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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I just got back from the vet. I had taken my almost 8 year old GSD Kilo out to throw his ball and after a few minutes he just stopped chasing and laid down and wouldn't get up. This is very abnormal for him so I rushed him into the vet.

Some backstory we had some issues in Feb with having fluid in his belly I posted about it earlier. No diagnosis was made but he had an abdominal ultrasound, X-rays, blood work, urinalysis and fecal test. There were no masses, everything looked good and his belly went back to normal. I upped his exercise and he's been doing very well and in excellent shape. Over the next ft month he has been very active without issue.

On Sunday we got back from a ride with my horses on the trail and he was not himself; he just laid down and was almost asleep. Normally we take another horse out and he's all ready to go. I got him up to the house and he threw up clear liquid a couple of times and after half an hour or so was looking more like himself. Monday he came on a run with me without issues.

So today at the vet they did blood work again, listened to his heart, and did a chest X-ray. The vet didn't hear a heart murmur but said the heart is slightly enlarged on the X-rays. Kilo was more subdued at the vet and had a higher breathing rate than normal. The vet talked about getting an ultrasound of the heart, gave Kilo a steroid shot and then some medication to help his heart. I am going to talk to the vet tomorrow to discuss what is next.

This has all been been very upsetting to me as I've done everything I can to keep him healthy. He is on a prey model raw diet and has been the past year +. Not on any other medication.

Does this sound similar to what anyone else has dealt with? The vet seemed kind of perplexed at it today. I am trying to gather more info so I know what to ask about tomorrow. He has always been so healthy so this has been kind of a shock. The vet mentioned getting an ultrasound of the heart but since Kilo will have to be sedated it might not be able to show what they'd need to see.
 

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the only experience I've seen with this... A person I know's dog recently had fluid around her heart and they determined it to be a symptom of hemangiosarcoma and upon further testing did end up finding a tumor on the spleen . I know your dog you said the fluid was in his belly so it's something different, but an enlarged heart thing was one of the first signs the other person had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the only experience I've seen with this... A person I know's dog recently had fluid around her heart and they determined it to be a symptom of hemangiosarcoma and upon further testing did end up finding a tumor on the spleen . I know your dog you said the fluid was in his belly so it's something different, but an enlarged heart thing was one of the first signs the other person had.
What further testing did they do? They did an ultrasound and X-rays of abdomen already and didn't see any masses or anything wrong. That's what I originally was worried about but nothing has come up
 

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What further testing did they do? They did an ultrasound and X-rays of abdomen already and didn't see any masses or anything wrong. That's what I originally was worried about but nothing has come up
Ultrasounds! so if yours is clear that's good then! Hope it's jsut a small thing
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did your vet check for heartworm?
No but we don't have heartworm where we are. Would that show up in the blood test? He's had a blood test done in Feb and one today and nothing seemed to come up
 

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These symptoms are would be very, very common with late-stage heartworm disease. It is diagnosed with a cheap, instant blood test -- they put a few drops of blood on a test kit in the office, wait a few minutes, and it will have a reading right then. The test kits are quite inexpensive (in the U.S., this is a $30 or so test).

Normal wellness bloodwork does not check for HW (though sometimes a few markers go wonky in the regular bloodwork as the disease progresses, signalling "something" is wrong).

According to this map, they're finding cases in Quebec and Ontario already in 2018, and there were quite a few in both last year, as well as smaller numbers in Manitoba and Nova Scotia too:
Real-Time Map

This is an easy thing to rule out -- and it's usually treatable. It's a better thing to be diagnosed with than hemangio tumors in the heart/lungs, which is the other worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
These symptoms are would be very, very common with late-stage heartworm disease. It is diagnosed with a cheap, instant blood test -- they put a few drops of blood on a test kit in the office, wait a few minutes, and it will have a reading right then. The test kits are quite inexpensive (in the U.S., this is a $30 or so test).

Normal wellness bloodwork does not check for HW (though sometimes a few markers go wonky in the regular bloodwork as the disease progresses, signalling "something" is wrong).

According to this map, they're finding cases in Quebec and Ontario already in 2018, and there were quite a few in both last year, as well as smaller numbers in Manitoba and Nova Scotia too:
Real-Time Map

This is an easy thing to rule out -- and it's usually treatable. It's a better thing to be diagnosed with than hemangio tumors in the heart/lungs, which is the other worry.
I will ask about it tomorrow. I never really thought it was a possibility, we are in BC Canada and it seemed the only cases we have around here are from dogs that have traveled in the States or eastern Canada. The vet seemed a bit perplexed; the only thing showing up on any of the tests so far is a slightly enlarged heart :/
 

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My experience with my dog who had an enlarged heart and fluid retention in belly and lethargy, which was caused by heart murmur in the end stage developed into congestive heart failure. This caused fluid in belly and had to be eventually removed continuously with a syringe after being on medication for awhile. I know steroids make heart murmurs worse. I can’t say what this is but if the heart is enlarged I would see a cardiologist. Further testing like a sonogram of the heart would tell you more. Light sedation for songograms are not always necessary but that is depenendant on the dog. Hope you find out more answers quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My experience with my dog who had an enlarged heart and fluid retention in belly and lethargy, which was caused by heart murmur in the end stage developed into congestive heart failure. This caused fluid in belly and had to be eventually removed continuously with a syringe after being on medication for awhile. I know steroids make heart murmurs worse. I can’t say what this is but if the heart is enlarged I would see a cardiologist. Further testing like a sonogram of the heart would tell you more. Light sedation for songograms are not always necessary but that is depenendant on the dog. Hope you find out more answers quickly.
Thanks. With your dog, was the fluid in the belly always there once it appeared? It has happened twice for Kilo since the beginning of Feb though the second time seemed like he drank too much water (within an hour of it appearing he started throwing up large amounts of water then the enlarged tummy went away). The vet didn't hear a heart murmur (or any of the other 3 other vets that have seen him since Jan). Unfortunately he is not very good at the vets so needs sedation. I will ask more about seeing a cardiologist; I think the nearest one is 6 hours away ?
 

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Cascade-If you get a sonogram of the heart it should tell you much more and will tell you your next step- whatever that may be. Bella towards her later years had to be put on medicine for the heart murmur. She slowly became worse with a slight cough and labored breathing. We had to go to a cardiologist bella had major issues with the valves of her heart - which was seen on sonogram/ultrasound she was put on tons of heart medication. She was doing very well for about a year. The first time bella had fluid in her stomach had to be removed by a abdominal tap - big needle syringe She was good for many months then slowly the fluid kept coming back - it became then monthly abdominal taps that led to biweekly then weekly abdominal taps at our local vet -at this point we were just making her as comfortable as possible. She never vomited up fluid. This was our story. I do hope you find out more it’s so frustrating not getting any answers it is always good to get second opinion from a nearby local veterinarian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just a small update: Kilo had an EKG done and nothing came up on it. We will see if he has another lethargic episode and if so I will take him straight into the vet so they can do an EKG to see what's happening when he's having an episode. Other than that he's back to himself. My vet is going to be sending all of Kilo's diagnostics to a cardiologist as well. I've been keeping track of his resting heart rate and respiratory rate and it's always been within normal ranges. We see the ultrasound specialist next week so should hopefully have a better idea then
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kilo's ultrasound showed he has a tumor on his heart that is bleeding. I guess there's nothing that can be done now and the vet told me to start making arrangements. Thanks everyone for your support. This has been very difficult knowing he doesn't have much time left. I'm heartbroken ?
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this diagnosis. I wish you and Kilo comfort and peace in your remaining time together.
 

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That is so awful. I am very sorry that you are going through this.
 

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I am so sorry. When I read your post my heart just sank - it sounded too similar to what just happened to my dog. I was hoping for better news for you guys.
 
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