Labradors Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

New to this forum so hi!

I have an 11 year old black lab with a heart murmur, this has made his heart to now enlarge causing him to cough alot. Vet has him on so many huge tablets it is getting tough to get them in to him.
I wondered if anyone has experience of this and any suggestion so we can make the old boys life a bit happier as he enters the autumn of his years.
He is a very nervous lab, frightened of strangers

Many thanks

Marcus
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,547 Posts
aww he's lovely, really sorry to hear he's got a heart murmur. I'm afraid I don't have any experience of that but to help with giving tablets have you tried hiding them in wet food or squishing them inside a dairylea triangle or wrapping them in a piece of wafer thin cooked ham/chicken, a friend of mine had lots of trouble getting her dog to take tablets so put them in yoghurt with a crushed ginger biscuit mixed in to disguise the taste and smell! Other general ideas for oldies - a soft warm bed memory foam mattresses toppers are good, shorter walks at interesting places where there is plenty to sniff and meander around rather than run if you can go during the daytime in the week there will probably be less people around and those that are there are less likely to be children/adults who want to say hello so it'll cut down his stress if he's not too keen on strangers. :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,892 Posts
Hi again,

I'm sorry to hear your Labrador has a heart murmur. This was something which can affect many dogs, and humans for that matter. A friend's Sheltie had this, and also my mother in very late life. (She died at almost 102!!)

The first thing I must say is that I'm not a vet, so anything your vet says overrules anything I say.

Obviously I cant examine your dog, so I can only make guesses based on the most probably scenarios.

Most heart murmurs are caused by blood leaking back past the heart valves, and it is the sound of the blood leaking past the valve which makes the noise which the vet hears. Imagine the heart as a pump, with valves on the outlets. As the heart beats, (pumps) the pressure opens the valves allowing the blood to pass into the out going arteries. At the end of the pressure part of the cycle the heart sucks some more blood past the inlet valve into heart ready to start the cycle all over again. That's extremely simplified!! In fact the heart has four chambers, the right Ventricle, the left Ventricle, the right Atrium and left Atrium, and four valves, the Tricuspid, the Mitral, the Aortic and the Pulmonary. (You've probably heard of at least some of those.)

As to which of the valves is actually leaking, your vet could probably tell you, but he may need to perform tests to exactly identify which one(s), but the end result is pretty much the same, so it's probably not really worth spending money on the tests. You have to accept that at the present time replacing or repairing valves is not really possible, so treatment is directed at other aspects, managing the end result rather than eliminating the cause.

Blood fulfils a number of jobs, not the least being to transport oxygen from the lungs to the brain, and if valves are leaking then at times of high demand such as strenuous activity there may only be marginally enough oxygen to do the job! This very obviously means no long fast walks, chasing balls etc. A short steady stroll with plenty of rests is the order of the day.

Because of the reduced blood flow to and from the lungs, fluid tends to build up in the lungs, so one of the tablets, (possibly more than one) is a diuretic, to help get rid of that fluid. Another tablet (or more) will almost certainly be to reduce the blood pressure. (Reduce the pressure and you reduce the leakage.) It's also possible that there will be a pill to thin the blood slightly, again to make it easier to pump around the body. So you can see how the number of tablets build up. My mother had a total of 7 pills, some taken 4 times a day, some twice and some once per day. I found a pill box essential to keeping track of things. (99p on Ebay!) And all those pills ARE important. I know it's difficult but try to make sure they are all taken.

The only other thing I can add is possibly a low salt diet, again to help with the fluid build up. You can get special diets for dogs with congestive heart disease, but whether they are worth the money. . . . . . If you give treats it might be worth finding the salt content of them, because many have a high salt content. It's possible that a simple change of titbits could make a significant reduction in salt .

Regards, John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,547 Posts
Just to follow on from John's advice as a human who also has to take lots of tablets it can be a good idea to draw yourself a wall chart and tick them off that way you know he's had them all and in the right order and if for any reason you aren't there then whoever is looking after him knows what he needs and when, you can get self-adhesive dry wipe charts which simply stick to the wall on Amazon to save paper if you prefer :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for you kind words and advise. Sadly we had to put him to sleep this week

The coughing was causing to much suffering. To the rainbow bridge boy. Run free

Marcus
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,547 Posts
Sorry to read that Marcus, it's so hard to have to make such decisions but you loved him to enough to be able to. Run free at the bridge sweetheart xx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,473 Posts
Thank you all for you kind words and advise. Sadly we had to put him to sleep this week

The coughing was causing to much suffering. To the rainbow bridge boy. Run free

Marcus
So sorry to hear this,Run free beautiful boy x
 
  • Like
Reactions: sid1972

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,862 Posts
Sorry to read this. Run free. :-(
 
  • Like
Reactions: sid1972
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top