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aschlemm

Congestive heart failure

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Hi,

     Ziva had a mild heart murmur starting at age 7.  The cardiologist did an echo cardiogram and said she had tricuspid and mitrial valve insufficiency but didn't need any medication at that time.  The following year the murmur was a little louder.  The cardiologist said she had heart chamber enlargement so she was started on pimobendan (vetmedin.)  A myxoma (benign tumor) was seen in her left atrium.  She has been checked every 6-9 months since then and things have remained stable.  About a month ago, the dogs were with my Mom while I was at work and she noticed Ziva breathing rapidly.  Ziva then jumped off her lap and started gagging and became weak.  She called me at work and brought her to me.  I work at a Veterinary Hospital and we radiographed Ziva's chest and she had pericardial effusion (fluid around her heart.)  She is now in congestive heart failure.  She was started on lasix and benazepril and is now doing fine.  We have an appointment with the cardiologist in about 10 days.

      Who out there has had a Border with congestive heart failure?  How did they do?  What medications were they on?  Did you change the diet?  Give any supplements?  I'm upset because it seemed to come on fast after she has been stable for years.  I've been monitoring her respiratory rate and watching for a cough or exercise intolerance for years and there wasn't any changes until that day when she started gagging.

     Thank you for any information

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Not a border collie, but our chihuahua mix rescue had a similar history.  After years with an asymptomatic heart murmur, Bob developed CHF at age 10.  (All ages are guesses since when we rescued him our vet estimated age at 7.)  We started him on pimobendan and lasix.  Pimobendan did not help and had bad side effects, so was discontinued.  He lived a good life until age 17 when a sudden crisis left no choice but to euthanize him.  The crisis actually seemed to be caused by his idiopathic epilepsy (occasional partial focal seizures) not his heart.

I'm really sorry this is happening, and hope that you have many more years with Ziva.

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How is Ziva doing? My Willow had suspected mitral valve prolapse. She was on Enalapril for years and pimobendan for a period of time (on two different occasions). In the middle of all that she also battled mast cell cancer, which eventually went into remission—this is why she was off vetmedin for a while, was unemployed and had to cut expenses during cancer treatment).  She did not develop congestive heart failure that I know of, at least not till the very end maybe. We monitored heart enlargement with radiographs every 6 months to a year. Her murmur was a grade V for years. As her heart enlarged it impinged on her trachea, which caused that characteristic cough. She lived to be one month shy of 17, the longest lived of all my border collies. 
 

J.

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Hi,

     Thanks for the replies.  I rescheduled our cardiologist appointment due to covid-19.  It is now for the end of April.  Ziva, thankfully, acts totally fine as far as activity level and no cough and a normal respiratory rate.  My one concern is for 1-2 days about every two weeks her appetite is off.  I had a chem screen done after the first episode (being concerned that she may have a kidney issue) but everything was fine.  She has never been a picky dog.  I know she hates taking pills so I hand pill her before she eats so she won't have issues with "something" being in her food.  She has eaten the same prescription food for years.  I've even added cannned prescription food.  Every two weeks she just doesn't want it but she looks at the other dog's food and then runs to the treat cupboard when I walk there.  I break up a treat or two, add it to her food and she eats without a problem.  I'm not sure if I'm being played or if there is a real problem.  I've never known of lasix putting a dog off food but I looked up benazepril and it can cause GI problems, but it seems weird that it would only do it every two weeks.  Wow!  Age 17!  I'd be absolutely thrilled if Ziva lived that long a life :D

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