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Guest greyhound9797
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Guest greyhound9797

Piper turned 13 on Tuesday and I had the vet come to the house Wednesday for an exam. She has been making a hoarsey/raspy clearing of her throat type noise for several months, but it's not a cough. She makes this noise after she comes in from outside (I live in FL and yes, it's hot, but she's only outside for a few minutes at a time and doesn't run around the yard, just trots) and when she gets off her bed (she spends about 23.5 hours a day on her bed). She was diagnosed several years ago with a mild heart murmur and the vet said that it can't be treated until she starts showing symptoms such as coughing.

 

The vet examined her while she was laying down and said her heart sounded good but she could still hear the murmur. She asked that Piper stand and then listened to her heart. She found that her heartbeat almost doubled when she stood up but couldn't hear fluid in her lungs. She did blood work which came out perfect and prescribed 50mg of Lasix once per day (Piper is about 55 pounds; she wanted to do a low dose because her condition doesn't seem too serious - not hearing fluid in the lungs - but by the sound of her panting there is fluid in there somewhere).

 

Piper has been on Lasix for 2 days and had urine accidents during the night both times. In the 6 years we've had her she has only peed in the house 3 times, now she does it twice in 2 nights. She gets the Lasix at dinner, about 5pm. For the last several months she has only gone outside to potty twice a day (she has no interest going out more often), about 6am and again at 5pm, but because of the Lasix I have taken her out again at 10pm before I go to bed. I haven't noticed an increase in drinking but do you think it would be beneficial to give the meds in the morning so she doesn't have accidents at night?

 

Are there any other senior greys with mild heart murmurs on Lasix? Any advice or comments are appreciated.

 

Sandra in FL

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Piper turned 13 on Tuesday and I had the vet come to the house Wednesday for an exam. She has been making a hoarsey/raspy clearing of her throat type noise for several months, but it's not a cough. She makes this noise after she comes in from outside (I live in FL and yes, it's hot, but she's only outside for a few minutes at a time and doesn't run around the yard, just trots) and when she gets off her bed (she spends about 23.5 hours a day on her bed). She was diagnosed several years ago with a mild heart murmur and the vet said that it can't be treated until she starts showing symptoms such as coughing.

 

The vet examined her while she was laying down and said her heart sounded good but she could still hear the murmur. She asked that Piper stand and then listened to her heart. She found that her heartbeat almost doubled when she stood up but couldn't hear fluid in her lungs. She did blood work which came out perfect and prescribed 50mg of Lasix once per day (Piper is about 55 pounds; she wanted to do a low dose because her condition doesn't seem too serious - not hearing fluid in the lungs - but by the sound of her panting there is fluid in there somewhere).

 

Piper has been on Lasix for 2 days and had urine accidents during the night both times. In the 6 years we've had her she has only peed in the house 3 times, now she does it twice in 2 nights. She gets the Lasix at dinner, about 5pm. For the last several months she has only gone outside to potty twice a day (she has no interest going out more often), about 6am and again at 5pm, but because of the Lasix I have taken her out again at 10pm before I go to bed. I haven't noticed an increase in drinking but do you think it would be beneficial to give the meds in the morning so she doesn't have accidents at night?

 

Are there any other senior greys with mild heart murmurs on Lasix? Any advice or comments are appreciated.

 

Sandra in FL

 

People that are on a diuretic will take them in the morning because they have to go to the bathroom a lot for the next few hours.

 

I would give it to Piper in the morning and make sure she goes out a few times before noon.

 

Dick

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Are you sure the hourse/raspy sound your hearing isn't LP??---and if I may ask--how did your vet diagnose heart disease in your hound?? Did he/she perform an ekg--radiographs and an echo?? It is very common for our hounds to have a heart murmur--doesn't mean they have heart disease. Just saying ;)

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Guest greyhound9797
Are you sure the hourse/raspy sound your hearing isn't LP??---and if I may ask--how did your vet diagnose heart disease in your hound?? Did he/she perform an ekg--radiographs and an echo?? It is very common for our hounds to have a heart murmur--doesn't mean they have heart disease. Just saying ;)

 

No, I'm not sure it isn't LP and I'm glad you brought this up. A member of another forum suggested that as well, and after doing some google searches, it sounds like that may be the case. The diagnosis came simply from listening to her heart and several years of vet visits. A "proper" diagnosis? Nope. I just read an article from the Your Dog newsletter, I think it was, about diagnossing heart disease and they stress that an EKG is required in a proper diagnosis. I will call the vet on Monday and discuss this with her.

 

Did you suggest LP because your grey has it? Unfortunately, I don't think surgery may be an option at her age. She has several teeth that should be pulled (she's always had awful dental health and has had 14 pulled in 6 years) but the vet said that putting her under would be risky because of the way her heart sounded. I couldn't find much information regarding medication options so I assume that there really aren't any...?

 

Regarding the Lasix, not only did she pee twice in 2 nights but today she got up off her bed and came to me while I was sitting at the table and started her hoarsey panting. I asked her if she had to go out and she turned around and peed on the rug. Not just a little tinkle but a full pee like she does in the morning or afternoon, probably for 30 seconds. She had been out at 6:30am. When I fed her at 5:30 today she did another full pee. Does this mean that there is fluid that she is getting rid of?

 

This is a bit confusing and scary! Thanks for your comments.

 

Sandra

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Guest mom2hounds

Try giving your dog the lasix in the morning. This way the lasix will wear off before bedtime. You also need to make sure your dog does not become dehydrated. Lasix gets rid of fluid. It is not always extra fluid. If you continue to have problems with accidents, talk to you vet. Maybe the dose could be lowered.

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So your vet diagnosed heart disease in your hound without performing any diagnostics?? I would be looking for a seond opinion. Make sure your pup is drinking as she can dehydrate quickly from the lasix (which I question if she really needs). As far as the LP you might want to check out Doxepin.

if your vet really cares about the pets he treats then he should welcome a second opinion.

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Guest greyhound9797
So your vet diagnosed heart disease in your hound without performing any diagnostics?? I would be looking for a seond opinion. Make sure your pup is drinking as she can dehydrate quickly from the lasix (which I question if she really needs). As far as the LP you might want to check out Doxepin. if your vet really cares about the pets he treats then he should welcome a second opinion.

 

From what I have read, LP is difficult to diagnose and is not very common so it's not the number one conclusion vets come to.

 

I found info on Doxepin here http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/doxepin-sinequan/page1.aspx but it states that it is used to treat depression, noise phobia, and anxiety-related disorders, such as canine obsessive-compulsive disorders, especially acral lick dermatitis. How will that treat or reduce the symptoms of LP?

 

Sandra

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Piper turned 13 on Tuesday and I had the vet come to the house Wednesday for an exam. She has been making a hoarsey/raspy clearing of her throat type noise for several months, but it's not a cough. She makes this noise after she comes in from outside (I live in FL and yes, it's hot, but she's only outside for a few minutes at a time and doesn't run around the yard, just trots) and when she gets off her bed (she spends about 23.5 hours a day on her bed). She was diagnosed several years ago with a mild heart murmur and the vet said that it can't be treated until she starts showing symptoms such as coughing.

 

The vet examined her while she was laying down and said her heart sounded good but she could still hear the murmur. She asked that Piper stand and then listened to her heart. She found that her heartbeat almost doubled when she stood up but couldn't hear fluid in her lungs. She did blood work which came out perfect and prescribed 50mg of Lasix once per day (Piper is about 55 pounds; she wanted to do a low dose because her condition doesn't seem too serious - not hearing fluid in the lungs - but by the sound of her panting there is fluid in there somewhere).

 

Piper has been on Lasix for 2 days and had urine accidents during the night both times. In the 6 years we've had her she has only peed in the house 3 times, now she does it twice in 2 nights. She gets the Lasix at dinner, about 5pm. For the last several months she has only gone outside to potty twice a day (she has no interest going out more often), about 6am and again at 5pm, but because of the Lasix I have taken her out again at 10pm before I go to bed. I haven't noticed an increase in drinking but do you think it would be beneficial to give the meds in the morning so she doesn't have accidents at night?

 

Are there any other senior greys with mild heart murmurs on Lasix? Any advice or comments are appreciated.

 

Sandra in FL

 

To me, 50mg sounds like a very high dose.

Mary in Houston

Everyone has a photographic memory, but not everyone has film.

LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

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Guest Swifthounds

The lasix, if given in the morning, will be less likely to cause accidents as it will cause the most need to pee in the first few hours. You can also try splitting the lasix into twice per day.

 

I would seek further diagnostics. Heart murmur does not equal heart failure and usually doesn't require medication. My first dog had a murmur for years. She did, at 13.5, develop heart failure and was put on enalapril and lasix. She lived another 18 months or so before she went into liver failure and we let her go.

 

At the very least, I would have chest x-rays done to see whether there are any obvious heart/lung changes. If the heart is working sufficiently, I would look elsewhere (like LP). If the heart is struggling, then it's likely that meds are needed in addition to the lasix. Lasix doesn't affect the heart, it merely rids the body of fluid - excess or not.

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Doxepin is used off label to help treat (not cure) LP. The results are mixed- seems it helps some pups and some not so much. The good thing is that it's inexpensive and it doesn't appear to have negative side effects. Keep googling you'll find info regarding Doxepin and LP.

Sadly LP is not an uncommon finding in our older hounds.

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A few thoughts from a human medicine perspective:

 

50mg is not a low dose of Lasix; the range is 1-4mg/kg. A 55-lb dog, roughly 20kg, may be given 20mg to start, possibly even 10 to be conservative.

 

But veterinary medicine is now following the lead of human medicine, which has recognized that there are often better and safer treatments available for congestive heart failure than diuretics. ACE inhibitors, such as benazepril, enalapril, captopril,etc., are a common first-line drug for mild CHF. However, you mentioned that your vet did not hear fluid in your pup's lungs (or see evidence of fluid on x-ray), which would put CHF further down on my list as a cause for panting, or for her heart rate increasing when standing.

 

Her HR increasing when standing could indicate a higher demand for oxygen -- i.e., her heart will pump faster to compensate for inadeqate oxygen being circulated to the tissues. But another possible cause of the HR increasing when standing could be dehydration, especially if she hadn't been drinking generously on a hot day. But these are just stabs in the dark -- I wasn't there, and she's not a human.:P And one of the articles also suggests that older dogs at increased risk of CHF, also tend to be at increased risk of developing tracheobronchial disease, which could also present as panting and abnormal breath sounds.

 

A heart murmur doesn't necessarily = heart disease. An echocardiogram, xray, & blood pressure would be helpful in finding out of the murmur has any significance. If it's a benign murmur that reflects mild valvular disease in an older dog, this does not necessarily need any kind of treatment, especially if the dog has no symptoms of heart disease or CHF.

 

If anyone wants to read some excellent veterinary literature on the subject, I'm happy to pass it along, but basically, it states that there are several diagnostic tests used to diagnose valvular disease, or cardiomyopathy, or other functional heart disease that could cause CHF. But there are also recent changes in guidelines for treatment, and for determining which dogs actually require treatment.

 

For dogs who require treatment, the first two drugs of choice are ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers, unless a dog is in pulmonary edema or advanced CHF, which often do require diuretics and dietary modifications.

 

I always get too darn technical, so if you want more details or a translation, PM me. :)

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