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My black lab, Penny is waiting to see a Cardiologist on Wednesday due to a number of symptoms. I was wondering if anyone on here has gone through anything similar?

It started a couple of months ago, I noticed that she was tiring very easily. Playing fetch for 5 minutes, then collapsing and panting heavily. She then collapsed when climbing the 4 sets of stairs to the flat. I mentioned this to the vet when we were is checking out a wee ear infection and he said that this was unusal for a pup of this age. So checked her bloods which all were normal. I then had to monitor her heart rate at rest and exercise. I am a nurse, so when I was listening to her heart, I found it irregular rhythm and some extra beats. We went back to vets, and another vet saw us and she too heard these extra beats. She booked us in to see this Cardiologist and in the mean time did ECG. However they only captured 10 second views and nothing was there.

We were told to limit her excersise and keep her calm as they believed it could be an intermittant problem related to exercise. I ended up back at vets today as yesterday she started foaming at nose and mouth when on a gentle toilet walk. Vet today heard a more distinct irregularity at rest, with her missing a beat very 7 beats. He now suggests that until Wednesday she should literally only get out to use toliet in garden.

I am so worried, as it is difficult enough dealing with the thought that Penny could have a heart problem, not being able to explain to her where her walks and plays with the other dogs have gone, and also why Im not playing ball or fetch in the house. The cage which we phased out a few months ago, may have to come back to stop her running around in the house.

Please help me with suggestions of keeping her calm, and let me know if you have been through this too.
Pauline and Penny
xxx
 

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Sorry to hear Penny may have a heart problem, I`ve heard of Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) in dogs and there also something else that has come to the fore more lately, Paroxysmal Dsykenesia (not sure if that the correct spellling), one of the members labs has it June`s (sorry can`t remember her screen name) Monty.

Hopefully June will see this thread and respond to you in the meantime I won`t say don`t worry too much because we all would in your position, hope the specialist visit goes well and they can find a cause and treatment for Penny :)
 

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EIC, CNM and Paroxysmal Dyskinesia are more involved with the brain than heart Mary, so I doubt it in this case. Atrial Fibrillation often goes hand in hand with Cardiomyopathy, which all sounds about right in this case, so it's worth checking for this as well. (But the specialist will do this as a matter of course.)

For what it's worth I agree with you vet about keeping her quiet until you have had time for the specialist to examine her. You will know better about whats happening after then.

Regards, John
 

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Awww Pauline, so sorry to hear about Penny. It must be really confusing for her not being able to run around and go for her normal walks. The cage sounds like a good idea if necessary until you know some more. I hope everything goes well on Wednesday for you both {{{hugs}}}
 

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ut wut

Oh Pauline - you must be so worried about Penny right now.

As Mary mentioned - Monty does have collapsing episodes - some of which are related to exercise/excitement.

When I first mentioned to our vet that I was concerned about Monty's exericse intolerance (he was around 12 months old by this time) - he decided to do an ECG "just for peace of mind" he said - though he was sure there was no heart problem. But I was still very worried and when I rang the surgery about when to collect him after the ECG the receptionist said that the vet wanted to refer Monty to a cardiologist. I panicked and was devastated! Every worst scenario went through my mind.

But when we went to collect Monty the vet told us that the ECG was perfectly normal. I was puzzled by this but he went on to say that if Monty had been his own dog (and insured!) he would want him checked out by a specialist just to be certain. So we took him for further heart tests and were told that his heart traces were "text-book". He was as fit as a fiddle!.

Monty continues to have collapses - but these have turned out to be totally unrelated to heart problems.

I really hope that all goes well when you see the cardiologist. Please let us know how things go.

Should Penny's collapses prove to be not related to a heart conditon - then please pm me - and I will pass on some further info on EIC and paroxysmal dyskinesia. I believe John also mentioned CNM as a possibility - it may be worth ruling this out with a simple DNA test (which can be done via a mouth swab).

It is impossible to explain to a dog just why it has to be kept quiet - and can't race around as normal. Even now I have to be very careful with Monty regarding exercise - we stop ball play after just a few mins. He now knows himself when to stop.

Just try to give Penny lots of love and attention. Hope you get the appt with the cardiologist very soon - and hopefully get to the bottom of the problem.

Meanwhile - hugs to you and to Penny

Good wishes
June and Monty
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys for the suggestions and support. Penny and I are doing ok the now, I have managed to encourage her to sleep lots today so lazy day for both of us! Im glad Im off work until thursday so I can spend lots of quality time with her before the appointment.

I will let you all know how we get on on Wednesday.. Fingers crossed!
P and P
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I'm so sorry to hear that Penny is poorly but glad that the 2 of you are being lazy.

I thought it might be worth mentioning that when Luna had to rest because she stress fractured her leg cutting back her daily food intake seemed to also cut back her energy levels. Rawhide chews were also a great way for Luna to burn off energy without exercise

I hope that the cardiologist can find a quick and simple solution to her problems. Enjoy your quality time together - lots of cuddles!
 

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Hope all goes well at Penny's appointment and they can figure out what is wrong. Good luck, I'll keep everything crossed.
 

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I am so very sorry to hear of Penny's problems and will be keeping fingers crossed for Wednesday....

Do you have a KOng that you can stuff with food etc that would keep her busy and occupied whilst being quiet?


Thinking of you


Eve Neo and Bramble
 

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Wee update! We ended up back at the vets today as Penny has started vomiting and became very lethargic. My vet contacted the cardiologist and it was suggested that bloods should be checked to investigate an abnormal presentation of Addisons. Luckily everything came back within normal limits, so we are puting it down to a tummy bug. (Although they still have to stimulate her cortisol levels to completly rule it out) She got anti-emetic jag and is now sleeping peacefully.

Still on track for tomorrow, she is now fasting in preparation for her investigations. Thanks again for all the support
P and P
xxx
 

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Poor old Penny is in the wars. I'm glad the appointment tomorrow is going ahead and really hope it can provide useful answers so that Penny is back to normal ASAP. Fingers crossed for you both tomorrow x
 

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UPDATE

I tried to post last night, but had computer issues.. sorted now!

Hi all!
Well Penny and I are back from a productive day spent at the cardiologist!

He did all sorts of investigations today, bloods, ecg, echo, chest x-rays and the like to rule out any cardiac issues.
Firstly her bloods showed one abnormality in that she has had to consistently low levels of platelets recorded. Now we are not sure why, or what this could be, but he says that it needs to be observed.

Secondly from the chest x-rays there is an abnormality noted at the base of her lungs. This is probable scarring from a nasty case of Kennel Cough that she had at 12 weeks old. Its not major enough to be contributing to her current issues, but is important enough that once the heart has been 'cleared' then she has to get further investigations into what is happening with her lungs.

Thirdly her ecg (they managed to capture 2 minutes this time) showed an abnormal RS segment of the wave, which could of signified a problem, but her heart visually does not show any (from the ultrasound) so he concludes that this abnormal section is probably normal for Penny!

All the other tests were normal for Penny and showed NO structural problems with the heart or how it works which is great news. The blood test definately ruled out Addisons disease.

So the only remaining investigation is the 24 hour ecg which she has on just now. Since they think her irregular heart beats are intermitant, this is the best method of hopefully capturing one. So we have to exercise as usual and see if we can trigger an event as such! Then tomorrow I send the machine back to specialist for him to analyse, and I wait 2 weeks for results. In the meanwhile, still limited excerise which sucks...

If heart is all clear, then next step is to refer to a neurologist. (which is good for me as I am a human neurology nurse!!)

So I am pleased that it appears to have been a productive day in that we have eliminated many things from the list. Obviously still no answers, but I think we are getting somewhere!

Thanks for all the support from you guys
P and P
xxx

 

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Sounds like the cardiologist was very thorough in his tests, how`s Penny doing with having to wear the ecg machine?, I like the way they have it fitted, amazing what they can do these days.

Hope the results show something thats treatable and Penny can be back to her usual self very soon :)
 

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I am glad that they are doing all the tests to sort out what the issues are but sorry to hear about Peny's lungs and the low platelets... Hope they manage to sort these issues quickly as well.

Am keeping my fingers crossed that the 24 ECG reveals what the problem is and that it can be treated fairly easily....

Keep us updated, still rooting for you and Penny



Eve Neo and Bramble
 

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Keeping Penny and you in my thoughts and hoping they work out what is going on and how to help her :grouphuuug:
 

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Good that things are moving - and that certain conditions seem to have been ruled out. Do you know if your vet has got a particular neurologist in mind - if that is the direction you go in next? Unfortunately there are not a great number of veterinary neurologists around - it's possible you may have to travel to reach one. But it will be worth it to get to the bottom of Penny's problems. She must be very good to put up with the 24 hr ECG! Please let us know how things go and give her a very big hug!
Best wishes
June and Monty
 

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UPDATE

Hey
Just off the phone to Cardiologist. Penny's ecg showed that her heart rate increases ALOT during exercise. It shoots up to 280ish and even over 300. He thinks this is a heart issue and wants to start her on a Calcium Channel Blocker drug called Diltiazem. It still may be down to a mucler weakness that is causing this increase during excersise, but thinks its not as likely as the heart causing it. So we start our tablets soon, then back for another 24 hour ecg in a couple of weeks and at that point will discuss the long term options. Once she is up to full dose, we can start increasing her excersise levels, which will be great, cause I really miss our long walks, agility classes and fetch games! (so does penny!)

This supraventricular tachycardia may be genetic so now im thinking I will contact the breeder to see if they heard anything from her brothers and sisters.
Will keep you all posted!
P and P
xxx
 
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