My dog had fluid on her lungs this past April when I took her to the ER because she was coughing all night. She had Xrays of her chest and after an EKG was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Disease. At that time she was put on Furosemide 50mg twice a day and Enalapril 5mg twice a day. About a month ago, her face swelled up and I figured it was just a bad tooth - which it was and the tooth had to be pulled. They did another set up xrays and said that her heart was very enlarged and her disease has progressed. They said they would try to do the cleaning and pull the tooth but it was risky putting her under and if anything happened, they would wake her up. While in surgery, her blood pressure started dropping and she didn't respond to the meds so they woke her up, they were able to do most of the cleaning and pull one bad tooth (she has another one on the other side they couldnt do). I was told at that time it was too risky to ever put her under again. She is still on both meds above, twice a day and the vet also added Vetmedin (pimobendan) she gets a half tablet twice a day, they are 5mg each.
They told me that she can probably live another year on these meds until they stop working. So far after a couple months she seems to be ok and only coughs when she gets too excited.
Are there any other medications that will prolong her life, she is a smaller breed dog and is only 9. I am just looking for a second opinion.
It sounds like your veterinarian has been very thorough, but the best place to get a second opinion for a heart condition is at a veterinary cardiologist; you can find one near you at www.acvim.org. I found 2:
Dr. Kelly Jo Anderson-Wessberg Veterinary Specialty Center Buffalo Grove
IL ; Phone Number: (847) 459-7535
Dr. Eva K. Sikorska Animal Emergency & Referral Center 1810 Skokie Blvd.
Valve replacement surgery is not unheard of now in veterinary medicine, and you can discuss both medical and surgical options with the cardiologist.
It sounds like your vet has your dog on all the "correct" heart medications. The addition of pimobendan should help. Depending on the severity, a heart ultrasound is definitely warranted, and twice a year x-rays of the chest and kidney tests should be done too (more frequently if there is a problem). The occasional coughing can also be from the trachea being compressed by an enlarged heart (the heart is so big, it's pushing the trachea up, causing coughing); however, heart failure would be another differential or reason on why your dog is coughing. I'd recommend having your vet assess your dog; if needed, cough suppressants may be necessary once heart failure has been ruled out!
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