then 10minutes since I live close . He said no because he might only have one other dog that day and will not wait. I said i’d be willing to sit with Hannah even two hours in office if I can have approximate time he’ll be there. But since he goes from vet office to vet office they can’t tell me when he’ll pop in. So I might be waiting for hours. I just HATE letting Hannah at her age sitting in a cage for hours. I am torn now whether to get the ultrasound. I’m so scared her heart won’t take the stress from this. Does anyone have experience with enlarged heart in senior dogs and if they make symptoms better? Please I need encouragement.

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Patricia A.
    #132724 Report Abuse

    anon101
    Member

    I hope that this doesn’t sound harsh but at age 17 she is near the end of her life span.

    If it was my dog I would do all I could to keep her comfortable, however I would not be aggressive with treatment or do additional testing, I would treat the symptoms with prescribed meds, diet, TLC.

    I know how hard it is to be objective when you are emotionally involved, I’ve been there.

    Most dogs don’t enjoy going back and forth to the vet and find it stressful.
    That being said, every situation is different.
    Please take a step back, talk to close friends and family. Take care.

    #132749 Report Abuse

    Patricia A
    Member

    Thank’s anon for reply and advice. I’ve been wrapping her comfortably in her blanket and walk around the house when she has a spell. She quiets down and I do notice the less she coughs, the less she coughs. So I will be picking up the pills that I will cut in 1/4 for her size tomorrow from pharmacy. So at least I feel good the vet said the coughing puts a strain on heart and will she will definitely feel better not coughing so much. She actually didn’t cough at the vets at all today and has had very little coughing since then.
    The vet said the echo is taken with someone holding her and takes less time then X-ray. He said it will make the rest of her life more comfortable.I feel the pain and tears of guilt if I don’t give her the heart medication knowing it will help her symptoms of the enlargement. I also know the pain of waiting too long because of not being able to let go as with my Doxie many years ago. Maybe only waited a week too long before saying goodbye when he got really bad. But we’re still guilt ridden and cry about not being able to do it and him suffering .
    As of right now like I said she still is active, eating and has energy. I’ll have the weekend to make a decision.

    #132783 Report Abuse

    Vikki A
    Member

    Patricia A
    My Frasier has had a Heart Murmur for a long time now. His lungs are clear, but he does cough off and on. He is taking Pimobendan for his heart, Benazepril for his blood pressure and Furisemide for the cough. The Furosemide is a Diuretic, so He ha to P more frequently. I also have him on a low salt diet. He, is just like yours, happy and eating and every so often chairing squirrels. He is being a dog. Did you say you were feeding her raw? Do you supplement vitamins and minerals? Send me an email and I’ll send you some information. Maybe ask your vet about Pimobendan (this is the generic for Vetmendan)
    [email protected]
    Sincerely,
    Vikki

    #132784 Report Abuse

    Patricia A
    Member

    Thank you Vikki for posting this. My other two eat freeze dried Primal Stella’s and Bixbi but Hannah never would eat those. Out of canned, I’ve tried her on several brands and flavors, she’ll only eat wellness supplemental. Her diet now is boiled chicken dark meat, roast beef cut from roast at deli, steak, london broil, salmon, string beans, carrots , watermelon . She will eat a few Bixbi rawbble freeze dried which i’m really grateful for. Their small crunchy and she’s getting proper nutrition from them. When I thought the coughing was just from the collapsed trachea I would sneak her some french fries just for her. Something I never did when she was younger. Now I realize she would cough more after doing that. Didn’t know about her enlarged heart then with the salt being worse thing for her.
    So good to hear your Frasier is doing so well on the meds. Helped me make up my mind to take her Monday for the sono and get her meds.
    [email protected]..Really appreciate information Vikki Thank’s

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