Help - three vets and no answers - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Help - three vets and no answers

I need your help, or suggestions.

First some background. Ricco is 10.5 year old full breed Hav, we know he has a heart murmur and defective heart valves.

About 4 months ago he started getting a mild cough when he exercised. About that same time we took him to a cardiologist who diagnosed his heart conditions and prescribed him Enalapril and Vetmedin - within a week he started to have trouble walking on our hardwood floors, started bumping into things, and started coughing more. We took him off everything and went back to his main vet who checked for Lyme disease and gave us antibiotics in case he had kennel cough. Since then his condition has worsened, he doesn't lift his leg to pee, doesn't want to play, doesn't bark at people coming into the yard, has little interest in otehr dogs, paces almost endlessly with intermittent whining. His cough/choking has progressed to being intermittent at any point in the day, when ever he drinks water, often when he eats, and he gets many coughing, gagging episodes at night. He has been given Pepcid, Priolosec, Prednisone, cough meds, as well as a muscle relaxer which we opted NOT to give him - a dog weak on his legs on muscle relaxers does not work well - the vet felt maybe he had hurt his neck or had a pinched nerve. He has had xrays and his heart, while mildly enlarged is not pressing on his lungs and three different vets did not think his xrays showed Esophageal collapse.

I am not concerned about the cost this is incurring, only the frustration of not knowing if this is a series of conditions that can be treated. No vet has provided any good treatment - so, my question is to all of the Hav owners - has anyone had a similar experience and if so - what was your solution - in God willing, there was one?

Thanks in advance for reading this, and your feedback.

Chuck B.

Last edited by cpbittner; 05-23-2018 at 07:40 PM. Reason: added clarity
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 07:59 PM
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The coughing does sound like a heart issue. The other symptoms reminds me of my son's dog who was old and they assume he had a stroke. Can you take him to a University Vet School? Good Luck.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 09:47 AM
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I don't have any advice, other than if you can get him to a specialty vet hospital.

I hope that you can find answers to help him; it is obvious that Ricco is well loved!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 11:08 AM
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yeah it's best not to start guessing. I might try another vet. Hugs
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 02:07 PM
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I agree with consulting with another vet. My first Havanese Sparky developed a grade 6 murmur, CHF and cardiomegaly. He was on several medications. I know it's a delicate balancing act with cardiac meds. Every situation is different and this is just my experience. Sparky was doing well until at 14 yrs old he started having frequent coughing and breathing issues. Lasix was given every 8 hours to help his breathing. The dosage increased over time for his fluid overload. I also gave him Hycodan cough syrup which helped a little. The vet prescribed Vetmedin which I gave only for a few months. Sparky started walking in circles and I knew something was wrong. Even my friends thought he seemed confused. Then one day he cried out, fell over and had seizure activity. This began to happen every couple of days. I took him to the vet and he thought it was his heart. I was familiar with all the meds he was on, but not Vetmedin. When I researched the medication seizures was one of the side effects listed. I spoke with the vet and he had never seen any side effects with Vetmedin. I stopped the Vetmedin and the seizure activity stopped. The vet said Sparky would not live without it. It was suggested I could take him to Davis, but I knew his heart was very weak. He did pass away a few months later at 15 yrs old, but did not have anymore seizures. I know it's very unsettling when they can't tell us what is wrong. Has Ricco had an ECHO?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 04:20 PM
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Definitely get him to a specialist, a canine cardiologist, so that he could get an echocardiogram and the correct prescription for him (they need to check kidney and liver function). The meds do help when given in the proper amounts.
You could also look into giving him Bio-Cardio by Thorne which is an herbal supplement for animals that helps with heart issues.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 06:11 PM
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I just wanted to say I am sorry so much is going wrong with your dear friend's health.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 11:51 AM
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Thinking of you and hoping for the best for sweet Ricco!

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 12:34 PM
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Ricco has been in my thoughts. Hoping your little guy is feeling better.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 02:13 PM
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So sorry to hear about Ricco. Hope you find the answer to his health issues soon, and that he improves. My thoughts are with you and Ricco.
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