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Readers Respond: Tell us about your pet's heart disease

Responses: 108


Vet never diagnosed a heart problem

My sweet baby girl a 10 year 3 month old apricot standard poodle died suddenly last night. She has had a multitude of health problems including 2 ACL surgeries and a rounds of chemo for lymphoma. She beat both, but had decreased appetite that no one could figure out. She was at the oncologist on Thursday afternoon and had had a coughing bout the night before that I thought was kennel cough. The vet said she was fine, her heart and everything sounded good. On Friday night the coughing started again and on Sat morning she could not breathe well. a trip to my regular vet and an xray showed that her lungs were full of fluid. I rushed her to the animal hospital where she was treated for cancer, and we were told she was in critical condition and was dying of heart failure. We were stunned. We were angry too that with all the dr visits that no one ever picked up the lungs filling and the heart issue. We are devastated and heart broken. she was an amazing baby. She was unique and s
—Guest Mary Jean


My Pomeranian was 15 yrs, 8 months when she passed away over July 4th weekend. She has been healthy from day one as a puppy. I noticed her coughing on Mon & Tues night, not a bad cough, but enough to take notice........Wed night she seemed to be breathing a bit different but she was still able to move around the house......Thursday night was our sad night. She collapsed for just a second on my bed and I then called the vet to bring her in, in the middle of the night.....She collapsed once in my arms in the car on the way and she collapsed as I was talking to the receptionist in the vets office...from there the vet gave her some oxygen and told me she has gone into heart failure and I knew this is when I'd have to say goodbye to my little Pomeranian...........Misty has taught me to treasure every chance I can get to enjoy life~~~~ go for a walk when it's possible, snuggle up to someone when they are near & most of all~ don't be in a hurry, take the time to enjoy the simple things.

my man

my twelve yr old male boxer Shadow, He has been coughing off & on for the past month, thought it was like the rest of the family, with the sudden change of weather, we were all sick, suddenly gotten worse difficulty breathing & really depressed. Took him to our local vet, gave us nothing but crap, my man has no change at all what to do? helpless.
—Guest jackie

So sudden and unexpected

I just lost my cat named Puppy this morning. We never knew he had a heart problem until he woke us at 5am crying in pain and couldnt move his back legs. We rushed him to the vet but he had a blood clot stuck by his hind legs. There was nothing to do but have him suffer or let him go without anymore pain. He had just turned 1 a couple weeks ago. He was such a special member of our family, there won't ever be one like him. We have his sister from the same litter so I'm worried about her and we have to get her checked if its hereditary. There were no signs of this at all besides this morning, he was always great at his checkups. Even though his life was cut so short I know we gave him a happy one.
—Guest Jessica D

My Ragdoll has Cardiomyopathy...

About a month ago i took my little 7yr old Rusty to the groomers, they were only suppose to trim his hair, not give him a bath so when he acted differently i thought it was stress. He got a little better but something wasn't right, his breathing became shallow so i took him to his vet. He had so much water around his left lung they had to remove it. I felt terrible for not taking him sooner. My vet said he probably had Cardiomyopathy for quit some time. So now he is on Enalapril Maleate and Lasix. Its now a month later and he is acting so different, he can't run and play like he did and hardly ever talks (he would never shut up), so sad to see him this way. I'm so thankful i still have him but i know it won't be for very long. Breaks my heart.
—Guest Carla

CHF and Two Morkies

I had two male Morkies. Though not litter mates they shared the same mother and father. My vet bred them and out of about 20 adorable dogs mine were the only two who have CHF. The older one was the love of my life. He was diagnosed at age eight and passed away shortly before his tenth birthday. We went through several hospital stays in oxygen and just lasix, pimobendan in the early stages. Later a roster of drugs. My animal hospital is fantastic and there is a cardioligist on call there. When my baby, Ricky, had to be euthanized in my arms I just didn't think I'd ever get over the heartache. Just this past August my younger one (he was 11) was diagnosed with the same CHF. I was devastated. However, there is now a significant difference. The treatment is much more aggressive. He is taking liquid lasix which I inject every eight hours along with Pimobendan. Enalapril every 12 hours. Plavix, Spironolactone and amlodipine once daily. Hydrocone for any coughing. He is doing great!

The royal treatment

Almost a year ago my wonderful cat Royal was diagnosed with a heart murmur. He has become very grumpy with the other pets and just was not himself. He would also cough hard enough that he would throw up. Luckily I live in a town that has a vet college. After a ECT and a few other test, they suggested that he be placed on medication. He is only a 5 yrs old cat and thought I would see if the meds inproved his quality of life. Now almost a year out he is back to his normal self!! He plays with the other pets and has all his energy back. Who knew that a little quarter pill a day would give back his playfulness. Every morning he get his "treat" and he is doing great!
—Guest Dlstoon


My dog was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and prescribed ENACARD. I gave him the first dose this morning (5 mg), but I am afraid his health is now worse: Now he is breathing with difficulty, as if he had asthma, and is very unrestful. We live in Puerto Rico, very hot and humid now. He is 10 years old. Mixed breed. 30 pounds.
—Guest Wency

My Beautiful Calico,11/3/01-4/29/13

Although Isabelle was not as energetic or playful as she once was, she seemed perfectly fine and at 11 1/2 I thought she was doing well. Yesterday morning , I couldn't find her anywhere...until I looked in the litter box and there was was seeming to be asleep. The vet said her heart had just "given out." I miss her so terribly but am glad was blessed to have this sweet, loving, intelligent girl for 8 years and that she passed without fear or pain. God Bless my Isabelle!
—Guest Isabelle's Human

Shitzu Heart Failure - Need advice

I've had my Dog (Mikko) for over 13 years and have not notice much health issues with her. We went away for a weekend and came back to her being almost lifeless. She wasn't eating and had no energy to do anything. I took her to the vet to get checked up to see what is wrong. She was diagnosed with heart failure because her lungs were filling up with fluid causing a lack of oxygen to her system. I have her on several medications and seeing no improvements. Vet said she is not in pain but her lack of energy and constant lifelessness is putting strain and stress on myself and my family. It's been 2 weeks and I am force feeding her food and medication. I hope things will get better and most importantly I hope that I am doing the right thing by keeping her medicated. Anyone that has gone through this, please let me know if this gets better or worse so I can prepare my kids...and myself.
—Guest Paul

Enlarged Heart

it started out with Harley a gagging hacking cough with white milky fluid coming out at the end of the gag. after multiple tests for valley fever of worms parasites and chest and abdominal x-rays and waiting for the results of those xrays .. His breathing is labored and sounds fluidity he has stopped eating and practically stopped drinking we still have no definitive answer as to what it is. The veterinarian that did the x-ray was not a certified radiologist and they had to be sent to Phoenix to be read via certified radiologist. Vet said she saw an enlarged heart but could not be sure.I don't know if my baby Harley is suffering he shows no sign of being in pain other than bouts of really intense is labored breathing and his heart seems to be racing as if he just finished a race. He barely moves he is wanting to sleep all the time. I am afraid add to my beautiful can I have your old Labrador Retriever is near the end of his life.this is killing me watching him go through this I do not
—Guest Donna


My beloved, 6 year old Terry died suddenly on Thursday morning due to his heart condition. I had opted not to treat him with drugs as I wanted him to live life without drugs impacting and changing his personality and behaviour. As a result our time together was cut short. He died in my arms and I will never forget him. My other cats are adjusting. Other cats with similar conditions had issues and their treatment altered their personalities to radically, my decision to not treat Terry was based on past experiences. I am hurting but believe I did the best thing.
—Guest Alexandra Pawley-Kean


Stachie had diarrhea 3 yrs. She vomited often. 3-27-13 had sub fluids, sovenia ,b-12, cerenia 3-29 back legs paralyzed. heart was good on 3/27/13. took to vet immediately, cat in extreme pain, vet said no hope. euthanized on 3-29-13. Never dx with heart disease. was 14 yrs. Have 2 other cats from same litter, will they die too?
—Guest Joan DeBiase

my nordic-spitz mix

My girl was diagnosed with Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) August 2012 after we took her to the vet for coughing. She has been on Furosamide, Vetmetidin, Dialtiazem and Taurine for the left side of her heart. The coughing subsided greatly thanks to the wondeful vet care she received. Now the right side of the heart is now causing severe bloating which is leading to breathing difficulties. X-ray show diaphram bein pushed and the lung is a third of what it was. My vet has asked me to think about making THAT decision. We will be lost without our little girl.
—Guest bhash

Late Night Wheezing and Gagging Coughs

Mimi our 11yr old moodle had developed a nasty gagging cough about 2 months ago. Her cough started around the same time as everyone else in the house due to the sudden weather changes which gave us all a dry cough. But her cough progressively got worse and worse. The cough behavior seemed like she was trying to cough out a fur ball, but would just keep repeating every minute. Also whenever I come home she'd always get too excited and start the gagging cough cycle. So now days we try not to excite her too much. After taking her to the vet to run some diagnostics, it was found she had a lot of fluid around her heart and caused it to enlarge. This has added pressure to her lungs and trachea and is what causing her breathing/coughing problems. The vet prescribed her with Lasix Frusemide, taking 10mg everyday. We just started her on the meds, hopefully this fixes the problem. It's been day2 on the meds and she already seems more calm (but depressed? Side effect?). Coughing has decreased.
—Guest Gavin

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