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D'Elle

Heart murmur

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I took my terrier Digger in to have a wellness check today and the vet said she hears a heart murmur. I will have an ultrasound done at my vet's recommendation to find out more about it before discussing treatments with my vet.

 I wanted to come here to see if anyone had experience with this, or advice, even though he is not a border collie. He's small, about 20 pounds, and although I don't know his age he has been with me for 8 years and could be 12 years old. He's very dear to me so I want to get all the info I can and make the best decisions for his care. Any words of advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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We had a somewhat similar situation with a rescue chihuahua mix, Bob.  When we found Bob eating roadkill on a busy street, our vet estimated his age at 7-9.  He had a mild heart murmur at that time.  For many years he was fine without medication, but when he was about 12 he needed lasix.  We tried vetmedin, but the side effects were bad without any discernible benefit.  (And it is expensive!)  Bob lived a good life until 14-15?, when he had a crisis and we had to euthanize him.  He was suffering, disoriented, and stopped eating.

Bob was diagnosed with his murmur at a much younger age than Digger, and that would be in Digger's favor.  I  hope you have many happy years with him as we did with Bob.

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My Pete (Border Collie) was diagnosed with a systolic ejection murmur at about age 12.  A low dose of inexpensive enalapril was all he ever needed until he died of a stroke at nearly 15.  He had zero side effects.  I hope Digger's outcome is similar.  Good luck!

Amy

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Thanks for that information and the kind words as well. I feel a bit encouraged, and appreciate that. He is not showing any of the symptoms that I found when I started reading up on it, except that he has slowed down a bit. He's likely to be 12, though, so slowing down would be expected anyway at this age. I intend to do everything I can in order for him to have as many more years of life as he can happily have.

I never even wanted a terrier before, and would have said I was "not a terrier person". Digger came unexpectedly into my world and changed all that. He showed me how wonderful it can be to share one's life with a little scruffy terrier with a huge personality.  I will be discussing enalapril  with my vet once he has had an ultrasound and we know the extent of it.

Thanks again.

 

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Good luck to you and to Digger, D'Elle, and please keep us posted. :)

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Sorry to hear this, D'Elle, but oftentimes a minor heart murmur never turns out to be significant. Megan was diagnosed with one when she was in to the vet to have a dental and so she could not be anesthetized. However, you would have never known it and she lived an active and very long (16 1/2 years) life without any ill effects. 

DH was found to have one decades ago and it has never held him back one bit. Hopefully, Digger's will be of little consequence, as well. 

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I hope Digger will still be ok and stay spunky. I haven’t had to deal with heart murmurs. :(

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Thanks very much, Sue. And thanks SS for your kind words.

I have tried to get an appointment to have an echo done on his heart so that the true picture of the problem can be revealed, but the earliest appointment is almost a month away. I hate to wait that long to find out and get him on medication. 

Now, the CBC results came back and apparently his pancreatic values are way off. But he doesn't show any of the usual symptoms for pancreatic problems: no vomiting or diarrhea, no loss of his prodigious appetite, no apparent abdominal pain etc.

Vet says not a whole lot of point in pursuing that if he is asymptomatic. We couldn't do surgery anyway. So as far as the pancreas goes it's just leave alone and see how he does. 

Why don't dogs take AT LEAST 25 years to get old? That's the only design flaw they have.

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Oh no. I’m so sorry. I hope you have many more years with him. The unknown is what gets me. I only want them to live to 25 if they can have the majority of those years as adults instead of seniors. I love seniors but I also love all the fun adventures you can go on when they are more active and less likely to be sore afterwards. 

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On 6/6/2020 at 3:17 PM, SS Cressa said:

Oh no. I’m so sorry. I hope you have many more years with him. The unknown is what gets me. I only want them to live to 25 if they can have the majority of those years as adults instead of seniors. I love seniors but I also love all the fun adventures you can go on when they are more active and less likely to be sore afterwards. 

Thanks, SS. And I agree with your point. Note I said "take at least 25 years to get old"!:D  Then, they could be old for a couple of years.

Well, when I am queen of the universe, I will make it so.:P

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I can't wait until you are Queen of the Universe!!!  My buddies are 13 and 10 and I don't want them to be old!!

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On 6/10/2020 at 1:13 PM, D'Elle said:

Thanks, SS. And I agree with your point. Note I said "take at least 25 years to get old"!:D  Then, they could be old for a couple of years.

Well, when I am queen of the universe, I will make it so.:P

Great! I've had dibs on Empress of the Universe since my mid=20s, I believe. I'm a Leo ~ we do grandiose very, very well. So, we can be the Ruling Immortals, right?

Ruth & Gibbs

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On 6/14/2020 at 4:07 PM, urge to herd said:

Great! I've had dibs on Empress of the Universe since my mid=20s, I believe. I'm a Leo ~ we do grandiose very, very well. So, we can be the Ruling Immortals, right?

Ruth & Gibbs

Sounds just fine to me. I can share the top!:D

 my very first act will be to make ticks extinct, and everything that eats ticks will have something much better to eat.

 

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44 minutes ago, D'Elle said:

Sounds just fine to me. I can share the top!:D

 my very first act will be to make ticks extinct, and everything that eats ticks will have something much better to eat.

Ooooh, my kinda Supreme Ruler of Everything. We'll have two thrones made ~ no, FOUR thrones. 2 very fancy ones for public occasions and 2 plain but extremely comfortable for just lounging around the castle. With room for a dog.

Ruth & Gibbs

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Of course, there will always be room for dogs. Plural!

On the original topic, Digger and I go in for his Echo cardiogram next week. It's gonna be kind of hard because I can't go in to the clinic and will have to wait outside while she does the exam and have the whole consult over the phone. I completely understand and applaud their appropriate caution in the time of a plague, but it's very hard to hand him over at the door.  Digger, since his last surgery, has not been very keen on vet hospitals. He is fine with our own vet, but wants to hide behind me if even she needs to take him to another room. I just wish there were some way to explain it to him. I do talk to him about it,  and stay upbeat making happy sounds to him, but don't expect him to understand, of course. 

And, not that this is the most important thing, but it will be over 100 degrees while I am waiting outside. 

 

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