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Amber
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I am happy to be joining this forum as I have to say, it has helped me a great deal in decision making and coping over the last couple of weeks. My girl, India, 9 years old, went in for her yearly exam in June this year, of which she was fine, and on October 8, 2013 she went in for a cough. I cried all night knowing what was up. After few tests, ultra sound included, they confirmed it and she was already at a moderate stage of DCM - in congestive heart failure. We started her on Vetmedin and Lasix 1 pill x twice a day, and it seemed to improve her greatly and the outlook was good. The vet even figured we would have a long term goal of a year with her based on how she took the meds and was showing next to no symptoms. I planned a weekend getaway with my girl, just us, doing moderate hiking, sitting inside by a firplace, and everything she wanted to do. It was amazing. On the way back, she started coughing again.

2 days later I took her in, that was a friday morning, as it started to worsen. She stayed overnight and the vet figured we would have to put her down on Saturday. They were doing injections of lasix every 2 hours to keep her stable, and see if her new medications (to decrease heart rate) will work. She had developed sever arithmea. In the meantime, I have grieved and come to terms with the fact that I don't want her to suffer. Tonight (sat) she is staying in hospital again, but is doing much better, perky, wants to run, is eating. However, she has progressed to where the arithmetic heart beats are showing she has not much time left. The vets want to get her stabilized enough to take her home with us for a little while, maybe an afternoon, maybe longer, but bring her back in as soon as we hear a cough and put her to rest before she struggles. It's been so hard and such a shock. But this forum has really helped me come to the decision that she needs to go at peace earlier and not suffer.

I don't necessarily need any feedback or have any questions, but rather, wanted to post my story so that it might comfort someone else who is going through something similar, as this forum did to me. My India was everything to me, she was the reason I now have a business I can work from at home, she's the reason i'm in great shape, she's so much of my happiness every moment of every day, makes me smile every second I spend with her. This is my first doberman, a gentle kind spirit she always has been, the best 8 years I've ever had. Man I am going to miss her so much. Once a doberman always a doberman. I am in so much pain right now I can't eat, think or sleep. But I would do it all over again in a heart beat to experience what I have.
 

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Holier Than Now
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22,475 Posts
I'm so sorry. I hope you and India get some more treasured time together, before the inevitable.

One thing--did your vet not stress to you that when she begins to cough at all, she needs immediate stabilizing care? Not at all trying to kick you when you are down, but when a dog in CHF starts coughing, it can't wait two days, it really cannot.

Maybe the vet can help you out with a more effective stabilizing protocol, some of which might be administered at home with instruction from your vet.

Best wishes and vibes for you guys.
 
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Registered
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872 Posts
New member to forum dealing with critical DCM

I know you said you don't necessarily need any feedback but I just wanted you to know many of us at DT have been in your shoes at least once. I have been there 5 times over the years. You love them so much that you want to give them every possible minute of life you can knowing that it will still not be enough. I too hope that your vet can possibly recommend something to do if India starts to cough once you get her home. My vet showed me how to administer lasix injections. They may help make her comfortable until you can get her back to the vets. This is a heartbreaking time for you; know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and if you get to bring India home, treasure every minute you have with her. God bless...
 

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Dedicated DoberFan
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2,786 Posts
Hi Amber, Welcome to the Forum. I'm in BC too. Thank you for sharing India with us. I'm sorry for her (and your) having to go through this, but you seem to be handling it well. You will find a lot of support here. ~Hugs~


 

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nutsaboutmydobes
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2,122 Posts
So sorry to hear you're going through this. I lost my last boy to DCM/CHF, it's heartbreaking. I hope you are able to get India home & spend some precious time with her.

I shall keep you both in my thoughts. Hugs to you & your girl.
 

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Registered
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1,848 Posts
Welcome to DT from the Midwest, USA. I'm so very sorry for this news for you and your fur kid. I'll be praying for you and your family. So many people on here have experience with what you are going through. I wish you peace and comfort. Hugs and kisses across the miles for your fur baby.
 

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Super Moderator
GOT's Kal-Drogo The Horseman (Drogo),TKI,TKN, CGC, 7 years; RIP Baron, Miley, Dax, Lonesome, Baron 1
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18,442 Posts
Hi and welcome to the forum. So very sorry you found DT under these circumstances. Please know you have found a great support group here on DT as many, many of us have gone and are going through the same thing. Just live in the moment with your sweet India and know we are here if you need to vent.
 

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Always Grateful
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6,952 Posts
Sending you and India hugs. Glad you have had such a treasure chest of time with her. You are giving back to her in a very kind way when you let her go in peace. So hard I know.
 

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Premium Member
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8,564 Posts
Sending you courage through this difficult time. I share your experience with my 2nd girl and it is never easy. Please know that you are not alone.
 

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Amber
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much for your love and support everyone. India had a good night in hospital last night and they are sending her home with us today with medications they feel will keep her stable as they have cut back the lasix injections. She will go back tonight to be monitored again, but we are just happy to have her home with us for even a few hours. If we get to take her home indefinitely after tonight, I will ask about the injectables. We don't want to keep her going back and forth - and so if her condition does get worse after tomorrow we are prepared to do whatever she needs us to do - for her.
 

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sadder but wiser girl
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9,688 Posts
Hi, and hugs to you and India. We also found DT because of DCM - right after our first Dobe died suddenly of it, at age 6. Lavish all the love you can on India for as long as you have her, and, yes, Dobermans are for life - even though you know you have to lose them, it's impossible not to go back for more. They're addicting. Nuzzles to your good girl.
 

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Amber
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just an update...we brought India home and she's very tired and lethargic, but she is so comfy in front of her fireplace. Between sighs and the odd stretch and playful poke with her paw, I know she's happy to be home. She's on a pretty high dose of furosemide, among other things, and we have decided to keep her for the night. We will take her in to say goodbye tomorrow. I have dreaded this day, but thanks to this forum and all the advice of people in the same boat - I know I'm making to right decision and taking control before she gets very sick or suffocates (with the furosemide level, her kidneys could start to fail as well). Sure, I could try cutting back the dosage and try to bring her back up to wanting to go for a walk and do the things she loves for a few days, but it doesn't make sense to me to take the risk at this point. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to such a terrible disease, having her here with me for her last moments. When she was at the hospital and we were visiting every 3 hours, I asked her to please just come home for one last time and she wouldn't have to be alone again. Amazing how these dogs listen to your every word. Thank you everyone for your comments, it's incredibly helpful :)
 

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Feed Me
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1,008 Posts
Welcome and thank you for sharing your story. I'm on my first doberman and this forum and stories such as yours are so very helpful from an educational and preparatory sense (DCM process). My heart goes out to you and your beloved India.
 

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Devil Dog
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169 Posts
Hello. Is India on Vetmedin ? I am going thru the DCM agony with my boy also, although right now he is "stable" on the Vetmedin.
We don't know each other, but we can support each other in this trial. Unfortunately, we are not alone in this..it happens too often.
We will do the right thing at the right time for our pups because we love them so, and we will continue to do the best we can- that's all we CAN do.
 

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Holier Than Now
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22,475 Posts
Just an update...we brought India home and she's very tired and lethargic, but she is so comfy in front of her fireplace. Between sighs and the odd stretch and playful poke with her paw, I know she's happy to be home. She's on a pretty high dose of furosemide, among other things, and we have decided to keep her for the night. We will take her in to say goodbye tomorrow. I have dreaded this day, but thanks to this forum and all the advice of people in the same boat - I know I'm making to right decision and taking control before she gets very sick or suffocates (with the furosemide level, her kidneys could start to fail as well). Sure, I could try cutting back the dosage and try to bring her back up to wanting to go for a walk and do the things she loves for a few days, but it doesn't make sense to me to take the risk at this point. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to such a terrible disease, having her here with me for her last moments. When she was at the hospital and we were visiting every 3 hours, I asked her to please just come home for one last time and she wouldn't have to be alone again. Amazing how these dogs listen to your every word. Thank you everyone for your comments, it's incredibly helpful :)
Bless you for your courage and for the enlightened love you are showing your girl.

When the time comes, I will light the white candle for her.

If you can, and feel up to it, we would love to see some pics of your girl, and maybe hear a story or two about her.
 

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Registered
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350 Posts
I too found this forum when my Boysie was diagnosed with DCM, the help and support I got was second to none. So many of us have walked in your shoes and my heart breaks for you. You will do the right thing,trust your own judgement.
 

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Amber
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well gosh. So I took India in on Monday morning, wanting a few medications more to last through the day - as we had prepared for putting her down the end of that day as she was not well at all in hospital the weekend prior - and the vets had talked to us about that. The vet checked her that morning and was surprised...India had really taken the new meds and everything sounded good, breathing, etc. She suggested waiting it out a bit more and keeping her on the meds for a few more days and watch if anything changes. So far she's been great, it certainly isn't the same life for her, but she doesn't seem to mind right now, just being silly and lazy. Since we are within 5 minutes of our vet, and they are 24 hour, the vet suggested we just have a few more days and see, and if anything appears to be abnormal again (coughing or fast breathing) then that would be a good indication. It really is such a rollercoaster. In any case, we are prepared, but our baby isn't quite ready it seems, it may be a last hurrah, and that's fine by us. You really can't plan this stuff.
 
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