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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Group,

I'm new here, I have a 7.5yrs old Mini-Schnauzer (female), took her to the vet for her yearly vaccinations yesterday and was told she had Stage 5 Heart Murmur, they did blood work and xray, they found the kidney and spleen as well as the heart a little bigger than normal. It took me by surprised as she has always been very active and didnt show any symptons. They put her on two medications Enalapril 2.5mg at night once a day and Lasix 12.5mg twice a day, just wondering if that is a good combination to have and if two lasix is ok. Also, would like to know if she can still live a normal life and do I have to put on her some restrictions? I'm going to have done an ultrasound of her heart as requested by her VET. Any suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated.
 

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I would say follow your Vets advice. You can always get a second opinion, and there are Veterinary Cardiologists if you want a specialists diagnoses and opinion.
 

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If Lasix effects dogs like humans she's going to need to pee soon after it's given.

In terms of the living life normally, I've found it helpful to write down any concerns I have then either visit or call the vet so they can give answers. It's part of being a good vet to answer those questions so really don't hesitate to ask, you won't sound silly for doing so.
 

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I agree that writing down any questions you have and presenting them to the vet is a good idea. My dog was on those same medications for a while and they helped him tremendously. The only advice I have for now is to keep your dog calm and don't let her get too worked up, just to make sure her heart doesn't have too much stress. Having an ultrasound by a cardiologist is highly recommended. They will be able to see her heart and make sure her valves are ok, as well. I wish you and your pup all the best.
 

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if you can afford a cardiology second opinion, I would strongly recommend it.. did they say she was in actual heart failure? Lasix is ONLY recommended for stage 3 heart failure and above... does NOTHING and can be dangerous for dogs not in that stage yet (it helps draw excess fluid from the lungs... but only if there is excess fluid- aka pulmonary edema- in the lungs). Be sure to ask your vet if she was in stage 3 heart failure, or there was signs of pulmonary edema on the radiographs.. if not... best get a second opinion. The Enalapril, on the other hand, is a pretty safe drug though there is still some controversy whether dogs with enlarged hearts only, but no symptoms, should be on any heart drugs yet (symptoms would be coughing or increased respiratory effort/rate). Many dogs go on to develop heart failure, but not all at the same rate and some not for years. Best not to give meds that are not needed... yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
lzrddr: She was diagnosed with Stage 5 heart failure but she didn't have any symptoms nor liquid on her lungs according to the xray that was taken to her. I'm not to thrill about giving her medications but if is going to help her I will give them to her. She is a very active dog and I don't know If I should just slow down her activity.
 

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lzrddr: She was diagnosed with Stage 5 heart failure but she didn't have any symptoms nor liquid on her lungs according to the xray that was taken to her. I'm not to thrill about giving her medications but if is going to help her I will give them to her. She is a very active dog and I don't know If I should just slow down her activity.
 

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My dog was diagnosed with congestive heart failure 3 years ago. He gets benazapril and lasix (he's just recently been bumped up to two and a half 12.5 lasix a day, 45 lb dog). I was pretty upset when he was diagnosed at just 10 years old and was told he was most likely in his last year, luckily he's held up a bit longer but nights are rough now. He also is a very active dog and that affects him but for me I feel like his quality of life isn't good without his tennis ball so I still let him chase it a couple times a day anyways (vet says hes a bad heart patient because he is such an active dog). Definitely notice he has to be let out to pee much more often when we up the lasix so you will have to watch that (we now go out 2 or 3 times during the night). And he drinks a ton of water as well.

As for the lasix amount, my understanding from my vet is that it is just for keeping the fluid from building up and she tries to keep him at as low a dosage as possible. He also gets blood work done often to make sure its not affecting his kidneys. You might get a second vet opinion on your dosage if your dog has no symptoms but I wouldnt stop giving any meds without a vet opinion. Symptoms for my dog are most noticeable when he is sleeping, during the day he sounds almost normal other than he pants heavily with any activity.

Another thing I found in my research for cardiac dogs is to find a good low sodium dog food.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

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no such thing as 'stage 5' heart failure.. what you said initially was she had a 5/6 heart murmur... but that is NOT a symptom of stage 3 or worse heart failure... just that there is something wrong with her heart valves. Does NOT mean she needs any treatment whatsoever, UNLESS a cardiologist deems it necessary sans any outward symptoms (sometimes there are discoveries during an echo that lead cardiologists to initiate therapy early). Heart murmurs are rated on a scale of 1-6, with 1 being barely audible with a stethoscope (NOT audible by me usually), and 6 being such a loud heart murmur one can practically hear it without a stethoscope. Most dog's heart murmurs tend to be in the 3-4/6 range, but the degree of murmur does not necessarily correlate with the severity of the disease.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The vet said she had heart failure stage 5 heart murmu (out of 6) but she didn't have any symptoms, just took her for her annual vaccinations. I'm going to take her to another vet (cardiologist) for a second opinion. Thanks for the help.
 

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I second getting a cardiologists opinion. Whenever there is any confusion about a diagnoses and or a treatment plan, IMO a workup by an appropriate specialist is indicated, in this case a cardiologist. Let us know what your cardiologist finds and recommends.
 

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My collie has a grade 3 murmur with no symptoms as yet.
I switched him to a part home cooked diet and am supplementing with taurine and a home made hawthorn decoction for the heart.
Am looking into heart friendly nutrition- I believe diet is crucial This site has lots of info
DogAware.com Health: Heart Disease in Dogs
My last dog was on lasix at times for a lung issue.. You must absolutely get bloodwork done at the start to test for kidney function with periodic tests thereafter.
Because she had elevated kidney numbers, I elected for a 'pulsed therapy' regime - so I only gave lasix for a limited period if she sounded rattly.
Personally I would avoid sustained periods of intense activity. For example my dog would chase balls all afternoon if I let him but I don't.

Good luck.
 
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