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Old 04-15-2009, 11:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Enlarged Heart

Our 16 week old female baby dobe was diagnosed with an enlarged heart today. We are so lost and broken-hearted.
Can anyone shed some light on what we're up against and if anyone has any advice from experience, please share?
I can't accept that this is an automatic death sentence. I just lost my 9 year old canary after nursing him for a week; what next? Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The next step would be an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) if not already done. There are different underlying causes of cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), so without knowing what is causing the enlargement, it would be impossible to comment.

Recommend a consult w/ a cardiologist if possible and if not already done.
Good luck w/ your pup.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't offer any advise.

I can offer you all the good vibes an dober hugs/kisses I can muster.

Hope its nothing serious!!!!

-Maddy & Nooka
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In the diagnosis, was a cause given? Did the puppy have parvo or is it a congenital defect? There are so many factors that determine outcome.
I would seek a specialist before anything else. Has the breeder given any input, such as history?

I'm sorry you are experiencing this and you are probably panicked but I do hope some of the vets on this forum can better answer your questions.
In the meantime...best wishes to you and your little baby.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No History

The breeder, basically a puppy mill that we rescued Alpha from (she had 2 litters; a total of 18 pups, at once) said she's had no other reports of this and that she was "broke" and couldn't give our money back; but would give us a puppy out of her December litter.
Alpha had her Parvo shots - could they have actually caused this???
An xray is all that has been done and are waiting on a 2nd opinion.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So sorry about your little Dobergirls health. She is lucky to have a loving owner who cares so much for her. Big hugz to you and Alpha.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here are my recent threads on Rudi, they may help.
Mr. Rudi
Update Rudi: Vet Cardiologist
also this one...
Information on DCM

Gosh, that is soooo young and such a cutie pie. I want to give you a warm welcome to the forum.
As you will see in the threads above, Rudi is about 6 1/2-7 years. I rescued him when he was 2 1/2-3 years old.
Please read thru those threads. You may find some helpful information. Rudi's Chest Xray showed right sided enlargement (usually in Dobermans it is Left sided-the left side is the main pumping muscle of the heart, if it is enlarged or weakened the dog will develop heart failure or Dilated Cardiomyopathy)....the Vet Cardiologist said deep chested dogs can sometimes give off a more rounded look to one side or the other of the heart. (not sure about a puppy since their chest isn't fully matured) You really need to verify with an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), this will show what size the 4 chambers of the heart are, how the heart valves look(leaky or thickened), thickness or thinness of the heart muscle and how the heart muscle is contracting. Then possibly a 24 hour holter monitor (may be hard to do on a puppy) to check for heart arrythmias, PVC's (VPC's), irregular rhythm. I do not know about Parvo vaccinations causing this in a pup. Hopefully one of the experienced vets or techs on here can answer that.

Is she having any symptoms, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, intolerance to exercise? How did they come upon this diagnosis prior to the xray?
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharLynn View Post
The breeder, basically a puppy mill that we rescued Alpha from (she had 2 litters; a total of 18 pups, at once) said she's had no other reports of this and that she was "broke" and couldn't give our money back; but would give us a puppy out of her December litter.
Alpha had her Parvo shots - could they have actually caused this???
An xray is all that has been done and are waiting on a 2nd opinion.
This is unfortunately what happens with random breeding, but in any case...
parvo itself can cause an enlarged heart, not the vaccination. Which lends itself to the fact she was probably born with this problem. I suggest a cardio-specialist to see where to go from here. There are medications and diets etc, but only a vet who has all the information can truly give you an accurate prognosis. Don't give up yet and under no circumstances should you take another puppy from this person. Please keep us informed and the forum is a great place to get the support you will need to see you through this.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You need an ultra-sound using a quality machine to get a clear picture of PDA
The heart will sound and feel out of pattern. Has the pups breathing become rapid and appitite slowed? Von
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If the pup got parvo or a congenital cardiac issue from its dam, and that is fairly certain, I think you should tell the breeder that she needs to take all her dogs to the vet for evaluation, treatment as needed, and neutering, since she clearly doesn't keep healthy, vaccinated dogs, or well-sanitized facilities - and sells pups with potentially life-threatening conditions. Offer to report her breeding practices to the Humane Society, SPCA, DPCA, and AKC if she doesn't alter her practices.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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She started having some rapid breathing and then some coughing. Does this mean my other dogs may be in danger of Parvo, despite they're all vaccinated?? She could have gotten Parvo from her mother? I'm having a hard time understanding all of the variables, here - sorry. I'm ready to just sit down and cry again; yeh, female here - and proud of it!! PLEASE keep helping me out with your thoughts!! Waiting (and saying a lot of prayers) on 2nd opinion from a specialist on the x- ray.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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SharLynn,
I see you are in Washington. The best advise I can give you is to get your pup to
Dr. Tim Bauer at Critical Care Associates he is a heart specialist. Here is their website Staff
He was the doctor that treated both of my Dobies that had heart problems. One was a enlarged heart. He is nothing short of GREAT.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for you, I can just imagine the shock you experienced. Get an opinion from a cardiac specialist, don't borrow trouble till you know the prognosis and treatment options.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sharlynn An x-ray can't clearly define an enlarged heart (PDA) your pup needs an ultasound to be able to view if the oxygen valve on the heart is not sealed naturally after birth. Speak to a speacialist as duroboat suggested and you need to act now. Von.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:02 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I will second the specialist. Sending good vibes and prayers for you and Alpha.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharLynn View Post
She started having some rapid breathing and then some coughing. Does this mean my other dogs may be in danger of Parvo, despite they're all vaccinated?? She could have gotten Parvo from her mother? I'm having a hard time understanding all of the variables, here - sorry. I'm ready to just sit down and cry again; yeh, female here - and proud of it!! PLEASE keep helping me out with your thoughts!! Waiting (and saying a lot of prayers) on 2nd opinion from a specialist on the x- ray.
Sharlyn,
The parvo is just one of many causes for heart problems in puppies, it DOES NOT mean your pup had or has parvo. I was only asking if you knew if she may have had it or not. Sorry to confuse you. The best thing to do is see the specialist and take it from there. An echo is simple to do and not painful in any way to your pup and it will give you much more info than an xray can.
Stay calm and hang in there, we are all here for you if you need us.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have no advice, but I send you good thoughts.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Enlarged heart

OUr heart goes out to you and your baby. But what did the vet think?? It normally is a sign of DCM and not the parvo shot should not cause this kind of finding. Does she have a heart murmur???

I do have several web sites on Cardio if you would like the info PM me and I will be glad to send it. Good supplements to hlep are Vitamin C, Fish Oil, Zinc, CoQ10 and Taurine

Quote:
Originally Posted by SharLynn View Post
Our 16 week old female baby dobe was diagnosed with an enlarged heart today. We are so lost and broken-hearted.
Can anyone shed some light on what we're up against and if anyone has any advice from experience, please share?
I can't accept that this is an automatic death sentence. I just lost my 9 year old canary after nursing him for a week; what next? Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:28 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Hi SharLynn - I really can't offer you any advice - you will get the best advice from the experienced people on this forum. I can, however, send some very positive thoughts your way!! Hope all goes well for you and your pup!
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The problem with all of this is, Alpha was at a friend's, 4 1/2 hour drive north, when all of this started. She's the one that took her to the vet, up there. I'm getting all of this "hear say". She told me this morning that the "second opinion" on the x ray, was to put her down. They told her upon the initial exam, there's no heart murmur.

"i just got the detailed report. the vet will send it to you if you want it. she has a huge enlarged heart. she is in congestive heart failure .she has pulmanary edema.[fluid on the lungs] this is why she has the little cough somrtimes. but she does not act sick. she tore up a whole roll of toilet paper this morning! when i took her to the vets, she just rode in my pick-up. she laid in the back seat area like my shepherd does. she did not throw up, and was very lively. i don't think she is in any pain yet. but my vet said the kindest thing for her would be to put her down. she is like an angel.she gave so much happiness while she was here".

Anymore comments would be appreciated. My problem is, we don't have the unlimited finances to get her to the (aforementioned) cardiology doctor in Seattle; or, for any other extensive vet bills. She's only 16 weeks old....so unfair.

Can they really tell all of this from just an x ray??
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I don't have any experience with anything like this, but I will keep you in my prayers. I am SO SORRY. This just sucks! It is unfortunate that vet bills are so expensive.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:25 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Maybe you should contact Special Needs Doberman, they may be able to assist you with the funds needed to get your little girl checked out by the Vet that has been recommended.
PM Lexxsmom, she can help you get in contact with SND.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharLynn View Post
The problem with all of this is, Alpha was at a friend's, 4 1/2 hour drive north, when all of this started. She's the one that took her to the vet, up there. I'm getting all of this "hear say". She told me this morning that the "second opinion" on the x ray, was to put her down. They told her upon the initial exam, there's no heart murmur.

"i just got the detailed report. the vet will send it to you if you want it. she has a huge enlarged heart. she is in congestive heart failure .she has pulmanary edema.[fluid on the lungs] this is why she has the little cough somrtimes. but she does not act sick. she tore up a whole roll of toilet paper this morning! when i took her to the vets, she just rode in my pick-up. she laid in the back seat area like my shepherd does. she did not throw up, and was very lively. i don't think she is in any pain yet. but my vet said the kindest thing for her would be to put her down. she is like an angel.she gave so much happiness while she was here".

Anymore comments would be appreciated. My problem is, we don't have the unlimited finances to get her to the (aforementioned) cardiology doctor in Seattle; or, for any other extensive vet bills. She's only 16 weeks old....so unfair.

Can they really tell all of this from just an x ray??
They certainly could see a heart that was disproportionately large,and fluid in the lungs via xray. Pulmonary edema could also be detected by using a stethescope and listening.

I'm so sorry to hear this. It would be a difficult situation at any time, but only more so if finances prevent you from seeing a cardiologist for more testing. Cardiac issues are tricky to treat, and frequently there is no "fix", the most you can do is hope to delay the progression of the problem and try to keep the animal comfortable for as long as possible.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:26 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I am sorry to hear the vets findings, an ultrasound can show what defects are in place, such as PDA. If this isn't possible you need to keep a close eye on the pup, and when rapid panting begins and then persist , it's time to go to the vets quickly . I have experienced this first hand and you don't want to go through it. I'm very sorry. von Cosack Dobermanns.
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