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Dr B
Dr B, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1253
Experience:  DVM
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My 14 1/2 year old poodle/chiuahua was fine one day then,

Customer Question

Hi my 14 1/2 year old poodle/chiuahua was fine one day then, the next she wasn't drinking very much, had no energy, she wouldn't get up, only for a bit of water once. by the afternoon her heart was racing and she was struggling to breathe. I rushed to the vet and he said she was in heart failure without any x-rays or blood tests. he said the best thing to was to put her to sleep. I was scared for her and didn't want her to suffer so we agreed. could the vet had done anything, should he had done blood work and an x-ray?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

Hi this is DRB and I would be happy to assist you with this. Based on your description of the case, I would say you absolutely made the right decision. I have seen many dogs of this breed with congestive heart failure and once they get to the stage your dog was at they are better having a peaceful ending and that is what you gave her.

One thing that can help diagnose these as early as possible is having your vet at least once yearly listen really well to your dogs heart. If a heart murmur is heard then that can be worked up early on. A heart ultrasound, bloodwork and xrays should be done early on and then medications can be instituted.

I do hope this helps you. You definitely did the best thing for your dog. Please let me know if you have any questions. I check my computer every night and will be happy to get back to you. Sincerely, DRB

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** he have done? Was there a possibility of saving her?
He didn't give her a sedation just one injection. Would she have been in pain without the sedation?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

So, he could have tried to treat her but honestly it had probably like a 95% chance of failure which is I am sure why he recommended what he did. When a dog is in heart failure, I don't feel that giving sedation prior to euthanasia makes much difference at all. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any additional questions. Sincerely, DRB

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** so I can understand how it all happen as it was so fast.
When given the euthanasia injection did it make her go into cardiac arrest. What happens to them? What's the process that and the affects they go through with it?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all. With dogs that are not in heart failure it is good to use sedation but when they are in heart failure it does not matter as much. The drug used is an overdose of a barbiturate type agent that will stop the heart altogether. So for her the injection was a true blessing as it stopped all her suffering. Not being able to breathe is a terrible feeling so she just needed to be humanely let go as quick as possible. For the majority of animals being humanely euthanized feels the same as going under anesthesia which is actually pleasant. I hope this helps. DRB

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
did she black out? Did she feel her heart stopping? She went with her eyes open which frightened me. Why didn't she fall asleep like he said she would?
Did she go numb from the injection?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

She would have had so little oxygen going to her brain because of the heart failure that she would not have been aware of anything. No, she did not feel her heart stopping. They black out before that. Dogs do not close their eyes when they die. No animals do nor do people. That is because of the eye muscles. That is a normal effect of death. I hope this helps you. Sincerely, DRB

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for all the questions, so when they're sedated they don't shut their eyes either?
Or when they're going for surgery they keep they're eyes open?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

No problem...sedation usually does not cause them to close their eyes. Neither does general anesthesia but with general anesthesia it can appear like their eyes are closed because they are rolled back due to the drugs but eyelids stay open. In humans that die and are buried and have a wake their eyelids are actually glued shut. I hope this helps. Sincerely, DRB

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** moist pink gums, I thought if they are pale or blue that means there's no enough oxygen goon to the brain?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

No when they turn blue that is very very bad but when a dog is having difficulty breathing due to heart failure then her body saturation level with oxygen would have been low normal. That cannot be seen with he naked eye until it is way bad. That is why when you go to the doctor they always place that prong device on your finger. They are checking your O2 saturation.

I hope that helps. DRB

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

Can I answer any other questions for you? I have to turn infor the night. I have a long day at work tomorrow.

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she still wasn't getting enough oxygen even when she had moist pink gums?He couldn't have put her on oxygen and put her on mediation to subside it for abit?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

I was not there and did not do the exam so I cannot definitively say there was nothing he could do but I can definitely tell you that the likelihood of a positive outcome in a dog of her age was very very low. She would have needed enalapril, lasix and pimobendan at least to start as well as and oxygen cage and likely several days of in hospital stay. And then you might and I stress might have given her a few weeks maybe......I hope this helps you. You really did the right thing. Try and tell your heart that, because you did....Sincerely, DRB

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

Can I answer any other questions?

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

I am going off line now but if you need further help please let me know.

I would very much appreciate a rating for my service and I will still get back to you if you have more questions but it will have to be tomorrow night. You can leave your questions here. Sincerely, DRB

Please hit rate my service as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** anything I could have done that could've prevented this from happening?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

The only way to prevent this is yearly vet visits because in the early stages a heart murmur can be heard and then medication can be given after heart xrays and ultrasound. Doing this will slow the disease process and usually add several years to a dog's life. That being said, all dogs treated and untreated will eventually go into failure. It is just the treated dogs will go there much more slowly over years. I hope this helps.

Sincerely, DRB

I would appreciate a positive rating for my efforts. Thank you very much.

Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you need further help and I would appreciate a positive rating for my help.

Thank you very much. DRB

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
for a dog her age, how long would she have lasted on medications?
She has had a heart murmur of 6/6 for a few years.
our family vet diagnosed her with heart problems at the start of April 2015 he prescribed her with Vetmedin - 1 tablet per day.
We tried to give to her every day as best we could, times we were out of town so she missed a few days per month.
2 weeks before she went into heart failure we found blood in her urine, our family vet clinic wasn't available at the time. We went to another vet clinic it was right at the end of the day, he tested her for urinary tract infection. didn't do any body checks or blood tests. He prescribed her with an antibiotic and told us to stop all other medications - including her heart medication until we finished the antibiotics for 2 weeks - her prescribed her Noroclav 50mg (1 tablet per day). we had just finished the antibiotics and she went downhill fast that Sunday before we could start her back on the heart medication.Could she had been on the Vetmedin whilst on the antibiotic?
could it have done damage to her without the Vetmedin for the 2 weeks?
Expert:  Dr B replied 1 year ago.

I am going to opt out and allow another expert to help you.Sincerely, DRB