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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8275
Experience:  29 years of companion animal practice.
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Our dog is on medication for heart problems and fluid on the

Customer Question

Our dog is on medication for heart problems and fluid on the lungs. She started wetting her bed at night shortly after commencing the medication and now we have discovered that she has been sitting on the furniture, which she never did before, and this too, is now wet. We live in Spain and the vet says that the tablets are possibly causing the problem. Should we stop or change the tablets, or is this a problem we have to live with?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

RebeccaVet :

Hello!

RebeccaVet :

Thank you for asking about Toto.

RebeccaVet :

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

RebeccaVet :

This sounds like a good combination of heart medications.

RebeccaVet :

It is probably the Seguril that is causing her to leak urine.

RebeccaVet :

How much is she taking, and how much does she weigh?

RebeccaVet :

I would not stop giving it, or she might build up fluid in the lungs again. But you could try to lower the dosage.

RebeccaVet :

I am not seeing responses from you. This chat format does not work for everyone, or for all devices. I will try to connect with you another way if I do not hear from you soon.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
I hope you can see what I am writing now.

The dose is about one milligram per pound at first. If she is 10 pounds, then she would get 10 milligrams, twice daily. As the Fortikor and Vetmedin improve her heart function, she may be able to get less, or even stop the Seguril. I would not just stop it, but lower the dose in half to see how she does.

You should let your veterinarian know if you are going to change the dosage.

If the fluid in her lungs is still there, I also might try another diuretic, like spironolactone, and then give less Seguril. That might help her lungs, and her urine leaking.

You might be able to take her off diuretics completely, if she responds well to Vetmedin and Fortikor. These drugs have really advanced what we can do for dogs with heart disease.

Please let me know what else I can help with, or answer.

Rebecca
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Rebecca,


Thanks for getting back to me. I'm not at my computer very much and so I went off to do jobs whilst I waited for your reply - and then missed it. I'm 'on line' now if you are around.


Firstly, I think Toto possibly weighs less than 10lbs and the current dosage of Seguril is1/2 tablet (40mg strength) twice a day, so I could try giving it her just once a day.


You say that I may be able to take her off diuretics if she responds well to the Vetmedic and Fortikor, but how do I know whether she is responding well, apart from getting her x-rayed, which is very expensive. Apart from 'leaking' she seems perfectly healthy. She's a bit slower than she was, but she still enjoys walks and playing with her toys. You wouldn't know that there is anything wrong with her! We discovered that she was ill when she started coughing, as if she was choking and that's when she had an x-ray which revealed the fluid.


You mentioned that we could try her on 'spironolactone', but I'm not sure whether we could get this in Spain. Also, what is it? Is there a natural medication that we could try?


 

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
If she is less than 10 pounds, then 20mg is a high dose. I would try lowering it to 5 to 10 mg once to twice daily.

If her cough has stopped since being on the medication, that is a good sign that her heart disease is being managed. An Xray is a good way to tell if there is fluid in the lungs of course, but just listening to her lungs with a stethoscope could tell her veterinarian a lot; if there is fluid in the lungs you can usually hear it.

Spironolactone is a common diuretic that has been around a long time, so you may be able to get it.

As far as a "natural" or herbal treatment, there are some Chinese herbs ( best to work with someone trained in TCM, traditional Chinese medicine for this) and dandelion leaf ( not root) is a diuretic. However, when working with herbs, it can be hard to get the dose exactly right, especially when given with other medications like Vetmedin and Fortikor. If I had a dog with heart disease, especially a little dog. I would stick with known precise dosages. I like to use herbs and supplements, and often recommend them, but for a 10 pound dog with congestive heart failure, I would be using this exact combination of drugs ( just a little less of the diuretic, perhaps).

When I was in vet school, I was taught that when a dog was diagnosed with heart disease, they had only so much time left. Medication only helped improve symptoms, but did not extend life. That all changed when ACE inhibitors first came out ( Fortikor is one of these); now we could prolong life. Then came Vetmedin, and now dogs ( and humans) are living longer lives with heart disease. I would not even try to mess with this kind of success. If my dog developed congestive heart disease, she would be on these three drugs right away.

Hope lowering her Seguril helps, she is on a good dose to start off, but a lower dose may help her lungs but stop the leaking.

Please let me know what else I can answer, or help with.

Rebecca

Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8275
Experience: 29 years of companion animal practice.
Rebecca and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the great rating.

I will check back to see how Toto is doing.

Rebecca
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for responding to my rating. I wish I could have afforded to give you a larger tip, but things are a bit tight at the moment.


You really have been most helpful, especially as we are having to leave Toto in 3 weeks time, whilst we are away for a couple of months. Our daughter will be looking after Toto whilst we are away,so I have reduced her Segural dose in the hope that this will help with her diuretic problem so that her bedding doesn't have to be washed every day!


You mentioned that the medication Toto is on will help prolong her life, but do you have any idea what time scale we are talking about. I realize that you may not be able to answer this question, but are we talking about weeks, months or years?


I look forward to hearing from you.


Jeanette


 

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Jeanette,
With medications like Vetmedin and Fortikor, dogs can live months and years with heart disease.

I do not believe in predicting anything because you will usually be wrong, but if Toto is only 10 and responds well to these medications, she could live for years longer. A dog that had about the worst heart disease I have ever seen, and was the first dog I put on Vetmedin, lived for two years and I never expected that. If her heart is not that bad, she is a smaller dog ( so less work for her heart), and she is on these medications, she could live longer than that dog.

Rebecca
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Rebecca,


Not sure whether you'll get this, as I've now cancelled my subscription, but just wanted to say that 'chatting' with you has really put my mind at ease. I took Toto to the vet recently and she says that Toto is much better. Also, she said we could reduce the dose of Vetmedin, which I've already done. I'm not sure, but I think Toto is weeing less. She's taken to going outside at night, so it's difficult to tell, but her bed is remaining dry for the time being.


Thank you very much for all your help and advice. It greatly helped when I spoke to the vet.


Jeanette

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Jeanette,

You are welcome. I am glad to hear Toto is doing better. Thank you for the update.

Rebecca

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