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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Dcm

Hi everyone,my 7 year old male Dobe started violently coughing a couple of weeks ago following a long walk. I phoned the emergency vet who suggested that as he had eaten ok and was acting normally to see how he was in the morning. He does chew up sticks so we assumed he had maybe scratched his throat.

Over the weekend we did another big hike and it happened again but this time his breathing was very noisy. I took him vets yesterday and they have found a heart murmur and confirmed his lungs are noisy. I have been referred to a cardiologist but as you can imagine Iím worried sick. Heís not really coughing anymore other than an odd few minutes 2 / 3 times a day after running around with the other dogs.

Please can anyone give me some hope that if DCM is confirmed that there is some treatment that can help him, I canít stop crying 😢

Thank you
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 03:13 AM
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There are a number of medications that can help, but each dog is different. See a cardiologist absolutely as soon as possible since Otto is already showing some symptoms. He should be able to tell you if Otto has DCM and how far along he is in the disease progression. If your dog does have DCM, the quicker he is put on meds, the better.

It is such a variable thing, it's hard to say. But yes, there are medications out there which may extend his life considerably. Your general vet should be able to prescribe some of the more common ones if they are needed just based on your dog's symptoms at the moment, but a cardiologist would be your best bet to monitor his condition and modify his medications if needed. Please keep us posted.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, I have spoken to the Cardiologist and they are seeing him tomorrow so I feel a little relieved. I will update once I know more. Feeling a little more positive at least x
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 05:43 AM
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Glad to hear getting to doc real soon.......just like us ...when dogs cough ...its natures way of expelling something in the lungs that shouldn’t be there..........in this case maybe fluid.......they have procedures to eliminate fluid ...if fluid exists...........if its real bad ....they can drain it.....if not to bad ....they have meds to eliminate the fluid..........but regardless....its possible the vets diagnosis is incorrect...you will know once you go to the cardiologist.
My best friends 8 year old dog...just last year .......almost passed away.....DCM......But.....today he is alive !!! Brutus had fluid......they got rid of the fluid.....placed on meds ......and he is doing great.
May as well tell you this now......
Prepare yourself mentally for this news.............as it may come up at cardio office.....dogs with a true diagnosis of DCM.......once they start showing signs ......the meds do not eliminate the disease ....just gives them a chance to live longer.......some vets will say a year or 2........BUT the good news is ...we have folks on this forum that have experienced their dogs living a much longer life span on meds ...science has come a long way ......you just never know with this disease.
All you can do is your best work and ensure pup is getting speciality care......sound alike you are doing that pronto.........meanwhile try to keep the rough housing down with the other pups until you know what you are dealing with.......peace be with you today......we have all experienced this level of worry............just like you ...we are obsessed with our pups.......outsiders sometimes do not understand this kind of love.....so just know .....WE DO !!!!!
Give your pups a poke for me !!!

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:08 AM
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So very sorry you are going through this. And, so happy you are seeing the cardiologist. The sooner the diagnosis and the sooner her gets on meds, the better. If you have some time to read Baron's journey with DCM, this is why I am an advocate for early echos and holters. Baron was diagnosed at 4 1/2 and lived to 12 years 2 months: https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...n-has-dcm.html
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys, Iím actually feeling a whole lot better following your comments, itís so lovely to talk to other owners who understand. I will update tomorrow once I know what weíre up against. Xxx
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:43 AM
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Oh how we understand......if something is wrong with our critters we are all just a mess..............we are here for you and yours...always !!!

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 11:20 AM
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We had a boy who was diagnosed in his middle years. He survived his first Sudden Death situation (V-tach). His initial prognosis was very poor. But, with meds and monitoring, he lived a normal life into his senior years.

Best to you and Otto.

John
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Ok,so just got back from Cardiologist and they have confirmed there are signs of heart failure / enlargement.Apparently he has a murmur on the right side which isnít normal for DCM as this would normally present with a left side murmur. I have been given meds which should help. The bigger concern is the lungs, they performed a lung x-ray and it shows there is some lung damage but they are not sure if this is due to the heart problem or whether there is an additional primary lung condition which is not related. They would need to do a CT scan to find out more but want to try the heart meds for 2 weeks first to see if there is any improvement. If he shows no sign of improvement re the cough then they will do a CT under general anaesthetic to rule out Fibrosis or tumour so not out of the woods yet. Poor little mite sleeping soundly following his sedative, please keep fingers crossed for us. Xx
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 10:42 AM
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Poor pup.......on it.........praying for you and yours ........
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Morning everyone, so we are 3 days into medication and he doesnít seem to be coughing which is great. My concern is he seems to be drinking huge amounts of water. Iíve been filling his water bowl like 5 times a day. Iím guessing this has something to do with the diuretic as heís peeing gallons. Problem is heís crying to go out and toilet every half hour sometimes and heís flooded the kitchen floor 2 nights running. Itís not that I mind cleaning up,itís just distressing for him as heís never peed in the house. Anyone else had experience of this? Could dose be too high maybe?
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 10:33 AM
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Morning everyone, so we are 3 days into medication and he doesnít seem to be coughing which is great. My concern is he seems to be drinking huge amounts of water. Iíve been filling his water bowl like 5 times a day. Iím guessing this has something to do with the diuretic as heís peeing gallons. Problem is heís crying to go out and toilet every half hour sometimes and heís flooded the kitchen floor 2 nights running. Itís not that I mind cleaning up,itís just distressing for him as heís never peed in the house. Anyone else had experience of this? Could dose be too high maybe?
Did they prescribe Lasix for him--where there is fluid retention it's the most common drug prescribed. And it will cause what you are seeing--lots of water drinking and lots of urination. Talk to the cardiologist--but I think that it's drug that you can't just reduce the amount they are taking and you may just need to set your alarm and get up a couple of times a night to let him out. I don't think you would want to reduce the amount of water he is drinking but give the cardiologist a call and ask--reducing how much water you allow him may be appropriate.

Good luck with this.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, the nightmare continues. Check up bloods Tuesday showed kidneys not working properly, my vet was going to speak to cardiologist yesterday. Been up 3 times in the night, flooded kitchen every time plus he had soaked his bed. When I removed bedding it looked like he had also been sick and buried it. Wonít eat anything this morning and it appears he is now incontinent when he falls asleep as heís soaked the sofa this morning. Is this normal? He canít possibly continue like this he looks so sad and itís breaking my heart 😢
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:42 PM
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I am so sorry for you and Otto.

Personally, having owned dogs all my life and Dobermans for 42 years, I truly believe that sometimes one of the greatest gifts we can give them is to end their suffering and help them across the bridge.

Again... Both you and Otto will be in our thoughts and prayers.

John, McCoy and The Sheriff
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 01:12 PM
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Oh dear--no that kind of problem isn't normal in just the treatment of DCM even if he is on a diuretic. Sounds like the blood screen has turned up the culprit and that if his kidneys are not seeming normal via the blood test there may be other treatment that can deal with that problem without affecting the treatment for the cardio issue.

See what your vet has to say after they talk to the cardiologist so you have reliable information with which to make decisions.

But I'm another who has owned Dobes since 1959 and cats all my life and I've found it true that sometimes the last, best gift we can give a well loved pet to know when it's time to let them go.

I'm sorry about all this you are having to deal with but sometimes it just happens this way. Long ago, I realized, the sometimes the right thing to do was the most painful for me but the kindest for my pet and have since believed I would always want to let one 0f my guys go a day too early than keep them even a day too long.

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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 02:27 PM
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O man ........so disappointing.
Still praying for you guys.... so hang in there .........

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your kind words. Iíve spoken to the vet and Cardiologist and they have said I can reduce the diuretic by half morning and night as long as I monitor his breathing. Iíve covered all the sofas in waterproof bed sheets so we will see what happens tonight. I think Iím going to set my alarm and get up at 2am to try and catch him before he has an accident bless him. Heís not eating much, ive tried all his favourites but he will only have small bits here and there, maybe heís just feeling a bit off colour if heís dehydrated. See how tonight goes , heís snuggled up on my lap at the minute and seems quite relaxed so perhaps a lower dose will help? Fingers crossed xxx
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:09 PM
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I'll be thinking of you tonight...keep in touch.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:55 PM
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Sleep with your pup tonight..........hugs and kisses to both of you!!!
Mine always is comforted to lay against me..........or maybe it's me that is comforted .......wishing you peace .

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 06:58 PM
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Iím so sorry to hear that you and your pup are going through this. I do not have any suggestions for the DCM/medications/side effects. However, I would suggest letting him as much as possible to prevent accidents, Iíve found that it can have emotional effects on them because they know they arenít supposed to potty in the house, plus if his bladder is full to th point that he canít hold it it may be uncomfortable for him. I recently dealt with a dog that was incontinent due to partial paralysis and high steroids, I used large potty pads under her bedding and couch covers, they absorbed most of the urine so she wouldnít have to lay in a puddle of it.

Best wishes
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys, we have reduced the meds and so far things have calmed down. Still drinking lots and peeing a fair bit but hasnít wet his bed or furniture. Iíve been getting up at 2am and then 6am and no accidents for past 3 nights thank god. He seems a lot happier although heís not eating very well. Wonít touch his normal raw food so Iíve just been feeding him scraps of chicken/ham/sausage/egg/rice etc whenever I can get him to eat but he wonít touch it unless I pretend Iím having it but I donít care as long as he eats something. Breathing still steady and no coughing but Iím not taking him too far when we walk. Going back to Cardiologist Wednesday so will know more then plus we can see how his weight is as he seems to have dropped a fair bit. Thank you all for your support xx
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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 03:08 PM
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Thank you for the update.
I hope the cardiologist's report shows you're getting this thing under better control.
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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, quick update. Visited Cardiologist Wednesday and they fitted him with a Holster monitor as they thought his heart rate was a little high. He has dropped 3 kilos which didnít surprise me so they have stopped one of the heart tablets for now to see if his appetite returns. Heís eating better, obviously prefers food from my plate still but he does appear to be hungry so thatís positive. All in all heís acting quite normal, no coughing at the moment so just waiting to hear about the Holster results. Fingers crossed xx
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 05:21 AM
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Glad to hear still eating.......thatís good.
Still have you in my thoughts...thanks for checking in....

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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 12:05 AM
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Hope the holter results help your treating his condtion. Thank you for the updates.
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