Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for information/experience from anyone with a pup with a "Grade 4" heart murmur. This was an accidental finding for my 5 year old female.

Likely a mitral valve murmur without signs of CHF at this point. We are waiting for a Cardiology consult at Cornell, which could take months. In the meantime we have started a blood pressure medication as well as a medication to prevent CHF.

My Vet believes she may have developed growth on the valve flap r/t bacteria from the mouth (we do have dentals done every 18 months). She was examined 9 months ago with no evidence of a murmur and now has a significant one so he is assuming it is from something acute.

We will, of course, see a Cardiologist and have an echocardiogram done as soon as possible. I am mostly looking for information from folks who have had their pups on long term Cardiac medications and the efficacy of these medications over time.

I have been a Cardiac Nurse for 25 + years and know that valve problems in humans can be successfully treated with medications, I am just wondering how dogs do.

Thank you!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,030 Posts
I'm so sorry about this news.

My other dog, who passed at 17, had a heart murmur and mitro valve disease, but very minor his whole life. It did not become an issue until he was around 15 and a 1/2-16. After an ultrasound, it was discovered that he heart had enlarged. It was watched and grew a bit more and then he was put on meds. He was considered to be in CHF, but I don't know the stage. However, the medicine stabilized the growth. So, in my situation the medicine helped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,290 Posts
Hi, I am sorry your girl was diagnosed with this at such a young age. Good to catch it though. How great that you are a cardiac nurse and know just what is done in humans.
Our old guy, Teddy, has a grade 4 on one side and a grade 3 on the other.
Maybe a whole different thing because he is elderly - around 16 or so - but I thought I would share in case it helps. We adopted him about a year and a half ago, and he has been on enalapril for about 2 years (they started him on it while he was in the shelter where they diagnosed him). His diagnosis is chronic valvular disease (mitral and tricuspid) with left atrial enlargement.
He has been doing great on the medication. Had had an echocardiogram recently and it has progressed a little, which is to be expected due to his age. But no coughing, no side effects, no increase in dosage at all.
We were told when we adopted him to expect it to quickly progress to CHF, but he has been doing great on the medication for almost 2 years now.
I hope that an appointment with the cardiologist becomes available soon - I am sure it will give you peace of mind to get a diagnosis and treatment plan from a specialist.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,072 Posts
My Archie has a grade 6/6 heart murmur. He has two leaky valves and is on four meds plus a cough medicine. He's been on these meds since March...and is doing better than he was....but heaven forbid if I forget one dose of meds.

I need to make another appointment with his cardiologist, but have been pushing it off for my daughter's wedding and our move. Guess I need to make that appointment now...each time we go there it's at least $700 - $1000 :unsure:

Besides his heart, he has arthritis in his legs, chronic ear infections...and has actually had one ear canal removed. My boy never complains, but I worry about him every single day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28 Posts
My boy, Casper , had a Grade 3 murmur for a couple of years which suddenly became a Grade 5. He was 8. He was put on lasik, blood pressure and something which made his heart beat stronger. Sorry, I can't remember the name. Wait, Vetmedin I think. All of the doctors told me 1-4 years except my regular vet. He told me he has seen dogs live longer. Casper passed away last January at the age of 13 and 5 months, so he lived over five years.
The medicine brought his murmur back to a Grade 3 for a long time. He was also on Science Diet HD. The thing was he lived a happy life until a week before his death when he quit eating and I had to let him go.

Diane
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for all your encouraging stories. Sophie has been started on Vetmedin and enalapril. I am anxious to have the Cardiology consult so we will know exactly how bad it is. An X-ray showed that, at this point, her heart is not enlarged and her lungs have no fluid.

Since she was not having any problems it is hard to know if the medications are helping but at least she doesn't seem to have any side effects from them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
I've had several dogs with heart problems, but they were all older (and some were rescued as oldies with neglected mouths). One, who I had before Vetmedin became available, went on for a couple more years, passing at over 17 years of age. A couple others were treated with Vetmedin and other medications.

I know that studies show very good results with Vetmedin. My only complaint about it was that it seemed to leave the system fairly rapidly, and one of my dogs had a fainting episode after I got stuck at work and he got his dose a couple hours late!

That was several years ago, so maybe it's prepared differently now. If not, hopefully you can be consistent about his medication schedule. :)

The older meds that my previous dogs got (cardoxin or digoxin and digitoxin family of drugs) didn't seem to have that problem, but they may have had other side effects. I know my oldest one had to take some additional meds to protect her kidney function.

It sounds like you're a very conscientious and "pet guardian" :) , and I wish you and your dog the best! :grouphug:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you. We have an appointment with the Cardiologist at Cornell on Oct 22. I am hoping for the best.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,313 Posts
My Samantha was diagnosed in 2004 and lived 5 more years. She did very well with meds until a month or two before I lost her. She went into acute kidney failure a few months past her 15th birthday so she had a good long life, even with the murmur,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
I have one boy with bad mitral valve. He's been on benazepril for over 2 years and last year cardio vet put him on vetmedin because of low blood pressure. I could see a difference in a day or so taking vetmedin. He's been taking that for over a year with no problems at all. He goes to cardiologist every 6 months and at his last visit the vet said if he keeps up doing so well we can make next appt in 9 months.
So, the medications are working well.
Glad you have an appt with cardiologist for your girl. We get blood work every 6 months to check functions.
Best of luck to you.
Also, I found Allivet to be very good with prices for medication. I get his benazepril from Costco.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thank you for all the encouraging advice. Price shopping for Medications will definitely be a must. I will wait until we see the Cardiologist and find out what she will be on long term.

It seems like five years from dx is the average life span. Sophie is only 5 so am hopeful that since we found this before she had symptoms we will be able to pass that mark!!

She has been on the two medications for a couple of weeks and I honestly don't see any positive or negative results. But since she was not actually having any problems I will consider that a positive.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,952 Posts
I'm so sorry Sophie was diagnosed with this, but the responses you got do sound promising. Good luck at the Cardiologist.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,045 Posts
My Sassy was diagnoised with CHF, enlarged heart, mitral valve disease April of 2014. She was 11.4 yrs old at the time and this came on her suddenly. She was put on blood pressure medicine, Lasix, and Vetmedin (the miracle drug). Sassy only made it 10 weeks after diagnosis. Her disease was like a run away train. I guess it all depends on each case.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,722 Posts
One morning I woke up to hearing a squeaking sound coming from my rescue
girl Babe. Took her to the vet and she had a grade 6 heart Murmur. My vet was so excited because she had never actually heard a murmur so loud by the naked ear. Babe was 12 at the time. She was put in Vetmedin and lived to a month short of 18 yrs. So, have courage that your girl can still live long too.
She was active and a fun dog, all those years.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We spent the day at Cornell Animal Hospital. The news is not good. Sophie's has severe left atrial enlargement, severe mitral valve regurgitation and severe mitral valve degeneration. We can do nothing but continue her medication and hope it does not progress too quickly. There is no way to know if she will have six months or six years.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,028 Posts
We spent the day at Cornell Animal Hospital. The news is not good. Sophie's has severe left atrial enlargement, severe mitral valve regurgitation and severe mitral valve degeneration. We can do nothing but continue her medication and hope it does not progress too quickly. There is no way to know if she will have six months or six years.
I'm so sorry to hear this news about Sophie. I am hoping the meds will hold it at bay for some time to come. :grouphug:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
:grouphug: I'm sorry the diagnosis wasn't better, but with the medications that are available, and help from your medical team and you, I know she'll get the best chance she can have. We'll all be hoping that the treatment gives you good quality and length of time together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
We spent the day at Cornell Animal Hospital. The news is not good. Sophie's has severe left atrial enlargement, severe mitral valve regurgitation and severe mitral valve degeneration. We can do nothing but continue her medication and hope it does not progress too quickly. There is no way to know if she will have six months or six years.
Prayers for Sophie that she will respond well to her meds and do very well for a very long time.
Big hugs to you ❤
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top