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  1. #1
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    Any Vets on the board?

    I got some bad news this morning about my dog. He's a doberman/lab mix and is about 4 years old. He runs with me everyday and swims quite a bit, but the past couple weeks he'd been breathing funny and coughing occasionally. My wife took him in this morning and the x-ray showed that he has dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We're both just crushed right now, he's literally my best buddy. Are there any vets out there or anyone who has dealt with DCM before? We're taking him to the animal hospital in Iowa City tomorrow for a second opinion, but just wondering if anyone has had any experience with some good treatment options, obviously there's no cure, but I just want him to have the longest, happiest life he can.


    Last edited by shawn_200m; 09-28-2010 at 11:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Any Vets on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn_200m View Post
    I got some bad news this morning about my dog. He's a doberman/lab mix and is about 4 years old. He runs with me everyday and swims quite a bit, but the past couple weeks he'd been breathing funny and coughing occasionally. My wife took him in this morning and the x-ray showed that he has dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We're both just crushed right now, he's literally my best buddy. Are there any vets out there or anyone who has dealt with DCM before? We're taking him to the animal hospital in Iowa City tomorrow for a second opinion, but just wondering if anyone has had any experience with some good treatment options, obviously there's not cure, but I just want him to have the longest, happiest life he can.
    Sorry to hear about your situation, had a friend who's pet got hit by this as well. The outlook is not good, the best thing you can do is make the next few weeks/months the best for your pet.

    Here is more information if you want to know more:

    Heart Failure In Your Dog - Cardiomyopathy



  3. #3
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    Re: Any Vets on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn_200m View Post
    I got some bad news this morning about my dog. He's a doberman/lab mix and is about 4 years old. He runs with me everyday and swims quite a bit, but the past couple weeks he'd been breathing funny and coughing occasionally. My wife took him in this morning and the x-ray showed that he has dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We're both just crushed right now, he's literally my best buddy. Are there any vets out there or anyone who has dealt with DCM before? We're taking him to the animal hospital in Iowa City tomorrow for a second opinion, but just wondering if anyone has had any experience with some good treatment options, obviously there's not cure, but I just want him to have the longest, happiest life he can.
    I'm sorry to hear about your buddy's heart. I am a vet and the website provided above is a good one as far as information goes. Obviously every situation is unique but I have had some "good" treatment cases using the "cocktail" of drugs to varying degrees. I don't want to give you false hope but I have had a couple cases live for a couple years after the diagnosis. I never think a second opinion is a bad idea. The more and better communication you can have with your vet the better.



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    Re: Any Vets on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by cjb1978 View Post
    Sorry to hear about your situation, had a friend who's pet got hit by this as well. The outlook is not good, the best thing you can do is make the next few weeks/months the best for your pet.

    Here is more information if you want to know more:

    Heart Failure In Your Dog - Cardiomyopathy
    Yes, to your question. I am a small animal practitioner here in NW Houston. I am so sorry to hear about your pet's diagnosis. DCM is a common heart ailment in Dobies, it is believed to be a familial, and probably dominant trait in this particular breed. There are four common clinical presentations of DCM - occult DCM, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Cardia arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death. I am sure that your veterinarian has recommended a full cardiac workup that includes Chest Radiographs, CBC, Chemistry, Echo, ECG, and Blood Pressure. In my clinical experience, it has been very important to have the Echo (ultrasound of the heart) performed in order to determine wall thickness, volume, and flow in order to determine how efficient the heart is working. It is also important in these case to have ECG run in order to determine if there are any underlying arrhythmias to be dealt with -- many can have syncope events and different rhythm disturbances. Is your pup having any signs of Congestive Heart Failure? (lethargy, depression, weakness, coughing, exercise intolerance, dependent edema, anorexia, etc). As far as medications are concerned, most deal with protection of the myocardium and management of serous arryhthmias. This management is different if the case is occult or in clinical heart failure. I hope this information helps, if you need any more information please feel free to write more or PM me.

    Sincerely,
    CloneSolo, DVM



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    Re: Any Vets on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by CysDoc View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about your buddy's heart. I am a vet and the website provided above is a good one as far as information goes. Obviously every situation is unique but I have had some "good" treatment cases using the "cocktail" of drugs to varying degrees. I don't want to give you false hope but I have had a couple cases live for a couple years after the diagnosis. I never think a second opinion is a bad idea. The more and better communication you can have with your vet the better.

    Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it. Are there major side effects with the drug cocktail? I'm most concerned about his quality of life. If the drugs would buy him a year but make him miserable, I have to take that into consideration. This just sucks. He's young, active and seems so healthy right now that I'm having a hard time accepting that he's dying.



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    Re: Any Vets on the board?

    sounds like mastitis to me.


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    Re: Any Vets on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn_200m View Post
    I got some bad news this morning about my dog. He's a doberman/lab mix and is about 4 years old. He runs with me everyday and swims quite a bit, but the past couple weeks he'd been breathing funny and coughing occasionally. My wife took him in this morning and the x-ray showed that he has dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We're both just crushed right now, he's literally my best buddy. Are there any vets out there or anyone who has dealt with DCM before? We're taking him to the animal hospital in Iowa City tomorrow for a second opinion, but just wondering if anyone has had any experience with some good treatment options, obviously there's no cure, but I just want him to have the longest, happiest life he can.
    Not a vet and no experience with this condition, but I can tell you the animal hospital in IC is outstanding and if there's anything that can be done they will do it. (All ISU grads, of course).



  8. #8
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    Re: Any Vets on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by shawn_200m View Post
    Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it. Are there major side effects with the drug cocktail? I'm most concerned about his quality of life. If the drugs would buy him a year but make him miserable, I have to take that into consideration. This just sucks. He's young, active and seems so healthy right now that I'm having a hard time accepting that he's dying.
    I would never say drugs won't have any side effects, but the drugs most likely used here, I have had little trouble with side effects. The one that I monitor most closely is digoxin so you may be doing follow up blood work for monitoring purposes. In general though, this is not a situation where the drugs make them feel so crummy that its not worth using them. If you do have side effects (most commonly vomiting or loss of appetite) let your vet know and they can manage the side effects or possibly switch to a different drug.



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