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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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CAH and DCM

Josie is now 8 years old and was seemingly healthy. However, on routine blood work last week, her ALT was 487. She had no changes in drinking, appetite, stool, energy level, etc. Yesterday I took her in to a specialist for a liver ultrasound. Thankfully, her liver looked good (although a bit small), but when I asked if they could take a look at her heart, that wasn't good. Her function sucked, with a fractional shortening of only 10%. Prior to the echo, the vet wanted to do a liver biopsy, but with these heart issues that isn't an option at the moment. She has no DCM symptoms; no murmur, great pulses, no exercise intolerance, and no respiratory issues. The plan at the moment is to start her on Denamarin and Flagyl for her liver, and Vetmedin for her heart. I've been reading over old threads, but what I'm wondering if anyone has had personal experience with managing these two conditions at the same time. I've read a lot about Dr. Dodd's liver diet, but not sure that's appropriate for a dog with cardiac issues. What commercially prepared diets have you fed with DCM? I have just switched her from Taste of the Wild to Wellness Complete Health Senior. I am also wondering if anyone has recommendations for online pet pharmacies with good prices/service. PetCareRX seems to have good prices with the PetPlus program. I've been a little anxious with her running and playing today. She was full-sprinting around the yard chasing my foster dog who just turned two. The vet said I need to let her live as she has and enjoy her life, but I'm worried she will overexert herself. I have taken her hiking with me since she was a puppy; Now I'm worried to do that.
Sorry for rambling, but I am heart broken over her diagnosis, but would love to hear any advice/experiences that anyone has. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 09:53 AM
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So sorry to read about Josie - I personally would not change her normal life. Activity is good for everyone and it is good especially if she enjoys it. That is my personal opinion not a medical one. I feel it is better for a dog or person to go happy doing what they love than sit around moping and wasting away so I agree with your vet on that one. If she is not showing symptoms then that is a good sign that you have caught it in time for medication to help the progression for a time. Sending a Dober prayer your way and a hug for Josie.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:25 AM
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I've never changed a diet for a dog with cardiac issues. And I've never had a dog with liver problems but I would switch basic diet for liver or kidney problems to accomodate them.

On the advice of the vet cadiologist my dogs get to go on doing (by way of exercise) whatever made them happy. The only restriction I imposed is that I didn't let various older dogs who were medicated pre-occult or medicated occult DCM out to run wildly with the much younger dogs.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:23 AM
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I would first try the liver cleansing diet for a short period and see what that does for her liver values - without a liver biopsy, you can't really know exactly what is going on with the liver. I did have a biopsy with my Jezebel.
I mentioned on FB what I've done for Jezebel's diet. If you are interested, let me know and I can expand on that.

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