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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-08-2012 10:23 PM
BowWowMeow Hopefully the heart issues won't cause problems for Ava. My friend had a lab mix who has diagnosed with a heart murmur that progressed to a grade 4 when he was about 5 years old. She took him to a cardiologist and was given a very poor prognosis. She still walked him, took him hiking, etc. She took him back for a check-up 6 months or a year later (can't remember) and his murmur had decreased! He lived to be a ripe old aged and died of something else.
12-07-2012 10:01 AM
AJT I think in regards to the food, Ava has been on Orijen 6 Fish in the morning and Nature's Variety Instinct RAW at night. I'm pretty sold on RAW just haven't made that leap over to ordering and chopping and dicing the meat myself. Just that NV RAW is so convenient albeit pricey. You think it's the food? My mom did inform me that she chewed up a pair of my dad's work gloves that were really dirty and had looked like she swallowed a finger. But I'll keep an eye out. I really want to avoid this again...

Yes to slippery elm and activated charcoal! I've been building up my first aid kit for the dog, I just haven't gotten around to adding those items in. I have the usual stuff from vet wrap to OTC stuff to Gas X Strips. Those two items will make it in to the kit this weekend.

Regarding the discussion with vaccines...we're pretty active and come in contact with other dogs. As much as I get and believe that over vaccination can be just as detrimental to being under vaccinated, I personally can't say no if my vet presents a really good logical argument with me. Plus she has decided geese and rabbit poop are delicacies that she must have no matter how many times i say 'leave it'. I had also decided to take a month off of Frontline since the weather got significantly cooler with frost being on the ground every morning. Guess what? I found an engorged tick this morning. I'm assuming its from hiking in the back woods this past weekend. She gets Springtime Bug Off since she was young and I spray her down with Sentry Natural Defense Tick and Flea Spray before we head into the woods. I also spray a bandanna with it and tie that to her neck. So I may be putting the monthly Frontline on her again...

I think for background on the heart thing (which I will create another thread post cardiologist appointment next Wed), she had a murmur when she was a young puppy. Was hoping she grew out of it by 6 months. No such luck. Contacted the breeder, breeder said lets wait another month or two. Was planning to schedule a vet appointment soon until this week's episode. Heart murmur is now more pronounced (more like a solid 2, possible 3 based on diff vet's interpretation) and with the tummy xray capturing about 2/3 of her heart showing it is quite enlarged.

I'll be asking my vet and the cardiologist whether or not if I can even spay her. I was planning to wait until after her first heat.

It's a little depressing cause I'm so active and she loves being active and I wanted to see if she had interest in herding when she got to be a year old...obviously I'm thinking worst case scenario and that I only have limited time with her.

My first two dogs were mall bought puppies...I thought I had smarten up by going to a breeder. I don't know if I blame the breeder as much as I blame myself for not doing even more research.
12-07-2012 08:41 AM
Courtney I'm relieved to her Ava is feeling better. I thought about her last night.

Keep us updated on the cardio visit next week.
12-07-2012 01:16 AM
Enlarged heart can have a few causes and not all would result in a quick death, Hopefully this is something that can be managed with special care and medications.
My Dachshund was just dx'ed with a murmur a few mos. ago, his heart is now enlarged and he had fluid in his lungs; he's being treated with enalapril and lasix, and you'd never know he'd been sick!
Our vet says he'll do well for years on this combo...
12-07-2012 01:14 AM
Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
We have a rescue and I believe your vet followed perfect protocol; in the face of non-specific bloody diarrhea, you'd treat the symptoms and give antibiotics specific to gastro (metronidazole), fluids, either IV or subcu, and that's exactly what she did.

100% agree here, it sounds like this vet did everything I would seen done in my own clinic
12-07-2012 01:12 AM
Gretchen Coming into this discussion late -

My dog had colitis almost all the time, any little stress would set if off. The cure? Homemade diet, graduating to dehydrated raw like The Honest Kitchen and we also feed prepared raw like the Natures's Variety. Is it expensive? Yes, but our dog has been in great health now for several months, no more worrying about waking up in the middle of the night to take her out to poop, or worse spending the day cleaning my carpet. I also forgot to mention our dog had a few bouts of giardia, which I believe causes the colitis along with all the drugs to treat it.

The enlarged heart? Not so good from my neighbor's experience. Her 2 year old Husky was diagnosed with enlarged heart and murmur when she was brought to urgent care for stomach upset. (found during routine check). The heart was enlarged due to valves being damaged. Two different vets could not agree whether it was congenital or from an illness when the dog was a puppy. The dog lived another 7 months. Enlarged heart can have a few causes and not all would result in a quick death, Hopefully this is something that can be managed with special care and medications.
12-07-2012 01:12 AM
Originally Posted by Heidigsd View Post
You really need to knock it off with these posts putting down veterinarians
Thank you!

AJT I'm so glad Ava is better. What a scare!
We learned a lot in this thread, about HGE and gastroenteritis, etc.
We have a rescue and I believe your vet followed perfect protocol; in the face of non-specific bloody diarrhea, you'd treat the symptoms and give antibiotics specific to gastro (metronidazole), fluids, either IV or subcu, and that's exactly what she did.

I find the continual vet bashing disappointing; when someone's best advice is "avoid the vet office at all costs", it's really alarming and potentially deadly for your pet.

If you don't like your vet or don't trust them, find a new one.
It's that simple.

We've vet shopped a number of times over this past year; the vet we've settled on costs a bit more than our "usual" one and he's further away, but I love his care and treatment of our dogs. He'll find us even when we're there with fosters, to ask about how our personal pets are doing; and he looks really nice in jeans
12-07-2012 01:06 AM
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Alrighty then, so are ya saying that hemorrhagic gastroenteritis is the same thing as colitis? Well, I guess some vets just call it that to scare the crap out of people then.
Yes and no.... diseases can be hard to comprehend, it took me a while. Many things, like kennel cough and HGE and colitis, are more descriptive terms than actual specific diseases.

I am at work right now, I just had a long talk with the DR about this. At first, per both our understanding, HGE included bloody diarrhea AND vomiting. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, the gastroenteritis implying both vomiting and diarrhea, hemorrhagic obviously bloody. Looking at the very words, it's simply a description (BTW per this case, I disagree with the vet, I think this very much was HGE because it was bloody diarrhea and vomiting, with an unknown cause, but that's neither here nor there. YAY Ava for doing better, THAT is the important part). Colitis is a thickening and irritation of the intestine wall, (Col - intestine, Itis - inflammation), causing diarrhea. Once again, just another DESCRIPTION and not an actual specific DISEASE.

Per the understanding of the two, every HGE case WOULD have colitis, because the intestine would obviously be inflamed and irritated. However, not every case of colitis would be HGE, because not every case of colitis includes vomiting or the presence of blood.

We did however just search on a veterinary forum database, and it looks like the consensus is that HGE DOESN'T always have to include vomiting, just bloody diarrhea alone could be termed HGE.

Someone asked earlier, HGE is vomiting/bloody diarrhea usually of UNKNOWN cause, therefor my Dr and I both agree Parvo wouldn't really be considered a type of HGE because there is a known cause. But I guess theoretically you could consider it HGE caused by the parvo virus.
12-07-2012 12:55 AM
Originally Posted by GatorBytes View Post

Good Job owning your thread

Yay for Ava!

Caution however...please consider never vaxing again re: heart, and no heartworm prevention, at least until you read up on the likelyhood of catching it depending on your area (have to have 2 weeks consistant temps of 56F day and night - then after a heat wave you treat, not before)..will forward the articles regarding.

and the post/jab about vets is not about all vets, just vets that over script for minor issues, and only because I CARE about one says on this thread....they aren't humans w/fur, which means they also shouldn't be fed processed food or be drugged to DEATH!
Where are the clinical findings backing that vaccines have any effect on a dog with an enlarged heart? And heartworm preventative has NO contraindications in a dog with cardiac disease, in fact the opposite is true! If a dog is already fighting one form of heart disease, you do NOT want that dog getting heartworms and just adding to the cardiac problem!

It is unlikely that a heart would be enlarged in conjunction with heart disease unless there was a murmur or other symptoms of heart disease. It may be over-interpretation of the films by the veterinarian. At my clinic we ALWAYS send out films to a board-certified radiologist for additional interpretation.

If there are no other signs of heart disease, such as a murmur, then I would first want said radiographs to be sent to a radiologist FIRST. It may very well save a cardiology exam fee, if they say "No, we do not feel this is an enlarged heart, and there are not other indicators of cardiac disease". I'm not saying your vet is wrong, or your vet "sucks". But xrays, it's a skill to read them. That's why we have board-certified radiologists that do nothing but sit all day and read radiographs.

As far as a link between an enlarged heart and the episode of diarrhea, I see none. Yes, there MAY potentially be a link (parvo can affect the heart), but it is VERY VERY unlikely. Most likely, two separate problems here, as posted above.

I am finding your posts to be very DANGEROUS, the more I see of them. I'm sorry, I am speaking out from a professional standpoint. I have agreed with you before, I DO think in many cases we over-vaccinate. But to REPEATEDLY warn people against vaccination, and to link every problem under the sun to vaccination? NO. You are doing every member on this board a disservice, and that is my professional opinion.

WHEN, not if but WHEN someone listens to you, and WHEN they don't vaccinate against rabies, and WHEN there dog either kills a raccoon or gets out and bites someone or something else happens, there will be LARGE consequences. Or WHEN that person, who takes there dog to the dog park every single day, doesn't vaccinate and their dog gets distemper, there WILL be consequences.

Every person needs to look at their risks and exposure levels. We just euthanized a 1 year old intact mastiff that was NEVER vaccinated, and it had distemper.
12-07-2012 12:11 AM
BowWowMeow So glad to hear that she is feeling better, drinking on her own and has an appetite! I'm glad to hear that her blood work came out ok and wish you the best with the cardiology appt.

I second the suggestion to keep activated charcoal and slippery elm on hand. They have gotten a couple of my dogs (and me!) through some really nasty GI stuff.
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