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Discussion Starter #1
Stomps has been making an odd noise lately. It sounds like he's gagging or trying to clear his throat, and it's very loud. He does it once or twice in quick succession, then he seems fine. Just now I found a glop of thick, clear mucous on the floor. I'm not sure it was from Stomps, but he's the most likely source. Has anyone experienced something like this? Otherwise, he seems fine. He's eating well, he's active and he doesn't appear to be in any discomfort. I know I have to take him to the vet, but I dread it because he's so old and I'm afraid of what they'll find.
 

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Lots of possibilities...something infectious like kennel cough, congestive heart failure with some fluid build up in the lungs, or other. Let us know what comes of the vet visit.
 

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Well, Betsy, I'm so glad you responded, because I hadn't thought about heart disease. That spurred me to take him to the vet this morning. And that's what it is. The vet is optimistic--he says that despite Stomps' age, all the important stuff is in great shape (except the heart), and that his disease appears to be in the somewhat early stages. So now he's on Lasix and some drug I can't remember the name of (to make the heart pump more effectively) and will have to get used to me sticking my fingers down his throat several times throughout the day.

So thank you Betsy for making me take my head out of the sand and get him diagnosed. It probably bought Stomps several extra months.

Now, anybody have any advice on living with a dog with heart disease? Anything other than the medication that you can recommend I do?
 

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I'm sorry to hear about Stomps diagnosis, but glad to hear it was caught early. I NEVER would've thought heart disease. I hope you find the answers you are looking for. I googled heart disease in dogs and came up w/a lot of the typical "see your vet and give these medicines."

~Heather
 

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Sorry about the diagnosis; sux2B old. :( The good news is that it sounds like his liver and kidneys are functioning well, allowing him to benefit from the medications most commonly used to treat CHF. :) Here is some sound advice:
Preventive Care

In general, heart failure cannot be prevented, although early diagnosis of the underlying cause can provide an improved quality of life. Once diagnosed, you should prevent excessive physical activity or excitement, avoid high heat/humidity and avoid high salt (sodium) foods or treats.[/b]
A Matter of the Heart--Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
 

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Betsy, you're amazing. I really hope that Stomps responds well to treatment. Lots of luck. How old is Stomps?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Avoiding heat and humidity is no problem for now, but I live in Kentucky, which is Cherokee for "Good Lord it's humid here!" Stomps is SO bad about not wanting to take his pills, and the heart medication is a gigantic tablet. Even broken in two, it's such a battle to get the pieces down his throat. Since he's got to have them for the rest of his life, hopefully we'll get into a routine that doesn't involve me practically wrestling him to the ground. That can't be good for his heart!

Beverly Anne, Stomps was a rescue, so I don't know his exact age, but I think he's about 13 or 14 (or even 15) now.
 

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I've always ended up crushing Franny's pills and mixing it up with a small amount of wet dog food then mixed in with his usual dry. When Fran was struggling with the glaucoma and he was on every medication in the book, occasionally he would get stubborn (how odd for a basset, huh?) so I gave up the struggle of trying to get them down his throat. The ONLY good thing about losing the glaucoma fight was that we didn't need so many medications. Good luck and God bless.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The gigantic pills are supposed to be given on an empty stomach, which is what makes it so hard. Stomps is not in the least bit food-motivated. but maybe I'll try crushing it and putting it in a little bit o applesauce or something might work.
 

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What's the name of the medication? Sometimes you can get liquid formulations of medications or maybe you can crush it and mix it with something sweet and squirt it down his little gullet. Francis is ONLY food motivated. Hoping all is well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Stomps is the only animal I've ever had IN MY LIFE that wasnt food-motivated, so we're having a time of it. But I found that if I mix it with a little bit of wet dog food, he eats it right up. So we're working out our new routine. Here's some info on the drug, which apparently wasn't approved for use in the United States until last year:

Another ACE inhibitor used frequently in Great Britain, Europe and Canada is Vetmedin (pimobendan, Boehringer Ingelheim). Since its introduction in 2000 it has been shown to increase both quality of life and length of life in dogs suffering from congestive heart disease, above and beyond previous treatment regimes. Vetmedin opens up the blood vessels and eases resistance in the circulatory system dilating blood vessels, and improving the efficiency with which the heart functions as a pump. The combined effect is therefore to improve cardiovascular function and the blood flow to major organs.

Anybody got contacts at Boehringer Ingelheim? I need to get this drug at cost. It's fairly expensive!
 

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So sorry to hear about Stomp's heart problems, but it sounds like things are under control. Wish I could help, but i don't have any contacts.

Keep us posted on how the big guy is doing!
 
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