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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 12 and a half year old boy has a grade three heart murmur and is in CHF. Currently he is taking Pimobendan, Lasix and Spironolactone. I know all we can do is try to keep him comfortable at this point and we’re trying our best to do just that, trying to keep the fluid off so he can breathe better. He’s hanging in there and his appetite is still really good as well. My issue is the lady who runs the rescue where we adopted him thinks we aren’t doing enough. She said I to get him in with a cardiologist ASAP, but there aren’t any in the area I am in. So she is really angry with me and it’s not helping any. She even wanted to call my vet herself because she thinks he doesn’t know what he’s doing and says the meds he put my boy on are only the preliminary meds! Anyway I am so distraught, feeling like I’m not doing the best for my baby! He’s the fourth doberman I’ve had and the only one who has had DCM/CHF. The other three were age 13, 14 and 12 when they passed so it’s not like I haven’t taken the best care of them that I can. I’m not bragging because I know it’s a crap shoot with dogs who are prone to many health issues but we’ve definitely been lucky to have them all live to be seniors. Anyway I’m just looking for advice since I don’t have much experience with DCM/CHF. Do you guys think I should push the vet for more meds or have him send his info to the state vet school and see if they recommend more meds? I’m just at a loss and have been incredibly stressed. I am getting over a cold so the stress has definitely gotten to me. So, any tips, encouragement, etc are greatly appreciated.
 

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You're doing the best you can with him and being realistic which I applaud. I'm sorry you are dealing with this and the stress of that controlling rescue person does not help anything. I would cease contact with her. Traveling very far to a cardiologist could be a stressful event given his age and deteriorating state as well. You could ask your vet about doing a 24hour holter on him to see if he's having acute arrhythmias that could be better controlled. Holter monitors can be rented through many vet schools, ncsu rents theirs out of state for a reasonable cost as well. Otherwise chest x rays are going to tell you the most about his condition at this point and your vet can and should continue to do them.
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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12 and a half is a very good age for a doberman, so you must be doing a very good job with him. A lot of DCM dobes don't even make it to 8 or 9, and some die very young indeed.

Tell that rescue person to.....well, bug off, anyway. Right now, your dobe just needs the comfort of your home so he can be at peace--a long drive and exam are not really what he needs at this point.

Caring for an older dog can be heartbreaking--I'm sorry you're having to deal with this--but I think you and your vet are on target when it comes to his care.
 

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joie de vivre
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I agree with greenkouki & melbrod. At his advanced age (12+ is amazing for a Doberman!), I think the best you can do is balance quality of life with managing his symptoms - which sounds like exactly what you are doing.

Love your boy. Keep him comfortable. And don't let someone else make you feel badly about it.
 

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Hi D#1. Honestly, for you to have had 4 dobes, all of whom have lived to 12 and beyond, IMO, makes you somewhat of an expert on the care of seniors of this breed. We have had a dog with DCM and would have been thrilled to have him reach the age of 12.

That being said... I don't think that it would be out of line to ask your veterinarian to do a consult with a cardiologist or have your dog's exam results sent out for a second opinion. These things are done all the time. My vet would probably do it as a matter of course. You could imply to the vet that you hope this action might satisfy the rescue employee's concern

Just a thought.

Best to you and your "old boy"

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so very much for your support and for calming me down! I think I will call the vet tomorrow afternoon and tell him I would like to see if he can reach out to a specialist at least to get another opinion. Definitely not contacting the rescue lady again! I’m not trying to throw her under the bus, but she just wasn’t very professional and was just so hateful! I was trying to be courteous by telling her what’s going on since she does call every once in awhile to see how he’s doing. Good advice from all of you and I really can’t thank you enough! I’m thankful to have had all of our dobies make it to a ripe old age, and I truly wish that was the case for all of these guys and gals. They’re such a special breed and show us love like no other. They are very entertaining too. All very special.
I’ll update when I can. I have a funeral to attend out of town in the morning so I can’t call the vet until tomorrow afternoon because I want to make sure I don’t miss his call when he calls back. Thanks again!
 

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If at age 12 you choose to just keep him comfortable, I don't really think it is the rescues business!! It would be different if he were only 6 or 7 (maybe). As it is, you are medicating him.
I've had 3 litters and I've always told my families that I don't expect them to spend $1000's to keep their dog alive if they can't afford to. What I ask is that they don't let their dog suffer. If someone chooses to do more (as some have), then that is great, but I would never require it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If at age 12 you choose to just keep him comfortable, I don't really think it is the rescues business!! It would be different if he were only 6 or 7 (maybe). As it is, you are medicating him.
I've had 3 litters and I've always told my families that I don't expect them to spend $1000's to keep their dog alive if they can't afford to. What I ask is that they don't let their dog suffer. If someone chooses to do more (as some have), then that is great, but I would never require it.
Thanks Fitzmar! I can afford to do more. We’ve always had a savings account set aside for our dobies. Luckily we still have plenty in there because all but one were healthy up until the very end, and we also put money in the account every month. If I had access to a vet school, cardiologists, etc., then I would get him in to be seen. Trust me, I want to do what we can for him to extend his life as long as it’s of good quality. I’m sorry if I gave anyone the impression that we don’t want to just because he’s an old fella. When he was first diagnosed the vet said there is no cure, which I knew that much already. So he prescribed what he did to help his symptoms. He was diagnosed in January, by the way. Forgot to mention that earlier. In the rescue’s contract, it does state that if she feels the animal isn’t properly taken care of she has the right to take it back. I don’t think that would happen because of his age though so I’m not worried about that. It would take her over a day to get here.
Thanks again Fitzmar!
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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You didn't give the impression that you didn't want to spend the money at all.
Quality of life is the big thing for these seniors--and you gave the impression that that was your main concern. And I applaud you for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You didn't give the impression that you didn't want to spend the money at all.
Quality of life is the big thing for these seniors--and you gave the impression that that was your main concern. And I applaud you for it.
I’m glad I didn’t give that impression! I’ve been so stressed and tired from all of it, so I just wanted to clarify and make sure I was making sense. I’m thankful to have had him for as long as I have, and my other three as long as I did, but of course we all want more time with them. As much as it hurts to lose them, I will always have room in my heart for more in the future. My hubby had better have room in his too!
 

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Keep up the good work and just a thought .....your treating vet might consider drafting a letter to your naysayers.
Something that would summarize your dogs current treatment plan.
This letter might fill in some clinical questions for them, in hopes they will back off.
This documentation will serve you later as it shows your efforts of keeping them in the loop regarding your pups clinical care.
Its more than they deserve but just think’ in some communication from a professional might bring some silence from them in time.
 

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Dobes Dobles +1
Neo Puppy, Lanah Chi-Cairn X 6 y/o, RIP Eva HADR Rescue Dobe, Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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Dobies#1, love your passion and care for this breed, subject to so many health issues.

Our Eva passed away from CHF just 3 mo. shy of 11 y/o this last March.
She was on Vetmedin and Lasix as your Dobe is, for her last 6 months after diagnosis. I am certain those two meds permitted that extra time and quality of life for her. Besides washing lots of bed covers for the "Pee Pee Princess" on Lasix, the Vetmedin helped live a normal life, right up until her last night. Her walks lengths were trimmed back by herself, as she somehow instinctively knew to do, when getting too far from home or air too hot and humid.

Best wishes for your senior boy's treatment! (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Spocksdad, thank you so much. I can’t imagine having another breed, although I dolove most dogs in general. I just love dobies so much! I’m so sorry about your Eva too! I know how much it hurts when they pass. Prayers for you and yours. Wanted to give an update. The vet called me back this evening after he got off work. We had a good conversation and he reassured me that right now we are doing what he feels is best for my boy. He basically told me all the same things you all did. He said he could give me a referral but said considering his age, and the end result will be the same, he really didn’t want to put him through the stress of riding in a car for five and a half hours one way, and having a bunch of tests on top of traveling. He said he could add another heart med but he didn’t feel it would really do much based on his exam and xrays. He said he’s had his fair share of experience with DCM and has reached out to specialists for consults, if he wasn’t sure about a particular case to see if the treatment needed to change. He said IF he thought it would help my boy’s case he would have already asked me if I wanted him to do that. He said he just felt like the treatment wouldn’t change in this case. He said I was being realistic and said we’re doing the best we can for him, so I really appreciated him making me feel so much better about it. I did tell him I wasn’t questioning his treatment plan at all, but it was the rescue person bugging me about it. I didn’t go into all the details since it was late. Plus, I didn’t want to just badmouth her, because I do appreciate what she does in rescue, but I just wanted him to know where it was coming from. He was like oh wow, so she’s the type that thinks she knows more than the vet?! I said yes! He kind of laughed and said he was fortunate that so far he hasn’t had to deal with many like that. Anyway, I’m glad I went ahead and talked it over with him again. Also, I can’t thank all of you enough for your input, and just for listening! XOXO
 

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Spocksdad, thank you so much. I can’t imagine having another breed, although I dolove most dogs in general. I just love dobies so much! I’m so sorry about your Eva too! I know how much it hurts when they pass. Prayers for you and yours. Wanted to give an update. The vet called me back this evening after he got off work. We had a good conversation and he reassured me that right now we are doing what he feels is best for my boy. He basically told me all the same things you all did. He said he could give me a referral but said considering his age, and the end result will be the same, he really didn’t want to put him through the stress of riding in a car for five and a half hours one way, and having a bunch of tests on top of traveling. He said he could add another heart med but he didn’t feel it would really do much based on his exam and xrays. He said he’s had his fair share of experience with DCM and has reached out to specialists for consults, if he wasn’t sure about a particular case to see if the treatment needed to change. He said IF he thought it would help my boy’s case he would have already asked me if I wanted him to do that. He said he just felt like the treatment wouldn’t change in this case. He said I was being realistic and said we’re doing the best we can for him, so I really appreciated him making me feel so much better about it. I did tell him I wasn’t questioning his treatment plan at all, but it was the rescue person bugging me about it. I didn’t go into all the details since it was late. Plus, I didn’t want to just badmouth her, because I do appreciate what she does in rescue, but I just wanted him to know where it was coming from. He was like oh wow, so she’s the type that thinks she knows more than the vet?! I said yes! He kind of laughed and said he was fortunate that so far he hasn’t had to deal with many like that. Anyway, I’m glad I went ahead and talked it over with him again. Also, I can’t thank all of you enough for your input, and just for listening! XOXO
You are doing an excellent job and putting your dog's needs first. That's all anyone can ask of you, and no one should second guess what a loving owner does for their dog. No one else has to live with those decisions. Every decision you make out of love for your dog is the right one. I hope that you still have some good, quality time with your boy. My thoughts are with you.
 

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I didn’t mean to imply that you couldn’t do more - sorry if you took it that way. I do the same as you and keep a dog account.
I think what you have done to this point is appropriate for a 12 year old Doberman - I don’t think that a lot more needs to be done. To me keeping an old dog comfortable as long as they are enjoying life is appropriate care, and I sure would never expect more from one of my puppy families.
 

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My 12 and a half year old boy has a grade three heart murmur and is in CHF. Currently he is taking Pimobendan, Lasix and Spironolactone. I know all we can do is try to keep him comfortable at this point and we’re trying our best to do just that, trying to keep the fluid off so he can breathe better. He’s hanging in there and his appetite is still really good as well. My issue is the lady who runs the rescue where we adopted him thinks we aren’t doing enough. She said I to get him in with a cardiologist ASAP, but there aren’t any in the area I am in. So she is really angry with me and it’s not helping any. She even wanted to call my vet herself because she thinks he doesn’t know what he’s doing and says the meds he put my boy on are only the preliminary meds! Anyway I am so distraught, feeling like I’m not doing the best for my baby! He’s the fourth doberman I’ve had and the
I didn’t mean to imply that you couldn’t do more - sorry if you took it that way. I do the same as you and keep a dog account.
I think what you have done to this point is appropriate for a 12 year old Doberman - I don’t think that a lot more needs to be done. To me keeping an old dog comfortable as long as they are enjoying life is appropriate care, and I sure would never expect more from one of my puppy families.
only one who has had DCM/CHF. The other three were age 13, 14 and 12 when they passed so it’s not like I haven’t taken the best care of them that I can. I’m not bragging because I know it’s a crap shoot with dogs who are prone to many health issues but we’ve definitely been lucky to have them all live to be seniors. Anyway I’m just looking for advice since I don’t have much experience with DCM/CHF. Do you guys think I should push the vet for more meds or have him send his info to the state vet school and see if they recommend more meds? I’m just at a loss and have been incredibly stressed. I am getting over a cold so the stress has definitely gotten to me. So, any tips, encouragement, etc are greatly appreciated.
I’m so sorry for you both. I recently lost my 8 yo male Doberman to DCM, but he went quick in his sleep, in fact he was on couch before I nodded off in recliner. Next thing I heard was a very faint whimper as he had moved closer to me ....and passed.
We were expecting to return to vets in morning for another session in oxygen chamber.

believe me when I say that you’re doing all you can for your boy and all the meds in the world I doubt will help. Tell rescue person don’t call again.

just be near your boy and love him. He knows you do. At this point,echocardiogram is just going to show heart in motion. We made that long trip and once was enough.

a tip....and my boy did this, so you’ll know why if yours does this......standing, he’ll stretch out his neck in front, as he’s trying to get more air into his lungs. Also, if he’s lying down and not his side, then roll up blanket and put under head so on even plane with his body. Again, it helps him get air intake. God bless you both. It’s tough, and a heart-wrenching disease. I hate DCM. 🙏🐶❤
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I didn’t mean to imply that you couldn’t do more - sorry if you took it that way. I do the same as you and keep a dog account.
I think what you have done to this point is appropriate for a 12 year old Doberman - I don’t think that a lot more needs to be done. To me keeping an old dog comfortable as long as they are enjoying life is appropriate care, and I sure would never expect more from one of my puppy families.
No worries! I appreciate your understanding, and all of your insight, and I’m sure your puppy families are grateful as well. I know I would be! I’d love a puppy again someday. They can be a challenge but are also so darn cute and funny!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I’m so sorry for you both. I recently lost my 8 yo male Doberman to DCM, but he went quick in his sleep, in fact he was on couch before I nodded off in recliner. Next thing I heard was a very faint whimper as he had moved closer to me ....and passed.
We were expecting to return to vets in morning for another session in oxygen chamber.

believe me when I say that you’re doing all you can for your boy and all the meds in the world I doubt will help. Tell rescue person don’t call again.

just be near your boy and love him. He knows you do. At this point,echocardiogram is just going to show heart in motion. We made that long trip and once was enough.

a tip....and my boy did this, so you’ll know why if yours does this......standing, he’ll stretch out his neck in front, as he’s trying to get more air into his lungs. Also, if he’s lying down and not his side, then roll up blanket and put under head so on even plane with his body. Again, it helps him get air intake. God bless you both. It’s tough, and a heart-wrenching disease. I hate DCM. 🙏🐶❤
Thank you! I am so sorry to hear about your boy. My heart goes out to you. 😢🙏
I hate DCM too! So far he hasn’t done that with his neck. He does tire quickly, even more so this week since it’s getting hot outside. So our trips outside in the afternoons are just to pee and poop. He’d like to stay out longer but when he gets hot it takes him a long time to cool down and stop panting.
 

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I hate this horrible disease that is becoming more common in the breed. You're doing a great job keeping him alive but one thing I might suggest is lining up a vet to come to you when you realize it's time. Bless you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey guys. Just wanted to let you all know we made the hard decision to euthanize lil Spock this morning. He had a pretty good weekend but last night he didn’t want to take his meds which is totally unlike him. I did get them down him after he ate dinner. He slept pretty good but coughed a couple of times during the night. He went around and did his business and usual backyard check, but he refused his breakfast, plus didn’t want his meds again. Luckily our vet got us in this morning. He said his lungs sounded a bit raspy, so he took another X-ray and said his heart was even bigger than the previous X-ray. It’s just not like him to not eat because in all of our years of having him, he never missed a meal, so I think he was telling us it was time. He fought hard til the very end though. Our hearts are shattered and the house is so quiet and empty. There will never be another one like him. Thanks again for all your support and kind words. This is a wonderful forum. Someday we will open our hearts and home to another dobie in need. RIP Mr. Spock. 😢😢😢
 
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