Here's what happened toour doberman, Kylie: She'd been coughing for about a day and a half, and my dad was going to take her to the vet's if she was still coughing the next day. She wasn't, so we let it be, figuring it was a cold or something. I think it was two or three days later, she was coughing again, and my mom took her in in the afternoon. At the vet's office, they didn't let my mom bring Kylie in, in case it was contageous. We were told it was probably just a cold, and given an imune system booster, and a cough suppressant for if she was coughing alot. At one point, she started coughing, so we gave her one of the pills, and half an hour later, she was laying down in my parent's dark closet. She was very disoriented, dizzy, and was having trouble breathing. I stayed up with her until 10pm, and i would have stayed up later, but i had scholl in the morning. She couldn't lay on her side because if she did, she couldn't breathe, and at one point, she went into the den and got up on the futon. Normally she isn't allowed up there, but i felt so bad for her that i didn't correct her. That was a bad idea, it turns out, because as soon as she was up there and laying down, she made this awful screaming noise, and i had to get her to get up, and brought her outside. She stood outside on the porch for about 10 minutes. It was really cold, and had snowed a bit earlier. I had to drag her back inside. About then, my dad came downstairs, so i told him what had happened and her sent me up to bed.
The next morning we had laterstart at school because of the snow. Up at our house, we had 3-4 inches. It was a good thing we had late start too. I'd just finished getting dressed after a shower when my brother came in to get my little sister. Kylie had gone out in the woods that surround our house and layed down. We'd been planning to take her to the vet's later i the day, but this changed things. I hurried down, grabbed a coat and shoes and went outside. My mom had managed to get a sheet underneath 85 pound Kylie, who refused to get up. Between the 4 of us, we carried her into the house on the sheet.(By the way, my sister is 8 and my brother is 11.) We tried giving her water while my mom started the minivan. It had to sit for 15-20 minutes before we could leave, bacause the side door and the one in the back where frozen shut, and we had to put Kylie in through one of them. While we waited for the doors to unstick, my mom called the vet's office, who did't open til 8 and required a $150 dollar deposit if you didn't have an appointment. All this happened around 7-7:30.
After examinig Kylie, the vet talked to my mom. After we left, my mom gave us the news: Kylie most likely had pulmonary edema, although they would need a special test to be sure what exactly was wrong.
What Kylie has is dilated cardiomyopathy, which is when the heart becomes enlarged and weak. Pulmonary edema affects smaller breed dogs, especially king charles cavalier spaniels. Dilated cardiomyopathy affects large breeds, with no age relations, such as boxers, irish wolfhounds and dobermans. Kylie is only 5. Boxers can be put on a special diet, and live to be old, wolfhounds have about a year after dianosis, and dobermans have less than six months. about 50% of dibermans will be affected by dilated cardiomyopathy because of in breeding. My dad has had one other doberman, Erin, who was not affected, but was hit by a car when she was young, and had to be put to sleep when she was old because she cold no longer walk.
Kylie is on pills to strengthen her heart and to clear to fluid that bulds up in her lungs. Its been about 2-3 weeks and she is steadily getting worse. We'v had to up the dosage on one of the pills. She coughs, and isn't interested in her food, even the canned stuff, which she never has had before she got sick. She's also on a special diet. She's not allowed to run around, because it starts her coughing and speeds up her heart.