View Full Version : Cowgirl is going to the Cardiologist

07-02-2014, 11:44 AM
Finally! We are back home with our awesome vet. He is amazing and I feel so much better having taking Cowgirl to him.

He gave us real answers on our Cowgirls heart murmur! We had Cowgirl to three different vets and they gave us nothing. They just told us there was nothing we could do. They hardly even looked at her. He got a big stethoscope out and spent a long time feeling and listing to her. The vets in Idaho hardly looked at her. He told us that because she is only 7, that she still has a lot of life left in her but the fact that she has had the heart murmur for two years already meant that it would either maintain or get worse. She is only at a 2 stage so that that is good. He then told us that there is a preventive drug we can give her that has been successful in preventing dogs from ever going into heart failure. Really!!!??? Not one of three vets told us that! They all told us that we basically had to wait until she was in heart failure to do anything.

So he recommended that we take her to Loomis (kind of our equivalent to WSU) and have her get a cardiology test so they can determine what the problem is. Depending on the problem we can get a better idea of what we are dealing with and if applicable we can get her onto the preventative meds. I felt so horrible these last two years, like she was a ticking time bomb. Every time she would get overly excited I would get worried that it would hurt her. The original vets had her diagnosed as a 4 so I was so worried on top of not trusting the information they gave us.

I will keep you guys posted. Her procedure is on the 8th. I am not sure what they are going to do but I am glad she is finally getting looked at.

07-02-2014, 11:47 AM
Bentleys from Wisconsin!:bentley::bentley:

(P.S. Moved this thread as I figured you and Cowgirl could use some Bentleys, even though this is really a happy post!)

07-02-2014, 03:11 PM
It's always a relief to find a vet...or a doctor...who is at the top of their game. Bently's your way!

07-02-2014, 03:43 PM
Margot has hypertension with severe Mitral Valve regurgitation (the valve doesn't shut and blood backflows). On our first visit, our cardiologist said that dogs with this severity disease live 12-18 months. It's been over 3 years now.

She is on:

* Pimobendan, an inodialator (a.k.a Vetmedin, which is probably what your vet was referring to)
* Digoxin, an ATPase inhibitor
* Benezepril, an ACE inhibtor
* Furosemide, a diuretic

Carol G
07-02-2014, 04:36 PM
Try not to worry. I've had two dogs with life long heart murmurs -- one lived to 15-1/2 & the other to 16-1/2. My mom has had a heart murmur all her life and she is 87.

Bonny Zali has mitral valve disease. So far so good for her. She gets an ultrasound by the cardiologist at least once a year. One advice I'd give is to research any drugs prescribed for Cowgirl for other conditions because some drugs shouldn't be given to those with heart conditions. I always make a point to ask the vet about any new meds for Bonny Z.

A Bentley from here.


Lee, thanks for the list of drugs -- I will look them up for future reference.

07-02-2014, 05:02 PM
Thank you little roads!

I am glad to hear that Margot has been doing well even with that diagnosis! Its scary when a Dr. tells you there is something wrong with your dogs heart! She was only 5 when she was diagnosed so I was a little taken aback especially since we had had her to get a check up 3 days prior and she was given the all clear. She was diagnosed when she went to the emergency vet at WSU after getting in a fight with her sister and her ear needed a few stitches. They haven't fought since that day (knock on wood).

Leesam I do think that is what he called it Pimobendan then he said vetmedin. I know she is not "out of the woods" and it has been a constant source of worry every time I see her over play, get anxious etc. I never want to overwork her because I am scared of her heart not being able to handle the strain. Finally hearing that its a 2 and that there is something we can do to help prevent any further failure makes me feel better. I am worried about the test but better to find out whats going on then to not.

07-02-2014, 05:18 PM
Lee, thanks for the list of drugs -- I will look them up for future reference.

With the exception of the Pimobendan, which is not FDA approved for human use in the United States (but cleared for non-food animal use), these drugs are often standard prescriptions for people with heart disease as well. My father has hypertension, so he and Margot's medications overlap somewhat - only he is on statins.

07-02-2014, 09:29 PM
Carol, yea that will defiantly be something we have to do. We also make sure she docent get any extra salt (like in people food) or dog treats.

07-07-2014, 06:30 PM
I'm very happy for you that you got some answers for Cowgirl and will be getting the rest of the ones you need soon. Seems like going home has been good for you guys all the way around! :) :pawup: :bentley: Bentley lit for good news from tomorrow's procedure!

07-18-2014, 07:19 PM
Hi Guys! Sorry I didn't write back sooner! We have internet troubles but that is a story for another thread I think. Right now our round about system seems to be working better (knock on wood).

Cowgirl is good!!!

Her diagnostic is Tricuspid valve dysplasia with mild insufficiency- the tricuspid valve is abnormally formed with slight leak through the valve. No heart enlargement is present.

The Dr. says that she was born with an abnormally shaped heart and that the slight leak is nothing to worry about. He said that he would like her checked again in 3 years just to be safe but that it is like saying to me "come back in 20 years".

He also said, "She is the best Queenie I have ever worked on". That made me feel pretty proud:redpuppy:. When they took her away from us to give her the ultra sound I was thinking "Oh boy they are going to be back out here in 5 minutes telling us that they need to sedate her but he said that she jumped right up on the table, let him roll her over, shave a little spot and do the test with out a fuss. Good Cow!!! That would NEVER have happened with Blue. She would have put up a fight. I get the feeling that vets secretly swear to themselves when they see a heeler come in.

It was expencive but I am so relieved that it was totally worth it! I felt like we had this ticking time bomb but he said that meds would not be necessary because she is not in danger.

07-18-2014, 07:42 PM
Glad to hear that it is nothing serious! I'm sure it was scary waiting to hear. Also great that Cowgirl was so good for the vet and earned his praise. I know a lot of vets have seen the not so pleasant side of ACD's when examining them.

07-19-2014, 11:36 AM
Yay! Glad she is OK!