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Guest greypack

Hello all!


I have a precious 4 year old galgo girl.

Since the day that she came home to me 1.5 years ago, I noticed that her heart beat was very strong, and that you could see her heart beating, even when she was laying on her side sleeping, as it bounded between three of her ribs. Her vet (grey savvy) commented on how strong her heartbeat was during her initial checkup, and joked that it must be from all of the running she has done. My retired racing grey's heart does not do this.


I worried about a possible hypertrophic heart, but the vet seemed unconcerned.


Now, 1.5 years later, she stayed with my parents while I traveled for 2 weeks over the holiday. Now, she is always spoiled there, despite my instructions. They give her human food as an occasional treat, and add some to her kibble (iams). So, when I pick her up, I always have to deal with her pickiness for the first meal or two, as she holds out for the expected toppings. It never lasts more than a day.


This time, when I picked her up, she had lost a noticeable amount of weight. My parents said that she ate as usual, but was maybe a little bit slower and picked at her food. Well, this little girl is always desperate to eat anything, probably b/c she lived in the streets for the first 3 years of her life. So, this was waaaay out of the ordinary for her. Well, she did not at all want to eat her kibble for the next week, and when I gave in and added yogurt or chicken broth, she would lick that off and leave the kibble. I tried to give her Eagle Pack as a food switch to get her interest, but she still did not eat one peice. Finally, I tried some Beneful, and she has been eating fine on that...thank goodness b/c I was about to throw up my arms and take her to the vet.



I also noticed that from the day that I adopted her, she has always been very slow in laying down, as if she were 12 years old. For the past week, she has even been slow in getting up from her naps, and would waddle, limp, or walk stiffly for a bit until she moved around. Tonight when she was slowly waddling after waking, I inspected her hind legs more closely. They are pretty swollen from her toes to her mid leg (ankle joint?).


I know that in people with heart failure, you would see an enlarged heart and swelling in their legs, among other things...


She is not coughing, or breathing abnormally.


Does it sound like CHF/ cardiomyopathy for those of you that have dealt with it before? I am in my last few months of school, and am in an area without any very good grey savvy vets, AND I of course was just in a car accident, so that I have to replace my car with the little bit of loan money that I have. I want to make sure that I am educated and wise with the tests and treatments that she gets for those reasons, because my poor little girl and I can't waste time and money on unnecessary and uneducated things as I have with the local vets in the past. I am afraid that an uncareful or uneducated vet would jump to conclusions with any grey's heart, given it's unique characteristics.


Thoughts? Suggestions?

I plan to call the vet tomorrow during lunch with whatever info that I can gather.

Thank you all!!!! :grouphug




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The good news is that greyhounds have hearts that are about 30% larger than they "should" be (for a non-sighthound breed of the equivalent weight). It is nothing to watch their entire bodies quiver as the valves snap shut in their oversized hearts.


As for the stiffness- there can be other causes, or it may simply be the long legs. Don't suppose you can post a video to YouTube, can you?


Lastly, I don't know about dogs, but it works for humans: pitting edema can be tested by digging a thumbnail into the legs. If the dent remains longer than it should, that indicates right heart failure. Also see the Merck Veterinary Manual's webpage on cardiomyopathy:



Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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Patsie has cardiomyopathy and her symptoms were very similar to your girl, but she never had swelling. If your girl has swelling, I would consider that a cardiac emergency.


I had to have an ultra-sound of her heart done to find the problem after xrays didn't reveal anything except a compressed disc in her neck. She quit eating, and her gums were pale and she wasn't her normal active self. My vet suspects that little to no dental care in her previous home was a contributing factor to her heart problem. Now I'm very diligent about keeping what's left of her teeth clean, so no nasty bacteria affects her heart.


From my experience you're going to need a vet that's savvy with sighthounds and a cardiologist to diagnose what's going on, and an ultra-sound of the heart. It's the only way to see how the heart is actually working.


Patsie takes 1 enalapril once a day and it keeps my almost 13 year old acting like she's 2. It's an inexpensive medication and is on the $4 list at most pharmacies. My vet did say that if Patsie developed any swelling in her legs that we would need to add a diuretic pill, like lasic or spironolactone. So far Patsie has only needed the enalapril.


I don't know where you're located, but let us know and maybe someone can recommend a vet for you. You can also check to see if there's a vet school at a nearby university.


Sending prayers.

Denise & Strider, Blake, Fields, Frank, FlippyDoo, and Momma Gail.

The Bridge Angels Zack(Ags Marble Chip) 4/25/93-2/16/06, Wanda(Rainier Rowanda) 12/14/94-06/09/06, Brooke/Boogers(Rainier Restive) 01/01/99-10/20/08, Warlock(Rainier Rammer) 4/29/99-10/01/09), Patsie(Frisky Patsy) 5/17/96-2/05/10, Hatter(Cals Madhatter) 6/3/00-3/11/10, Dodger(Rainier Ransack) 4/29/99-4/16/10, and Sparkle(Okie Sparkle) 11/8/2000-1/28/11

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