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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11196
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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Small breed papillon w/enlarged heart he is 12yrs old and

Customer Question

small breed papillon w/enlarged heart he is 12yrs old and is now on vetmedin
[pimobendan] what can we do and how long do we have
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.
Hello. My name is***** will be happy to help you. Vetmedin is the gold standard for dogs with heart disease. It is not always necessary, but some dogs do well with a medication like enalapril or benazepril added to that. If he has fluid buildup in his lungs, then he would need to be on a diuretic, like Lasix, as well. If the Vetmedin is the only medication your vet feels he needs at this point, my only other advance would be to put him on a diet that is beneficial for dogs with heart disease. Hill's H/d is the perfect choice. It is low in sodium and phosphorus and high in taurine, carnitine, B vitamins and omega fatty acids. The latter 4 help a lot to maintain healthy heart function. I assume he has had a cardiac ultrasound. If he hasn't, that is very key in determining the extent in heart disease and how fast it may be progressing. Dogs can live a long time with heart disease if properly managed. If he isn't showing any clinical signs of heart disease, then starting the medications may keep the heart functioning properly or delay the progression of heart disease for many years. If he has significant enlargement of the heart and is starting to show signs of heart disease, he can still have a few years left, but doing follow up ultrasounds to determine progression in heart wall size and how much blood is flowing the wrong way is key to determining long term prognosis. If he is already in congestive heart failure, then a few months to a couple years is the life expectancy. So, determining how long he has is based on how well he is doing now, how diligent you are to keep him on medications and proper diet and how his heart disease progresses from ultrasound evaluations. Not an easy prognosis to predict just based on having an enlarged heart. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. John