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Enlarged heart and trouble breathing. Anything more I can do to help her?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Rocket

Miss Boss
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 8:53pm PST 
My baby girl, Rocket, is two months away from her 12th birthday and she's always been a healthy dog until lately. She was diagnosed with a heart murmur a year and a half ago but at the time it was so minor that the vet didn't recommend doing anything (it was less than a 1 on a scale from 1 to 10). Now, however, it's a 5 or 6. The past month she's been couching and at first it appeared to be bronchitis but today we went back for a second x-ray and it looks worse. Her heart is now enlarged pushing on her lungs and there is also a problem in her lung that could affect her breathing.

The bad breathing problem started last night and my poor baby couldn't sleep. She's breathing really fast. Her chest is moving up and down almost as fast is it would if she was panting. It gets worse when she lays on her side but she insists to keep doing that. It just kills me seeing her so uncomfortable. Last night she kept laying awake and clearly couldn't sleep.
She's on Enalapril and Lysix as well as Doxycline just in case of a possible infection and Tussigon as needed for cough. She started the Enalapril a few days ago and the Lysix today so I guess I'm going to have to wait and give it time to work but I'm hoping that someone has some suggestions or ideas of how to make Rocket more comfortable so she can sleep. She's sleeping now but it doesn't look restful. I got her a new bed but she won't sleep in it.

Has anyone else gone through having a dog with an enlarged heart? I'd love to hear what you did and how your dog did.

Thanks.
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Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 4:09am PST 
We are so sorry she's suffering with this condition. It's never easy to see them in pain. Many hugs to you and your family. My Jaxey had similar symptoms from a very different reason. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything we could do for her, except try to make her as comfortable as possible. hughughughughughughughughughughug
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Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 4:23am PST 
There another post about the same thing in this thread titled "My Chocolate Lab". The responding posters had some good advice. You should scroll down and read it. Hope it helps.
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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 6:38am PST 
I don't have any experiences with heart, but I know there are others here who can offer some feedback. It sounds like you are working closely with your vet so that's a good thing. I do know there are different meds that work for those with heart problems. I'm sending you lots of PoP that you will be okay and that you feel comfortable soon

hughughughughughughughughughug
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Ikan

976039
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 9:21am PST 
I do have experience with this. And really besides give them their pills and cut back on anything that may be stressful to them. No there is not much you can do. Just love them and be thankful for the time you have with them.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 9:37am PST 
hughughughughughughughughughugwishes as Ikan said enjoy the time you have left as much as you can. I too,know how difficult this is.flowers
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Frankie

Cheese? PLEASE!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 9:49am PST 
It breaks my heart to read this post..
hughughughughughug
I agree with what the others have said, just be there for her as much as possible and cherish the time you have had with her...hug
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Rocket

Miss Boss
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 7, '12 2:13pm PST 
My poor Rocket is still not doing any better and still has trouble breathing. It's so hard to watch her suffer and not be able to do anything. The worst part is the sleep. She's so uncomfortable and can only sleep for short periods of time.
I'm really wondering if this could be a side effect of the medication because it started just a few hours after she took the first dose of Enalapril. On Tuesday she was doing okay except for the cough and we even took a long walk. But about 5-6 hours after she took the first dose of Enalapril she started the short, labored breaths and couldn't sleep. Breathing problems is a symptom of heart disease but it is also a side effect of Enalapril. I don't know if it's just a coincident that it started after taking the first dose or not. I wonder if maybe it would be best to take her off it for a few days and see what happens. I'm waiting for the vet to call me back so I can ask. Does anyone have any experience with Enalapril?

Apparently an enlarged heart is not a disease in itself but it's a consequence of a number of different diseases. To treat it correctly you have to know the cause. I have an appointment on the 17th for an echocardiogram so I hope they can get an idea of what's going on. I'm going to take her down to Purdue University for it. It's a 2.5 hour drive but it's close to $300 cheaper than the cardiologists around here. I don't really have the $280 it will cost at Purdue either but I have ten days to come up with it.

I just want to get Rocket's breathing better now though. She can't continue to have it like this. Any ideas on how to help the breathing?
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Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 7, '12 6:56pm PST 
Has your vet called you back yet about the meds? Also, have you looked into Care Credit? That might be an option for you. Please keep us posted. hug
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Rocket

Miss Boss
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 7, '12 7:57pm PST 
Yeah, the vet called me back and told me to take her off the Enalapril in case that is what is causing the problem. I really hope it gets better but if it doesn't I don't know what I'll do. I asked about trying a bronchodilator but the vet wanted to wait a few days. I said okay but I really regret that now. I don't think the vet understood how hard it is for Rocket to breathe. In fact I should have asked to talk to another vet. There are seven vets in the office and most are good but I don't like this one. I've had some bad experience with her in the past. She didn't know the difference between FIV and FIP and I think a vet should.
I'm so worried about Rocket and I just have a feeling that this is not going to end well. I always thought Rocket was going to live to be at least 17 but she's not even 12. I don't think I can stand losing her. She's my firstborn. Please send some get well vibes our way. I want to keep my baby!
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