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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Harper saw the new cardiologist yesterday. Dr. Riepe and her tech were fabulous and we spent a good chunk of the afternoon with them. They ran an ekg on Harper and unfortunately he is in afib. We know it happened fairly recently as his holter test was just last week and he wasn't in afib then.

They also did another echo on him and fs% is somewhere between 11-15%. Dr. Riepe started him on mexitil and diltiazem and upped his pimo and lasix dose (left his enalapril and spironolactone dose as is). He isn't coughing or exhibiting and CHF symptoms and is still his usual spunky self, but with him being in afib she said his risks of going in to CHF are much higher as his heart function is even more decreased. She said he's still on a fairly low dose of lasix at 20mg TID so we have room to adjust it if needed. I asked if there was any chance at all that he could come out of afib and she said probably not.

I'm to continue the supplements that I've had him on and she was happy to see that I was using them along with the meds. He's been taurine and large amounts of Omega 3's for several years, but I also started him on CoQ10, Magnesium Aspartate, L-Carnitine and B-Complex since his diagnosis.

He's only had two doses of the mexitil and diltiazem, but so far he is tolerating them fine. His appetite is voracious as always and I'm hoping it stays that way. We go back in a week for another ekg and to check his renal function since we're adding in the new meds.

So we're just taking it day by day, but we know what is coming. In the mean time we'll make sure Harper is happy and feeling well and cherish the time we have with him.
 

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I'm sorry the news was not better, but it sounds like you have found an excellent cardiologist. You are right to take it one day at a time, that is how I spend Petey's last year and I'm so grateful that we had such a good time. Hugs to you all. ox
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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Oh...that a-fib news is devastating. My boy was also on the diltiazem. I wish I could tell you that it worked well, but he bloated before it really ever had a chance to kick in.

If you don't mind my asking, what was his heart rate when diagnosed with a-fib? Have you noticed any decrease since starting the diltiazem?

You are so right..cherish this time. Take lots of photos/videos. Some of my most cherished posessions are the videos I took of my boy.
 
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Eat Poo and Die
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I'm so sorry about the news. I'm glad Harper is in the care of a good cardio. Lots of hugs from Niz and I being sent your way.
 

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I'm so glad you were happy with Dr. Riepe and Adam, but so sorry for the evaluation they made. I was very much hoping for better news for you... I am truly sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh...that a-fib news is devastating. My boy was also on the diltiazem. I wish I could tell you that it worked well, but he bloated before it really ever had a chance to kick in.

If you don't mind my asking, what was his heart rate when diagnosed with a-fib? Have you noticed any decrease since starting the diltiazem?

You are so right..cherish this time. Take lots of photos/videos. Some of my most cherished posessions are the videos I took of my boy.
Thank you all for the good thoughts♥

Harper's heart rate yesterday at the cardiologist ranged from 200-220bpm. He was pretty worked up when he came back from the echo and ekg, and panted for a short while afterward. He's had 3 doses of diltiazem and mexitil, and this afternoon when I checked him a few minutes after he laid down he was at 109bpm. He's busy chewing a bone right now, but I'll check him again this evening when he's resting.

He's still his usual spunky self today. He spent the day going in and out and running around in the yard with the others doing squirrel patrol, played with his new Cuz toy and is currently chewing a beef neck bone. I was warned that the mexitil could cause him to go off his food, but so far he's been quite the opposite. Food still trumps just about everything else and I'm really hoping it stays that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Harper's recheck...some great news!!!!

Harper had a recheck today and I am THRILLED to report that he is no longer in A-FIB!!! His ECG looked WONDERFUL and he is back in normal sinus rhythm!!! My vet listened to him before they did the ECG and she commented that his heart sounded pretty dam good and asked me if I was sure I brought the same dog as last time ;) His heart rate during the ECG stayed at 120bpm or lower and the highest it got up to was 140bpm and that was when they laid him on his side. No VPC's were seen which I know doesn't mean much as it's only a short period of time, but he had some on his last ECG before we started the mexitil and diltiazem. His bloodwork looked perfect and kidney and liver values were normal as well.

I suspected that he might have come out of afib sometime last week based on his much low heart rate and how his heart sounded the many times I listened to him and checked his rate this past week. I knew there was a high chance that I was wrong, but I remained hopeful. We did end up having to lower the Diltiazem way down after an episode that Harper had where his heart rate dropped really low which caused some other issues and scared the crap out of us. This was after 4 days on the med and two days after I noticed a change in his bpm. We cut the diltiazem out for 24 hours and he perked up and was back to his bouncy self by the next morning. I have kept him on a 1/3 of the prescribed dose since then and no more issues.

So that is our report today. I am THRILLED to pieces to say the least. We went for a nice walk at one of our favorite parks after his appointment and he is now snoozing on the couch next to me. Today is a very good day! Harper feels great and I am so thankful that he is doing so well right now.
 

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What wonderful and unexpected great news!!! I am so happy for you both and hope this lasts for a long time. Thank you for posting!!! How about some new pictures.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
New pictures, check! These were taken tonight as he patiently waited for me to get out of his face with the camera ;)


Do these jammies make my butt look big?...



And just plain adorable even with glowing eyes...


I love my sweet red boy ♥
 

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I just wanted to jump in an say CONGRATULATIONS!! :) What wonderful news. Heres to your boy living many more healthy, happy years!
 
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Sirai Dobermans
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Oh so thrilled and RELIEVED for you!! I was holding my breath and waiting for an update. He's a fighter!
 
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