I was just wondering if anyone has been through this disease or has anymore info for me. I have been doing my research, but my older male has this and is dieing from it obviously, and I'd like to talk to anyone who has dealt with it. My vet is good, and he is doing well with his meds, but it would be nice to talk 1 on 1 with anyone who has dealt with it. Thanx Melissa.....
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease characterized by dilation or enlargement of the heart chambers and markedly reduced contraction. The left ventricle is most always involved. Advanced cases demonstrate dilation of all cardiac chambers. DCM is very common in dogs, representing the most common reason for congestive heart failure (CHF). This heart disease also can cause heart valve leakage causing heart murmurs or abnormal electrical activity of the heart—producing arrhythmias (irregular or abnormal heartbeats). Large and giant breed dogs, especially males, are predisposed. Doberman pinschers, Irish wolfhounds, Great Danes and Saint Bernards are typical examples. Spaniel breeds also develop DCM. The clinical condition of canine DCM can range from overtly healthy (occult disease) to severe heart failure. Some dogs experience primary electrical disturbances (arrhythmia) such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia. The canine disease is acquired in life, but is clearly influenced by genetic factors still to be explained. DCM is very serious and the mortality rate, even of treated cases, is very high. What to Watch For: Shortness of breath, Coughing, Exercise intolerance, Collapse, Sudden onset of pain and paralysis, usually in the back legs. The advent of these problems should alert you that a serious emergency is at hand. Diagnosis Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize dilated cardiomyopathy and exclude all other diseases. Tests may include: Complete medical history and physical examination including auscultation of the heart and lungs Thoracic radiographs (chest X-rays) An electrocardiogram (EKG) Arterial blood pressure Packed cell volume test or a complete blood count (CBC) Serum biochemistries, which are blood tests that are especially important if there is heart failure, thromboembolism or complications in other organs Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to establish the diagnosis and may require referral Treatment In advanced cases leading to congestive heart failure, drug therapy with a diuretic, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (such as enalapril or benazepril) and/or digoxin is prescribed. The diet is changed to reduce sodium intake. Additional drugs may be added such as the diuretic/hormone antagonist, spironolactone. Nutriceuticals such as taurine pills or L-carnitine are recommended in very specific instances. In cases of "arrhythmogenic" dilated cardiomyopathy, drugs that regulate the electrical heart rhythm are indicated. In "occult" dilated cardiomyopathy (healthy dog with early DCM diagnosed by echocardiography), an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor drug and possibly a beta-blocker drug is recommended to protect the heart muscle from further damage. Home Care and Prevention Administer any veterinary prescribed medications. Watch for difficulty in breathing, increase in coughing, lethargy or sudden inability to use one or more limbs. Observe the breathing rate when your pet is relaxing. Schedule regular veterinary visits to monitor the condition.
Than you, Thank you Halo!! I've studying up, but that was even a little more than i got from some of the experts. My boy is in the later stages of this diease, he has had all the tests u stated after a collapse. He has all the symptoms as well including the lameness at times in his back legs. The Vet said (i think for my benefit) that he could have 9mths to a yr, but some go much quicker. I think and i'm afraid to say this, that we don't have this long. I asked the vet about him going out to do things with us, and he said let him do what he wants at this point, he will stop when he can do no more. I think more dog is more stubborn and will push it, as i have noticed him doing this even when not feeling so well. We have been taking him camping for yrs and would love to have one more summer with him out doing this. What do you think? If I set up a nice bed for him and of course he has an air mattress in our huge tent for himself. I would love to enjoy this last times with my beloved boy, is this okay in ur opionion?? Thanx Again!!!!!!!!!!!11
I honestly don't see a problem taking your dog camping. Just limit how much he does. I'm sure that if he enjoyed camping in the past, he will still enjoy it even though he's not feeling well. If you know that you don't have much time left with him, make everything as comfortable as possible for him, treat him like a king. I'm really sorry you are going through this right now.
i would deffintly take him with you! no question about it! it's something you all enjoy doing, so you know he LOVES doing it too. :) I'm really sorry bout eventually losing him, he sounds like a wonderful dog. i know i'd be in a terrible state if i was going to loose my 'baby'. don't exculde him from things you would normally do with him, also inculd him in everything you can, wether it be going to the store, walking with him more (even if it is only for 5 mins). I think he would wonder what he did wrong if he was left out....and if he was inculded more often in different things he would probably be like, "WoW!! I knew they loved me, but had no idea it was this much!!":)
I'm so glad I found this forum!!! Thanx so much, we are packing up for our camping trip now and Deebo is sooooooo excited, he can smell the equipment and knows whats coming!!! Daddy and the puppy went ahead to set up and we'll leave in morn to meet them. I have been trying to let him do everything that he wants to and feels up to, as like u all said, he'll feel something is wrong if i dont'. Ur right he is incredibly wonderful, intelligent Dane.... This dog saved my life one time in the past (long story, maybe sometime i'll share it) and I promised him then that I would do whatever it took if he ever got sick to care for him, and I intend to keep my Promise!!!!! It is incredibly hard to see him going downhill like this, but we're gonna make the most of our time together now that we do have..... Thanx again, your very caring people! Glad to have found u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope everyone has a wonderful and SAFE Holiday!!!!