My Dalmatian has had a heart murmor her whole life. It did not become an issue for her until April of this year, and from then on it progressed horribly.
The symptoms were all typical. Fluid backup in the lungs creating a difficult breathing environment, and her coughing like crazy. We put her on lasix and it helped at first.
Then the fluid build up moved to the abs. We have had her drained twice now in the last month to 5 weeks.
she is on 10mg of Enalapril once in the am and once in the pm.
Lasix is 30mg in the night and 20mg in the morning.
Vetmedin is 5mg in am, 5mg in the pm.
these last couple days I have increased her lasix to 80-100mg/day giving her a 20mg tablet every few hours to help her body get caught up. within a week of the abdomen draining she was swollen and coughing again. I was told that 100mg was the safe limit for a dog of her size. I try to give her as little as I can, but Increase it when there seems to be a need. She's breathing better, but still swollen.
we've kept tabs on her girth as well. She shrinks to around 25" after being drained, and swells to 27"+ inches. I have her back down to 26"-ish now with the extra lasix.
What are the options? I can't get her drained once a week. That's too expensive and hard on her. But she is eating well and still have a very happy personality with a lot of tail wagging. Her ears are attentive, and she still smiles from time to time the way Dals do.
I'm not ready to put her down, how can you when she still seems so happy? But at what point do I know its time with her? This is a difficult first time encounter for my wife and I.
I forgot to mention... she only turns 9 next month. Her young age is one of the things that makes this so difficult for me. I'm not used to such a young dog having such a horrible condition. It's a bummer that such a rare personality would get dealt a bum heart.