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Cardiomegaly


Guest GrayceNDanger
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Guest GrayceNDanger

So its been a really frustrating week. For the past few weeks I have been trying to get Danger added to my pet insurance policy. First they would not accept his health certificate and bloodwork from the NGAP vet clinic as proof of a physical within the past year so I scheduled him for a physical at my vet which wasnt a big deal.

 

So I go to the appointment and in talking to the vet it came up that sometimes Danger regurgitates his food. Since his T4 testing is low and he potentially had a few other clinical signs of low thyroid she felt we should do an xray to rule out mega-esophagus. I agreed and she did the xray. After the xray she came back and told me he was given the all-clear. No signs of mega-esophagus. She faxed the completed physical notes to my pet insurance carrier.

 

A few days later I received an email from my pet insurance that says:

Thank you for your interest in a VPI Pet Insurance policy for DANGER.

As with many insurance policies, there are some conditions that make an

applicant ineligible for coverage. The information provided indicates that

DANGER has cardiomegaly.

 

We regret to inform you that we are not able to enroll pets that have been

diagnosed or treated for this medical condition.

 

I now am in a panic googling on the internet because I have never even heard the term cardiomegally. I start finding descriptions that talk about heart failure, enlarged heart and all sorts of problems. I am at a loss as to why the vet would not have mentioned such a condition to me if my dog had a heart condition. I first thought it must be a mistake so I called the insurance and they confirmed it was written on the xray write up they received. I called my vet office but the vet who saw Danger was not in for the next 2 days- I did speak with the vet who owns the practice and he pulled Dangers file up and said he would need to consult with the vet that saw Danger but he would hope they could come up with something to get the insurance to accept him but they could not change the records.

 

I called NGAP and spoke with them and they informed me and directed me to some articles/research showing that greyhounds have larger hearts than the average canine and that Danger in fact is completely NORMAL. I printed the articles out and faxed them to my vet with a letter asking them to do some research and consider retracting the "cardiomegaly" diagnosis. I just got a call from my vet who apologized repeatedly telling me that Danger is perfectly normal for a greyhound HOWEVER since his heart is outside the normal range it is called cardiomegally so she was not wrong to note it. She is calling my pet insurance to try and explain this although I explained to her that if she continues to use the term cardiomegally to describe him I am certain they will not accept him since cardiomegally is a disease.

 

To say the least Im extremely frustrated. Pet insurance I know has its Pro's and Con's but I really like having it for peace of mind when something serious happens unexpectedly. It has really helped me with a lot of expenses for my weim over the years.

 

Has anyone else ever dealt with this mis-diagnosis of cardiomegaly?

 

I wonder if I get a second opinion from a vet well-versed in greyhounds if the pet insurance will re-consider. Im so frustrated. :(

 

 

Here's some pictures of my handsome boy:

dangerface.jpg

 

Kitty Love

hellokitty.jpg

 

Grayce the toy stealer

toystealer.jpg

 

Favorite Sleeping Pose

sleepydanger.jpg

 

 

Any a funny one of my weim Grayce:

grayce-1.jpg

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Guest Energy11

MOST, if not ALL Greyhounds have larger hearts.

 

Unfortunately, IF your vets have noted it as "Cardimegaly," then it will be considered a "pre-existing condition" by all of the insurance carriers. VPI is NOT a good company, and one to definitely STAY AWAY FROM!

 

I have Trupanion, and for the most part, they are fair and decent to work with. You MIGHT want to try them. But, as I already mentioned, once given a diagnosis, it will follow your grey :-(

 

Good Luck with this, and maybe your vet should "re-word" her exam notes! This is NOT lying, or cheating, but, as she has already noted, Danger's heart is normal for a Greyhound!

 

 

 

 

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Guest GrayceNDanger

MOST, if not ALL Greyhounds have larger hearts.

 

Unfortunately, IF your vets have noted it as "Cardimegaly," then it will be considered a "pre-existing condition" by all of the insurance carriers. VPI is NOT a good company, and one to definitely STAY AWAY FROM!

 

I have Trupanion, and for the most part, they are fair and decent to work with. You MIGHT want to try them. But, as I already mentioned, once given a diagnosis, it will follow your grey :-(

 

Good Luck with this, and maybe your vet should "re-word" her exam notes! This is NOT lying, or cheating, but, as she has already noted, Danger's heart is normal for a Greyhound!

 

Thanks! My other thought..which is totally cheating (but in this case I thinks its unfair for my grey not to be allowed to have pet insurance)...is that I may go to a new company completely (I've heard others are better but just never had a real push to switch until now)...pick a new company and start the process over. Make an appointment for a first time physical with a completely new vet. Since mega-esophagus has been ruled out there is no reason for me to mention the regurgitation and have them do an xray.

 

Normally I would not try to cheat a system but I think it is very unfair that bc something that is not a health issue for his breed and is perfectly normal was noted on his records as a health issue that Im now blackballed from pet insurance for him.

 

I feel like I have been running in circles with this all week!

 

 

Good Luck with this, and maybe your vet should "re-word" her exam notes! This is NOT lying, or cheating, but, as she has already noted, Danger's heart is normal for a Greyhound!

 

While my vet has been very apologetic and seems embarrassed she would not admit that "cardiomegaly" was the wrong term to use or that she made any kind of mistake. She is supposed to call me back after she calls the insurance company but I know unless she states that she made a mistake or changes the records like you say they prob wont accept him.

Edited by GrayceNDanger
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Your vet is wrong. The heart size range for greyhounds is different than for other dogs. S/he should be using a different scale.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Energy11

MOST, if not ALL Greyhounds have larger hearts.

 

Unfortunately, IF your vets have noted it as "Cardimegaly," then it will be considered a "pre-existing condition" by all of the insurance carriers. VPI is NOT a good company, and one to definitely STAY AWAY FROM!

 

I have Trupanion, and for the most part, they are fair and decent to work with. You MIGHT want to try them. But, as I already mentioned, once given a diagnosis, it will follow your grey :-(

 

Good Luck with this, and maybe your vet should "re-word" her exam notes! This is NOT lying, or cheating, but, as she has already noted, Danger's heart is normal for a Greyhound!

 

Thanks! My other thought..which is totally cheating (but in this case I thinks its unfair for my grey not to be allowed to have pet insurance)...is that I may go to a new company completely (I've heard others are better but just never had a real push to switch until now)...pick a new company and start the process over. Make an appointment for a first time physical with a completely new vet. Since mega-esophagus has been ruled out there is no reason for me to mention the regurgitation and have them do an xray.

 

Normally I would not try to cheat a system but I think it is very unfair that bc something that is not a health issue for his breed and is perfectly normal was noted on his records as a health issue that Im now blackballed from pet insurance for him.

 

I feel like I have been running in circles with this all week!

 

Good Luck with this, and maybe your vet should "re-word" her exam notes! This is NOT lying, or cheating, but, as she has already noted, Danger's heart is normal for a Greyhound!

 

While my vet has been very apologetic and seems embarrassed she would not admit that "cardiomegaly" was the wrong term to use or that she made any kind of mistake. She is supposed to call me back after she calls the insurance company but I know unless she states that she made a mistake or changes the records like you say they prob wont accept him.

 

The insurance I have, Trupanion, does NOT require a physical to enroll a dog. I have older dogs, and they are all using the insurance with little or no problems. The ONLY thing you might find with these people, or ANY pet insurance, is, IF the Cardimegaly stays on your dog's chart, they WILL consider this a "pre-existing" condition!

 

If you do decide to use Trupanion, please PM me, and I will give you my information. I get a credit for referring people. To be HONEST, it is a pretty good company, so far!

 

Dee and The Five

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I believe that the upper limit for "normal" dog hearts is 10 1/2 cm. My Beggar's heart measures 11. I happen to know this because on Tuesday I had to make a mad dash to a canine cardiologist because the (not my regular) vet thought that Beggar's heart was so enlarged that it must have a tumor in it. Turns out that he's a big dog (90#) with a big heart! He also has a "heart murmur", which turns out to be the noise this big ol' heart makes pumping all that blood at a faster rate when he's in the vets' office in a dither. Just under $1000, thank you very much. And 5 hours, round trip. Cardiomegaly was one of the diagnoses that the echocardiogram was to rule out. My regular vet is beginning to think that greys aren't really dogs, what with their big hearts, weird blood pressure and thyroid levels, and anesthesia issues...

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VPI did not insure Diamond because she had erhlichia before I adopted her. Said she was prone to neurological problems and cancer.

Well at age 12, she got OS. How many greyhounds have that?! She has cost me the least amount of money over the years and I often joke that VPI covered the wrong sister because Pearl cost them a mint. The lost a lot of money insuring Pearl.

While I had Pearl I didn't want to leave VPI, but now that she's gone, I don't need to stay.

Also......Opal, the baby, went in for an upset tummy once and stitches once before I insured her. Now all gastric problems and lacerations are excluded!

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Guest eaglflyt

MOST, if not ALL Greyhounds have larger hearts.

 

Unfortunately, IF your vets have noted it as "Cardimegaly," then it will be considered a "pre-existing condition" by all of the insurance carriers. VPI is NOT a good company, and one to definitely STAY AWAY FROM!

 

I have Trupanion, and for the most part, they are fair and decent to work with. You MIGHT want to try them. But, as I already mentioned, once given a diagnosis, it will follow your grey :-(

 

Good Luck with this, and maybe your vet should "re-word" her exam notes! This is NOT lying, or cheating, but, as she has already noted, Danger's heart is normal for a Greyhound!

 

Thanks! My other thought..which is totally cheating (but in this case I thinks its unfair for my grey not to be allowed to have pet insurance)...is that I may go to a new company completely (I've heard others are better but just never had a real push to switch until now)...pick a new company and start the process over. Make an appointment for a first time physical with a completely new vet. Since mega-esophagus has been ruled out there is no reason for me to mention the regurgitation and have them do an xray.

 

Normally I would not try to cheat a system but I think it is very unfair that bc something that is not a health issue for his breed and is perfectly normal was noted on his records as a health issue that Im now blackballed from pet insurance for him.

 

I feel like I have been running in circles with this all week!

 

Good Luck with this, and maybe your vet should "re-word" her exam notes! This is NOT lying, or cheating, but, as she has already noted, Danger's heart is normal for a Greyhound!

 

While my vet has been very apologetic and seems embarrassed she would not admit that "cardiomegaly" was the wrong term to use or that she made any kind of mistake. She is supposed to call me back after she calls the insurance company but I know unless she states that she made a mistake or changes the records like you say they prob wont accept him.

 

Your vet should ABSOLUTELY retract the diagnosis based on the range of normal based on Greyound heart sizes .... not the average dog. The range for greyhounds is specific to this breed! Cardiomegaly is a disease diagnosis and if his heart is normal size for a greyhound, then he absolutely does NOT have the disease. Your vet is in error and I would insist it be corrected according to greyhound specific ranges.

 

If it were me, I'd get that chest x-ray and have Dr. Couto, or someone from his team read it, and then provide the company with their interpretation. Also, show their interpretation to your vet so that they will not be MISDIAGNOSING your dog and preventing insuance coverage by using the wrong cardiac size normals. I'd also supply the company with the accepted normal ranges for greyhound heart size. The insurance company should accept this change with proper documentation. However, if they are a crummy company, they may not. I'd ask to speak with a supervisor or the CEO if necessary. If they still refuse to insure him, I'd notify them that you will be sharing your experience on the pet insurance review website and sharing your experience publicly, whenever possible.

 

Rather than *cheating* to get insurance on your hound, which would nullify your insurance if they ever found out, I'd just find an excellent and reputable company. Share the documentation and explain the situation. I think they would cover him with adequate explanation and doucmentation.

 

We use Embrace Pet Insurance and could not be more pleased. I can highly recommend them. I'm not an employee of theirs or anything ... just a very happy customer.

 

Good Luck!

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Guest Fasave

It seems like you have two issues going on here. One is with your vet and the other with the insurance carrier. I am NOT a fan of VPI. My senior is still on it because I have had on him since I adopted him seven years ago when there weren't a lot of choices. I now have my new guy on Embrace. I haven't had to use them but they didn't require a physical but he did need to be seen in the last year. It sounds like unless your vet agrees to retract her diagnosis though, you will be in trouble with which ever carrier you choose. I don't think it's cheating if you go to a new vet because it's not like you are trying to get a pre-existing condition covered.

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Guest Energy11

It seems like you have two issues going on here. One is with your vet and the other with the insurance carrier. I am NOT a fan of VPI. My senior is still on it because I have had on him since I adopted him seven years ago when there weren't a lot of choices. I now have my new guy on Embrace. I haven't had to use them but they didn't require a physical but he did need to be seen in the last year. It sounds like unless your vet agrees to retract her diagnosis though, you will be in trouble with which ever carrier you choose. I don't think it's cheating if you go to a new vet because it's not like you are trying to get a pre-existing condition covered.

 

I totally AGREE! There is no "pre-existing" condition in this case. Just a misdiagnosis, which will stick forever! :-( I would NOT be happy, if this were my vet!

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Guest GrayceNDanger

Thanks guys! This is exactly how I feel. Ive spent hours on the phone and internet over this whole thing this past week. The vet told me on the phone today that the high end of the range for greyhounds is 10.5 and Danger is 11. If anyone has any links to good valid research or information on greyhound heart size ranges please send them my way.

 

After all this I will be researching new pet insurance. Ive been told there was better than VPI but I just stuck with it since I had my weim and cats on it for the past almost 5 years with no problem. I do understand where the pet insurance is coming from to a point since his paperwork does give him a diagnosis of cardiomegaly. Im just a random woman trying to explain to them that my vet made a mistake and is wrong..Im sure they hear it all the time.

 

I am upset with my vet. I absolutely do not agree with them diagnosing him with cardiomegaly after having done my research. If it gets to the point I will absolutely become more insistent. Ive been using this vet office for years (my childhood dogs went there) but of course did not see my regular vet that day. So that makes it even more frustrating..the idea of changing from somewhere familiar sucks. But this is absolutely unacceptable!!! They need to admit their mistake here.

 

How would one go about contacting/sending information for Dr. Koutos to review?

 

I have heard of him through the director of NGAP who helped me decide to start Danger on Soloxine (sp?) and kept referencing to Dr. Koutos.

 

Thanks again for your input and confirming my thoughts.

Edited by GrayceNDanger
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Guest GrayceNDanger

I just wanted to add an update. My vet called VPI but VPI would not add Danger due to the cardiomegaly diagnosis and my Vet would not admit that Danger does not have that. She said he has a healthy heart BUT its enlarged so technically its cardiomegally (even if it is "normal" for greyhounds). I told her I wanted copies of the xrays so I could get a second opinion as I felt she mis-diagnosed my dog.

 

She was apologetic but would not admit it was a mis-diagnosis.

 

Anyone that has experience contacting Dr. Couto or Dr. Marin. Do I just send an email? I dont want to look like Im searching for free medical advice. I just want this off his records.

 

I had tried emailing Dr. Dodds before (@ his thyroid) and never heard back.

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Guest Energy11

I just wanted to add an update. My vet called VPI but VPI would not add Danger due to the cardiomegaly diagnosis and my Vet would not admit that Danger does not have that. She said he has a healthy heart BUT its enlarged so technically its cardiomegally (even if it is "normal" for greyhounds). I told her I wanted copies of the xrays so I could get a second opinion as I felt she mis-diagnosed my dog.

 

She was apologetic but would not admit it was a mis-diagnosis.

 

Anyone that has experience contacting Dr. Couto or Dr. Marin. Do I just send an email? I dont want to look like Im searching for free medical advice. I just want this off his records.

 

I had tried emailing Dr. Dodds before (@ his thyroid) and never heard back.

Sorry to hear this vet would not retract her diagnosis! That just isn't right. I'd gather as MUCH info as you can on this. Both Drs. Couto and Marin, answer their emails, usually within a day or two of your sending them.

 

Good Luck getting a second opinoin and a correct diagnosis!

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I just wanted to add an update. My vet called VPI but VPI would not add Danger due to the cardiomegaly diagnosis and my Vet would not admit that Danger does not have that. She said he has a healthy heart BUT its enlarged so technically its cardiomegally (even if it is "normal" for greyhounds). I told her I wanted copies of the xrays so I could get a second opinion as I felt she mis-diagnosed my dog.

 

She was apologetic but would not admit it was a mis-diagnosis.

 

Anyone that has experience contacting Dr. Couto or Dr. Marin. Do I just send an email? I dont want to look like Im searching for free medical advice. I just want this off his records.

 

I had tried emailing Dr. Dodds before (@ his thyroid) and never heard back.

 

Here is a paper you can give your vet so she can continue her education smile.gif: greyhound heart size. It's on the OSU website. It's a common question as is one about murmurs (did your vet mention that?). Plenty of info there on that as well.

 

If you contact OSU, it may take a little while to get back to you because your dog is not sick! He has a typical greyhound heart. However, if you feel guilty about taking up some of their time, you can always donate to the Greyhound Health & Wellness Program. wink.gif

 

He is adorable & very talented in the stink-eye department. lol.gif

gallery_7491_3326_2049.jpg

Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

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Sorry about your problems, but the first thing I would do is change vets. If they are this stubborn about this issue, what happens if they mis-diagnose in the future and refuse to listen to you and other vets that are more knowledgeable? One of my main requirements in choosing a vet is how they interact with me and my questions and opinions and reports I print off the computer and how flexible they are as to their attitude of "I'm the vet, so I know it all".

 

I would get all my records together to take to a new (recommended) vet and tell the original vet why. It's stupid of her to be so stubborn as to lose a good client over something like this.

 

Connie

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