Heart disease- hand hold

(12 Posts)
toomuchsplother Fri 22-Nov-19 21:55:57

My much loved Cavalier is struggling so much with his heart. He has a grade 5 murmur and in the last 2 weeks has taken a sudden dip. Breathing rate has steadily increased, cough worse, getting us up 2 or more times in the night to go out. He has also slowed right down with his food in the last week. Only eating one meal sometimes. But he is still keen to go out for walks and thrilled to see us.
Back to vets tonight who have upped his diuretic. This has been relatively low dose up until now because he seems to wee so much. The dose has been doubled. Tonight lying next to me on the sofa he wee'd in his sleep, woke himself up and just looked mortified. Tonight, for the first time since he was puppy we have caged him, simply because he usually sleeps on our bed and I don't want him to have an accident there.
I am so so so sad on so many levels. I am struggling to accept that it is approaching the end of his life. He is very much my dog. The vets felt with the right meds they might be able to give him a couple more months but will they be quality months ? I don't want to see him without dignity.
Does anyone know whether the reaction to diuretic will settle or am I just kidding myself?

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Wolfiefan Fri 22-Nov-19 21:59:39

Oh I’m so sorry. That’s heartbreaking. Have the vets given any indication whether the meds will settle? For now could you use a waterproof cover? Our pup would wee in the car so often I actually bought doggy incontinence pads from the people who make vet bed. (Washable and so reusable.)

toomuchsplother Fri 22-Nov-19 22:03:23

They said that sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. I am back to see their specialist vet on Monday so should know more.
Absolutely torn between wanting to hold on to him and let him have dignity. To be fair I thought he would go crackers in the cage but he has settled right down. Small mercies
I did think about pads etc but he is so restless at the moment he will move off them. Hence the cage.

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Wolfiefan Fri 22-Nov-19 22:07:53

I don’t think the cage is a bad idea at all. If he used it as a pup he may well find it comforting. I was just thinking of allowing you to cuddle on the sofa.
I would wait to see the specialist vet on Monday. Whatever you decide you want to feel that you had every piece of information you need to make the right decision for him. But I’m with you. Dignity. Quality of life. If he can settle on the higher dose and be pampered for weeks then great. If he is going to continue to be upset by setting himself in his sleep (poor thing) then it’s unkind to let that continue.
flowers through. It’s horrid.

toomuchsplother Fri 22-Nov-19 22:11:40

Thank you

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Darklane Sun 24-Nov-19 19:49:37

As long as he’s happy, which he sounds to be, just wait to see if he settles on the new meds. If he’s comfortable & happy is a bit of wee such a problem. I know how you’re feeling, I went through the same thing a couple of months ago with my little one. There did come a weekend though when it all changed & he started to struggle & then I had to let him go. It was very hard & I still cry but up till that weekend he was settled, pain free on meds & still my lovely, happy little boy. You’ll know without any doubt when the time comes. I’m so sorry.

toomuchsplother Sun 24-Nov-19 20:33:45

We have actually had a pretty good weekend. He has been much more settled in his crate at night and no more accidents. His breathing isn't great though.
Have tempted him with some wet food, mixed with his usual kibble, which we have usually avoided as it upsets his tummy, and he has eaten a bit more.
Still wanting to walk and ran to the door today when my MIL came who he loves. Had a mad coughing fit then but was wagging like a loon!
Let's see what the vet says tomorrow.
We have lost one cavalier in Sept due to complications from syringomelia . confused

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Wolfiefan Sun 24-Nov-19 21:28:47

Oh I’m sorry syringomelia is a bloody awful thing. Good luck with the vet tomorrow.

toomuchsplother Wed 27-Nov-19 21:44:07

Update is that the specialist vet has confirmed it is now heart failure which we knew. Critical thing is to get the fluid levels down if we can. Have added in another diuretic (!) but hope to be able to reduce this in a week.
Breathing is still poor but not getting worse, colour of gums is good so circulation is ok -ish.
Eating slightly better and still wants walks etc.
Weeing lots but only one more accident.
Vet thought we might be able to stabilise things but suspect we are looking at a few months at best. Making the most of what time we have

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Wolfiefan Wed 27-Nov-19 22:50:25

Wishing you more good days OP. I hope the medication helps.

TinyGringotts Wed 27-Nov-19 23:05:59

We lost one of our cavs to heart disease 3 months ago. She was on the top doses of everything (2x heart tabs and diuretic). She was admitted to the vets for a day stay 4 times for oxygen therapy with decreasing success.

I decided after this that she would be cared for at home till it was time to say goodbye. No more major interventions. For the last 3 or so weeks she didn't go out for walks - just popped out in the garden. She had very little energy but seemed content to lie snoozing beside me. She would still lift her head if someone walked in to the room.

She went downhill extremely quickly at the end. It was the difficulty breathing due to fluid in her lungs. One afternoon she just couldn't lift her head and was just desperately trying to get a breath. Mu children said their goodbyes and I took her to the vet to be put to sleep.

I just couldn't put her through the awful experience of perhaps dying overnight. It would have been very distressing for her.

She was 7. She wonderful. She is missed every single day. But I know I did the right thing for her and she had a lovely life.

I am so so sorry you are going through this. You need to decide what you your line in the sand is in terms of interventions. And them just do your best for your wee dog and smother them with love.

Cavaliers are the best. ❤️

toomuchsplother Thu 28-Nov-19 06:32:19

@TinyGringotts so sorry to hear that.
We have been through this once before about 6 years ago with another cavalier. She was a rescue from a breeder ( don't even go there !!) She has a grade 4 murmur when we got her, needed 28 teeth removing due to terrible dental problems, had fur matted around her teeth where she had over groomed herself with stress and was pretty much deaf due to an untreated and longstanding ear infection. She also had untreated eye problems and problems with her knees. All of which could have treated surgically when she was younger but by the time she came to us there was no way that was an option due to the heart problems.
She had been breed from. And this woman showed at Crufts . It is my biggest regret that I didn't report her.
She ( dog!) was so good natured and loving . Wasn't particularly active and slowly reduced her activity levels. One day when things were getting pretty bad she wanted to go for a walk with the other dog, hadn't done that for ages. Had a very slow walk around the block and then came home and died in my DH's arms .
This time I think my lines will be when our boy stops wanting to go out and stops paying attention to people. He has always been active and very sociable even when poorly so it will be a real indicator for me.

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