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border collie with dilated cardiomyopathy


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I have a 2yr old border collie who has been lethargic for the past 3 months. In feb she also had vomiting and diarrhoea. She is insured, so she was referred for GI workup which showed mild gastroentertitis and this has been treated. She was started on prednisolone at 30mg daily and on royal canin hypoallergenic diet. She was still very lethargic and had a low heart rate of about 30bpm. Her ECG was all normal.


She was referred to a cardiologist last week and she did a echocardiogram and it was seen that her left ventricle was enlarged with a thinning of the wall of this ventrical and systolic dysfunction. She also had slightly increased bronchial sounds. Pulses were very weak for such a slow HR.


They are investigating as whether the dilated cardiomyopathy is caused by infection or nutritional deficency, or whether she is just unlucky to get this disease so young. She had x-rays taken which showed enlarged heart. Bloods have been taken for troponin, thyroid level, taurine, myaesthenia antibodies and carnitine. She also had a holter monitor attached for 24hrs to assess her heart rhythm and rate, this was normal. HR averaged at 70bpm.


She is currently on vetmedin 7.5mg per day, prednisolone 10mg eod (which are being reduced gradually - as she was on a v. high rate), omeprazole 20mg per day.


Any advice is welcome - if anybody has any experience with a dog of this age developing this disease I would like any help. I am so worried with her, she is so young to get a disease like this. From what I have read they usually contract DCM at 4-10yrs. Or if anybody has other medication which worked for their dog. It has been a very stressful three months and we she is still no better, and from what I read the dogs with this disease only last 6mths to 1yr.


Thank you for any advice you can offer

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I'm sorry to hear about your girl's diagnosis. My BC was diagnosed with DCM in December, but he's 11 years old, so at his age, it's a bit more expected that something like this would occur. So sad to have to go through it with a 2 year old. My BC has been on Vetmedin and enalapril since Dec and then had to add furosemide in Jan to help control fluid build-up in his abdomen. He went through several weeks of stomach / digestive system upset as he adjusted to the medicine, but that finally eased up...although he's still a lot more sensitive to any dietary changes than he used to be. His main symptom now is just a lack of energy. Any walks are very slow and very short, and he spends most of his day sleeping.


I wish I had more positive info to pass along. I know how stressful it can be. There were many times this winter that I was sure my boy wouldn't last a few more days, but then he'd rebound. So, hopefully, your girl's young age will work in her favor.

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