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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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Dog breathing very fast Enlarged heart

Customer Question

Dog breathing very fast
Enlarged heart
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.

Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.

What type of dog is Cisco?

Would you describe his breathing as labored?

Did your vet take an x-ray of his heart recently?

Is he currently taking any medications for his heart?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Enalapril 5 mg
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the reply.

How long ago did he start the enalapril?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
enalapril 5mg
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
80 t0 100 tims a min some very shallow
Expert:  Dr. Matt replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

I am sorry to hear that Cisco is breathing faster. This is concerning since he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. The most common cause of an enlarged heart in a Chihuahua would be valvular disease or a weakened valve in his heart. Most small breed dogs can tolerate a mild weak valve though once the disease becomes more severe they can develop congestive heart failure which can cause labored/shallow breathing, coughing, lethargy, lack of an appetite, and weight loss. A respiratory rate of 80-100 times per minute is quite concerning as I would worry that Cisco has developed congestion or fluid in his lungs secondary to the heart disease.

At this point, he honestly needs to be started on some additional medications for his heart such as Lasix and Pimobendin. Lasix is a diuretic or water pill that can help reduce the amount of fluid in his lungs. This drug usually has a very quick effect especially if given as an injection. Pimobendin can help dilate the blood vessels and strengthen each heart beat.

Since his respiratory rate is so fast, I really would take him to a vet tonight if possible as he sounds like he is having trouble getting enough oxygen which is why he is breathing faster. If you absolutely cannot get him to vet tonight then I would get him into your vet's office tomorrow morning to have an x-ray taken and for an injection of Lasix.

Hope this helps to answer your question - if not or if you have any more questions please feel free to reply. Thank you for your question.