Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by JamieHalverson, May 20, 2016.

  1. JamieHalverson

    JamieHalverson Active Member

    A little background - When I adopted Yogi 2 years ago, I took him to the vet a couple days later. He was found to have a grade 2 heart murmur. We did xrays and nothing was determined. The Vet advised we can wait a year, do xrays again and see if there is any change. Well, I got Yogi with the intention of doing lots of stuff, and was really not comfortable with that plan, so we had an echo-cardiogram done by a cardiologist. There was no physical defect found with his heart and his murmur was determined to be physiologic.

    Fast forward to the last couple of months. Yogi developed a little bit of a cough. It was kind of a "is that a cough or is he hacking up grass?" kind of thing. Once in a while, not even every day and he seemed totally normal otherwise. No fatigue, no activity refusal beyond his usual lazy self, no labored breathing, nothing. Just this occasional hack. Well, the frequency of the coughing increased over a period of a few weeks and honestly it kind of snuck up on me until I watched a video back of he an Lillie playing. He actually stops play to cough about 5 times in a row. I thought holy crap, that's not right and so we went to the vet yesterday.

    The onset of his coughing may coincide with his bordatella vaccine, but I can't say that with certainty, although I will say it was about the same time. He coughs during physical exertion and immediately after drinking water. He had xrays yesterday and the vet said his lungs look "busy", meaning that you can see more white in the xray than she would like. She said if she were only to look at his xray she would expect him to be a much older dog. She is treating it as a vaccine induced case of bordatella and he is on a 7 day course of antibiotics. Since that is a best guess given the onset of symptoms and that he's not showing any other signs of illness, if that treatment doesn't work she will then treat as seasonal allergies and we will go from therr with a bronchial dilator and possibly a round of steroids.

    Ok, so there's that piece. What I'm mostly concerned about is that his heart is a little big bigger in the xray from yesterday than it was 2 years ago. Not a lot, just a little, but the bottom right side of the heart in the view taken from him laying down on his back is noticeably bigger, even to me. She is sending both sets of xrays to the cardiologist because she just isn't sure if it's cause for concern or not. So if she's not sure, I obviously am not sure... no signs at all of congestive heart failure, but I'm just uneasy with the whole thing. Nothing more to do but see what the cardiologist says and run the course of meds.

    I'm just not sure if the very small increase in the size of his heart is something to be concerned about?
  2. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    There is a virus affecting a lot of dogs in my area. They become sick with the squirts and vomiting and loss of appetite. The # of dogs started off with a slight cough, but there were also dogs that got kennel cough. The dogs that started with a slight cough then progressed to something more serious like more coughing with the squirts and vomiting. Hector was exposed to a dog that contracted kennel cough and had the symptoms, but we got him an oral vaccine and he never developed the cough in the 7-10 days post exposure. However, he did start coughing in the morning two days ago and only in the morning like a dry throat cough for 2 days and haven't since. I talked to the rescue lady that had the kennel cough and 9 sick dogs and she said the cough Hector was having was the start of the bacterial virus that has been spreading throughout the area. Her vet prescribed like 3 meds to treat this bacterial outbreak. So far he's not getting any treatment because his cough has gone away as randomly as it appeared, but I will get the 3 meds on hand in case he starts to vomit and squirt and lose his appetite. One of the lady's old bloodhound came down with pneumonia from all this. Also - all her dogs got the oral kennel cough vaccine after they had been exposed and we really don't know if it helped because all the dogs ended up getting sick in one way or another.
  3. Jakesmum

    Jakesmum Well-Known Member

    I hope it turns out to be nothing too serious!
  4. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    how old is yogi ? my bet would be the vaccine is more likely the cause for the cough than a grade 2 heart murmur without any noticeable defect ....... grade 2 is really not that high ...... i'm pretty sure the cough that comes from heart failure is due to fluid in the lungs around the heart and in the chest cavity ? something i believe they would see with an x-ray .... did they do a doppler and did they estimate a pressure ? personally , from first hand experience a heart issue is really nothing to worry about , i think they can treat a pda , but from what i've seen there is nothing they can do about the rest , at least anything that's practical or proven beneficial ........ i know they treat symptomatic dogs with stuff that lowers their heart rate ....... i have a dog with grade 4 murmur , i'm just letting him enjoy a normal life .......jmo
  5. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    and i believe also diuretics ? i know a vet who is treating an 8yr old saint bernard who's had a grade 4 murmur since it was a pup.... sas ....
  6. tmricciuto

    tmricciuto New Member

    Praying for yogi.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. JamieHalverson

    JamieHalverson Active Member

    Yeah I'm not worried about the murmer in itself, that was really just background as to the fact that we have xrays from 2 years ago to compare to the xrays from yesterday and his heart is noticeably larger. We had the echo done at that time and all was well - it's the change that I'm a bit concerned about...
  8. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    your worried about something like dialated cardiomyopathy ? if the cough is unrelated then he has no symptoms . there's nothing they can do about it , but they can slow it down ..... i think it may be possible you just know more than most folks do about their dogs ..... i think if most folks would look in depth into their dogs health they'd find out more than they know , especially their dogs hearts .......... if the vet had just this x-ray to go on is the heart abnormal enough to stand out ? hope it works out for the best for yogi and you .......
  9. JamieHalverson

    JamieHalverson Active Member

    true, and no his heart would not be abnormal enough to stand out on this xray alone, good point.
  10. JamieHalverson

    JamieHalverson Active Member

    Ok, so the antibiotics did not help Yogi's cough so the vet prescribed him a bronchodilator today and is treating his cough as a seasonal allergy/bronchitis. She said to be aware that it's to be used with caution in heart patients so to watch him since he has a grade 2 murmer. She seems really hung up on this murmer even though Yogi's been seen by a cardiologist and it was determined to be a physiologic murmer, no heart defect whatsoever. So I'm really not understanding her concern with it... I'm just going to disregard that.

    But if the bronchodilater doesn't work she wants to put him on a steroid, which I hope to avoid. This cough is not bad, he's otherwise totally normal, so while I do want the cough to go away, I don't really feel like the side effects of something like steroids are worth making that happen.

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