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Discussion Starter #1
Titan is my first dobe and he honestly wasn't mine to begin with but when I left my unstable husband a year ago, I wasn't going to leave him in that environment with the psycho. I was the one who took care of him anyway and loved him. So I added Titan to my divorce papers. I've fallen in absolute love with this breed and if it weren't for DT, I wouldn't have been vigilant to lookout for DCM symptoms.

The only symptoms I've noticed were an irregular heartbeat that I could hear with my stethoscope and an episode where his chest/neck was visibly fluttering. I recognized it as JVD, jugular vein distention. So I called the vet knowing what it probably was. Titan's ultrasound revealed Left atrial enlargement. The vet said the left ventricle is only slightly enlarged. He also said he has Atrial Fibrillation. His ejection fraction is 15-20% . Titan is showing no signs of CHF yet. His only symptoms so far are the JVD episodes and arrhythmia.

Now for the meds. I know Titan needs a cardiology consult but how typical do these dosages and medicines sound? Titan was started on Digoxin 0.125 mcg twice a day and enalapril 10mg once a day. I'm just worried. Thanks everyone for any help.

 

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I've not had to go through this yet, so I'm not much use to you, sorry.

That's a very nice picture of you together and he is a handsome boy.

Hopefully some of the people here on DT can help guide you and support you through this.

Wishing you and Titan many more happy years together.
 

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I'm so sorry that you are going through this, but I am really glad you knew what to look for and caught it early. Titan is a lucky boy to have such a dedicated owner.

Also... I LOVE the toenails!
 

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No advice as I haven't dealt with this before, but I'm sending lots of prayers and good vibes to you both! I'm with the others....those toenails are fantastic!!! Please keep us updated. It sounds like you caught it early so hopefully everything will work out for the best.
 

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Lucy was on enalapril 10mg, lasix, pimobendan, she didn't take digoxin. She was in CHF for about 2 years. Once she started on the meds the cardiologist said she would have 8 to 10 months. She made it 11 months. The enalapril was suppose to not make the heart work so hard via blood pressure. Lasix was to get fluid off. Pimo was for her heart.
 

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I am very sorry to hear that. Greta had DCM, she had the same dose of Digoxin Titan gets, but she also was on a lot of other medications. Actually, it was a cocktail of medication. Vetmedin (Pimobendan) is the most important medication for extending the livespan of a dog with DCM.

I recommend going to a cardiologist as fast as possible since medication of DCM is a special science and if you want to get the best out of it only an up to date pro can help you with the right mix. Since your dog has not yet been in CHF and the heart is only slightly enlarged, you still have a chance to really do something with medications - not only ease the decline like it was in my case.

I wish you and your handsome boy all the very best.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks Madmony and Violet. I've read good things about the pimo. I've got a follow up visit in 2 weeks to make sure the digoxin isn't toxic to his kidney's. But thanks for the treatment info. It's just reassuring until I see a cardiologist to know that he's not too far off in the treatment plan as far as meds are concerned. The closest cardiologist to me is 3 hours away in Athens, GA. Thank goodness Titan is awesome with car rides.
 

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I'm so sorry. Totally unfair.

Seconding Violet's advice.

I lost the best red boy ever, by age three. I didn't know at the time to test very young. You are lucky to have diagnosed him so early.

Vibes your way, hope you get a lot of good quality time left together.

Love both your pedicures :)
 

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I hate to be the one to poke a balloon with a pin, but your boy's shortening fraction is very low. It may not have been measured correctly, since that is kind of an art (particularly, for some reason, the measurement of Doberman hearts)... hopefully, it is not your vet's area of expertise. I would ask your vet to get Pimobendan in for you immediately... probably, you will be doing 5 mg. 2 X day. Cardiologist as soon as you are able... do not delay. If I was in Georgia, I would be seeing if my dog was a candidate for stem cell therapy with Dr. Estrada at The University of Florida.

I do not know how common it is, but my dog had little enlargement and virtually no arrhythmias at all, no coughing, no fluid, no CHF, no nothin' until his disease was very advanced... his shortening fraction just kept decreasing. 25 - 30% is considered by my cardiologist to be "gray area" and my dog began to exhibit loss of energy and appetite and such when his measurement declined to about 18%. Pimobendan was very helpful to my dog, but when his heart began to weaken it was a rapid process. I really encourage you to get this now.
 

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Mmctaq gave you some excellent advice. Wish I could offer some as well. Take it one day at a time and please try to do your best to remain upbeat for Titan. I am so very deeply sorry for what you both are and will be going thru. There are a lot of people here who can help guide you through this journey. Thank you for giving him a loving home. Titan is a very lucky boy to have you as his Mom. Remember, laughter truly is the best medicine. Best wishes to you and Titan.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I hate to be the one to poke a balloon with a pin, but your boy's shortening fraction is very low. It may not have been measured correctly, since that is kind of an art (particularly, for some reason, the measurement of Doberman hearts)... hopefully, it is not your vet's area of expertise. I would ask your vet to get Pimobendan in for you immediately... probably, you will be doing 5 mg. 2 X day. Cardiologist as soon as you are able... do not delay. If I was in Georgia, I would be seeing if my dog was a candidate for stem cell therapy with Dr. Estrada at The University of Florida.

I do not know how common it is, but my dog had little enlargement and virtually no arrhythmias at all, no coughing, no fluid, no CHF, no nothin' until his disease was very advanced... his shortening fraction just kept decreasing. 25 - 30% is considered by my cardiologist to be "gray area" and my dog began to exhibit loss of energy and appetite and such when his measurement declined to about 18%. Pimobendan was very helpful to my dog, but when his heart began to weaken it was a rapid process. I really encourage you to get this now.
Thanks I agree about the % of ejection fraction. Titan has no loss of energy no loss of appetite. Nothing, no change in behavior. I'm a registered nurse, and I agree it takes an experienced cardio ultrasound tech to read and measure ultrasounds. Thanks for the UF research tip. I emailed Dr. Estrada and the Veterinary School. Gainesville is only 3 hours south of me. I'll let everyone know if I get a response.
 

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Sorry to hear about Titan, I hope that things go well for him and you. I will be praying for you both.
 
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I am so very sorry to read this. But I agree with the others, you need to get Titan to a cardiologist as soon as you can. Please do a search on DCM on this forum and read get as much information as you can. My Baron, who will be 5 in November, has early stage DCM and is currently on Sotalol (80 mg every 12 hours) and 2,000 fish oil a day. But the important thing is to get to a good cardiologist. My thoughts and prayers are with Titan. Please keep us updated.
 

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knock on wood, I have not dealt with cardio yet with my personal dogs - so I'm not much help with medication. I just 2nd and 3rd that you get him to a cardiologist soon. Also remember that not all cardiologists are created equal, so hopefully you will like the one closest to you. Some of them do travel around so you may want to find out if there is one that comes closer to you.

Because he was diagnosed pretty early, you will hopefully have a long time with him - the right meds are critical. I know of some cardio dogs that lived for several years on meds and some that did not last long. Hopefully your boy will be one of the ones that cheats death for several years to come.
 

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I just want to say I'm sorry. I lost my heart and soul dog Petey to DCM 7 weeks ago. I agree with the others, get an aggressive cardiologist and DO THE STEM CELLS. That is my only regret now that my baby boy is gone, that I didn't do everything I could for him. They will get back to you, and are the nicest people ever.

Here is our story: http://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman-health/34967-petey-has-dcm.html
 

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No advice, but lots of prayers for you. I'm so sorry.
 
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