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Coughing from Enlarged Heart

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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Charlie

Haven't met- anyone I didn't- like.
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 20, '09 8:33am PST 
My dog has mitral valve disease and in the last year, a resultant enlarged heart. He coughs but it is hard to say if it is from the allergies he has ( he has always coughed, even before the heart problems.) I am not sure if the coughing is increased or not since he has had the heart problems.

Does anyone have a dog who coughs because the heart is pressing on the airway, not because he is in heart failure. My dog is not in heart failure so it is not a cough due to fluid in the lungs.

I am wondering when a dog with an enlarged heart coughs most and do they have a productive cough (seem to bring up mucous) Two vets tell me it is hard to say if it is allergies or heart. The problem is that he is now on heart meds, assuming it is heart related couging and not allergies.
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Bandit -In- Loving- Memory 06/09

26737
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 21, '09 8:12am PST 
Hi. The Bandit had mitral valve leak. In the last 6 months of his life, he would cough but it was mostly from pollen and general stuff, not from his enlarged heart. The reason of just giving this timeline, is that in Dec 2007, the Cardio Vet we started seeing in April 2007, said the leak got bigger in the short time, and the outcome is terminal.
In the last few days of his life, his cough would last for a few more minutes and sounded much more severe/hoarse. More of a sound like he couldn't clear his throat, and I would massage in downward direction to soothe it.
You may be able to distingush the different sounds of 'regular' coughing vs. heart failure symptoms.
I honestly did not know what to expect- symptomwise. I had the list of symptoms written on the driving directions to ER, and the necessary Vet numbers and that was on the fridge. I was more than welcome to call my Vet and run ???'s by them. It seemed that I called them at least once a week, and if they didnt hear from me in one week's time, they called me to check up on his condition!

The pic of Bandit in front of bench was taken on the day we were going to go to Vet for the final time but he was having a really great day!

I hope some of this is useful to you. Good luck.
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Charlie

Haven't met- anyone I didn't- like.
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 21, '09 9:48am PST 
Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate any information. Can you tell me when he had the cough most, was it when he first woke up and not throughout the day.

Did he also have an enlarged heart? I am asking because the cardiologist does not know if the cough is from enlarged heart or allergies and right now he is on heart meds but I don't want him to be taking that if the cough is from another cause.

Was he on any heart medications and did he go into heart failure ever? My dog is not in heart failure but has a very enlarged heart. He coughs when he wakes up but his eyes are also all full of mucous so I am thinking allergies. Thanks for your answer in advance.
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Seth

984872
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 21, '09 5:21pm PST 
I have also had a dog with an enlarged heart and he did cough alot. My heart goes out to both you and your dog and i hope the best for both of you.
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Ch. Luke, in memory.

Luke--- the dog talking
 
 
Barked: Mon Sep 21, '09 5:29pm PST 
I lost my first Frenchie to heart disease... toward the end, in spite of several heart meds, she would have coughing spells... almost like she was choking! They would happen at any time of the day (or night). Finally, during one coughing spell, she actually passed out from lack of oxygen and when she came to, she had severe brain damage so she was, sadly, euthanized. On the positive side... she was 15 years old, well over the average for a Frenchie, and she was on the heart meds for over four years with excellent results until the last 3 or 4 weeks of her life. Her heart problem was discovered from a persistant cough... no other symptoms were evident so she was treated for kennel cough, etc., until we finally did some chest x-rays and discovered fluid in her lungs and an enlarged heart.
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Bandit -In- Loving- Memory 06/09

26737
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 22, '09 9:06am PST 
The Bandit coughed more frequently as his condition worsen.I remember the length of cough increased also. It got very bad in the last 2 weeks. His heart was rounding, as the Cardio Vet said it would. He was on several meds and supplements- Taurine, L-Carnitine, enapril, lasix are just a couple of them I remember off the top of my head. We did add in new meds in those last 6 months- Vetmedin was one. That was added due to the syncope episodes he had. Syncope- dog collaspes, but still conscious due to the heart beating an extra beat or from excitement.
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Bandit -In- Loving- Memory 06/09

26737
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 22, '09 9:37am PST 
Oh and Charlie- The Bandit did have many congested heart failure symptoms before I sent him to the Bridge. They just slowly crept up on us. Then he told me very loud and clear by his behavior and demeanor that he was ready to go. He was always the Mama's boy since I brought him home to foster! But he started to refuse his meds. His appetite was not there. He got more smaller frequent meals thruout the day, and at this point I used baby food, puppy food, kitten food, anything to encourage some eating! After a very restless night, where he could not lay down to get comfy as he would have the coughing episodes, it was time for him to leave me.
I still get sad when I think about losing both Bandit and Cookies just months apart.
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Tohbi - Deceased- 10/04/2013

Blue-Eyed Devil
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 22, '09 9:50am PST 
Ummm... I'm not sure if this is true for dog, but I'm VERY familiar with heart disease in people.

If the cough is heart related, its likely not the heart pressing on the windpipe, but more likely to be Pulmonary Edema. Its fluid that builds up in the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. If your dog has this, the vet should be able to hear the crackle in the lungs. If they listened to the lungs and didn't hear anything bad - I'd lean a bit more toward the allergies. That would be a good thing!

Like I said - not sure about dogs.
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Bandit -In- Loving- Memory 06/09

26737
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 22, '09 10:36am PST 
Thanks Tohbi! I do remember there were/are some things similar!
The regular Vet we were in constant communication with for Bandit's last 6 months, her hubby is a human cardiologist! She ran things of Bandit by him too- as well as contacting the Cardio Vet. ( Cardio Vet said it was okay to do for Bandit!) Bandit was put on Lasix to clear fluid from lungs. Got that and the blood pressure meds from the human pharmacy w/ a standing refill.
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Drake

What dont kill- you only makes- you strong
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 22, '09 3:36pm PST 
Tohbi has a great point. Drakes cough has cleared up completely due to being place on a round of pred now no cough. He has an enlarged heart but not bad enough to be on any heart meds yet. My vet xrays and checks blood work and determined he had bronchitis due to allergy's. Good luck with your fuzz. The heart meds can cause appetite loss so my vet recommends using warm sodium free broth to encourage eating. Mutts my greyhound mix we lost due to congestive heart failure was pulled off her meds ( I forget what she was on) due to not eating.
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