Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

Tales from the Pet Clinic

with Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dog’s Heart Takes A Lickin’ But Keeps On Tickin’

By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM

http://blogs.webmd.com/pet-tales/files/2013/02/Chad.jpg

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, February is American Heart Month. In 2012, The Animal Medical Center’s spokes-cat was Sidney, who developed fainting episodes which led to the diagnosis of a heart muscle abnormality, a condition common in cats.

This year, we have a spokes-dog who does not want to be outdone by last year’s spokes-cat. This dog has not one, but two types of heart problems at the same time!

An accidental tumor

Chad is a rescued, older male dachshund. After he found a forever home, he needed some dental work.  Because his regular veterinarian heard a heart murmur, an echocardiogram was ordered as part of the pre-dental evaluation. Echocardiograms evaluate the heart noninvasively using sound waves. The test showed Chad’s heart murmur was due to leaky valves. Leaky valves are the most common cause of a heart murmur in a dog.

In Chad’s case, the test surprisingly found a tumor near the base of the heart and he came to The Animal Medical Center in March of 2012 for further evaluation.

Magnetic resonance imaging

Heart tumors are quite uncommon; one study showed heart tumors occur in less than 0.2% of all dogs. The two most common types are often hard to distinguish using an echocardiogram. To image the heart, we use a special type of MRI. The MRI showed the tumor was located in the heart wall and could not be removed surgically. We started chemotherapy and between  treatments, when he was feeling well, his teeth were cleaned. Chemotherapy finished in November 2012 and an echocardiogram showed the tumor was smaller.

Heart problem number two

In January 2013, Chad’s leaky valves worsened causing heart failure, a buildup of fluid in his lungs. The AMC’s Emergency Service treated him with diuretics (water pills), oxygen and other medications to decrease the fluid in his lungs. The Cardiology Service prescribed medications to keep his broken heart working and the fluid from building up again in his lungs. After two days in the ICU, his heart was ticking well and he went home to his anxiously waiting family.

Is your dog coughing? It might be heart failure. Our friends at the Washington State College of Veterinary Medicine have a nice list of the causes of coughing in dogs.

Still worried your dog might have heart failure? Review the clinical signs and see your veterinarian if you think your dog has heart failure.

Posted by: Ann Hohenhaus, DVM at 10:47 am

Comments

Leave a comment

Subscribe & Stay Informed

WebMD Healthy Pets

Sign up for the WebMD Healthy Pets newsletter and get the latest on food, exercise and health news for Fluffy and Fido.

Archives

WebMD Health News