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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My Cockapoo which is 13 years old has a heart murmur, and

Customer Question

My Cockapoo which is 13 years old has a heart murmur, and lately has a cough with a little spitting up. Now today she was coughing then starting having a seizure and rolling around for a couple of minutes. I just patted her and spoke to her, then held her for about 15/20 min. What do you think is going on?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Good evening - I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm really sorry to hear that My-Ling isn't feeling well tonight. 13 is a great age for a pet :) I hope all of mine live as long!

Unfortunately, what you are describing sounds to me like it could indicate that she's a pretty sick pup. When dogs have heart disease that has progressed to heart failure, the first sign we see is an increase in coughing as fluid begins to back up in the lungs. With more severe accumulations of fluid we can see them breathe heavier, faster, and with more effort. In severe heart disease, these guys can have what we call syncopal episodes, which is where their heart is so far behind in supplying oxygenated blood to the tissues that the brain temporarily doesn't receive enough oxygen and they can pass out and/or have periods of altered mentation where they become extremely disoriented and can look a lot like they are having a seizure. Many times a syncopal episode is brought on by an increase in their activity level, which in turn increases the need for oxygen and their heart just can't keep up.

You're doing the right thing by keeping her calm and quiet; this is your best chance to prevent another episode. I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but it would be ideal to have her examined by a vet as soon as possible - even if this means going to an emergency clinic. Heart failure can progress quickly and they can get in deep trouble.

Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you :)

~Dr. Sara


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