Just Diagnosed with Heart Disease

This is a special place for pups to share their love and support for each other during difficult times; it's a place to light candles, give the "Power of the Paw," and let everyfur know they are never ever alone.


Proud to be a- Momma's boy!
Barked: Fri Sep 19, '08 2:34pm PST 
This week my mom got the sad news that I have the beginning symptoms for heart disease. Right now Im on a diuretic and a vasodilator. I gave my mom a terrible scare this week, but I'm doing better today. Does any mom have any advice or ideas for taking care of me?? The vet did not put any restrictions on me, but what do we have to look forward to?? Thanks in advance!

pupster ( In- Heaven now )

Nothing like a- tummy rub
Barked: Fri Sep 19, '08 4:34pm PST 
i lived till i was almost 9 with heart problems.
stay on the meds.
watch your weight.
don't do anything TOO strenouse .
enjoy your family and let them enjoy you.
Aloha, Pupster

( Magic & Peanuts brother )little angel
Oliver -- My Beloved -

Dogs make you a- better human
Barked: Fri Sep 19, '08 10:29pm PST 
HI Louie....since your Mom caught your heart disease in the early stages--there is so much that can be done. Do some research on the internet to learn all you can and I would recommend getting an ultrasound to be able to see exactly what the heart looks like--then you have one to compare later ones to. Try to limit salt too. Make sure your vet keeps you informed and don't be afraid to ask questions or even get second opinions. So many dogs have lived a long, good life with managed heart problems. I know others will give you advice too. My best advice is to keep having regular checkups to stay on top of any changes . Best of luck--I know it is scary; but with the right information, you have a great chance of managing it and having lots of love time with Louie.


Proud to be a- Momma's boy!
Barked: Sat Sep 20, '08 5:29am PST 
Thanks Pupster & Oliver for the advice. We have to go back to the vet in two weeks for a checkup. He said if I respond well to the meds I'm on now, we'll just keep on keeping on until my symptoms get worse. Mom has tried to get online to find information, but she is kind of challenged in that area!! big laugh But she will keep trying.....alot of it is in medical mumbo jumbo...she just wishes she could find one that talks 'mom'!!!

Thanks again!!wave

Beauty and- Brains
Barked: Sat Sep 20, '08 7:21pm PST 
Stay pawsitive Louie,

Lots of doggies live with heart disease. Your mom will help you.

Its sometimes hard to find things on the Internet, but keep trying. The more you know, the better you can take care of Louie.

Good luck and big hugs.hughughug

Ruf, dog Ruby
Lucy Louise

Just call me- Grandma.
Barked: Sat Sep 20, '08 9:13pm PST 
Hi, Louie! I also have heart disease, but with meds and diet and such, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with me. Pupster had good advice: stay on your meds, don't overstress the heart (or the kidneys), go for low sodium diet, and you should do well for possibly quite a while. Good luck! Oh...and keep Louie's teeth clean. Will try to talk "Mom" for ya!

Basically, heart disease in small dogs is usually a result of mitral valve dysfunction. Often, this is closely related to gum disease as bacteria from the mouth easily get into the bloodstream and attach to the heart valves resulting in infection called endocarditis. (This is why it's really important to keep those pearly whites clean and healthy.) Anyway, the valves malfunction often leading to mitral valve regurgitation where the valve doesn't work right and blood flows backwards back into the lungs. This results in fluid build-up, also called pulmonary edema. It also results is less oxygen-filled blood being pumped to the rest of the body. This left-sided murmur is called a systolic murmur. In the case of a right-sided murmur (which involves the tricuspid valve and is also called a diastolic murmur), the fluid backs up into the abdomen instead resulting in ascetes or a distended belly. In humans, usually fluid builds up in the feet and hands as well. When there is significant edema, diuretics are prescribed to prevent congestive heart failure. Usually, some sort of ACE inhibitor is prescribed to lessen the amount of work the heart is forced to do by lowering the blood pressure. Overtime without such a blood pressure med, the heart muscle increases in size which puts pressure on the trachea making any evidence of congestive heart failure even worse in terms of lung function. Read: more coughing, wheezing and less ability to get around without overexertion due to less oxygen. When medication is prescribed it's really important to make sure that a dog's kidneys are functioning up to par because some of the work that the heart has been failing to do gets shunted to the kidneys instead. And of course diuretics are kinda hard on the kidneys as well. This is why it's so important to regulate sodium. The more salt a person (or dog as the case may be) takes in, the more fluid is retained. So, you can see why sodium must be restricted when there is evidence of edema, especially pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs causing congestive heart failure). You want to reduce fluid, not increase it. Most prescription heart diets and also most senior dog foods are lower in sodium and higher in easily digestible protein which makes managing heart disease and kidney function a lot easier.

Good luck! Hope this was a more "mom-friendly" explanation than the medical texts you've encountered. Mom knows a WHOLE lot about this because she has a history of mitral valve disease in addition to me being diagnosed with it a little over a year ago. wink
Cosmo Enyce- Politan

Got your owner- LQQKin!
Barked: Tue Nov 4, '08 9:27am PST 
Okay Hi everyfur wave
Sorry to steal your post Louie, but I have pulmonary stenosis. Mom didn't really understand it and the vet wasn't helpful the last time we went. We're on the waiting list to see a different vet is much more familiar with this kind of diagnosis, but we just wanted to know if any other dogs out there had pulmonary stenosis? What kind of treatments did the vet recommend? Different kind of diet? Our vet didn't say anything... shrug


I LOVE- everyone!!!!!
Barked: Sun Nov 16, '08 12:06pm PST