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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15568
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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Are there two different types of Cardiomyopathy? How does a

Customer Question

Are there two different types of Cardiomyopathy? How does a vet know the difference? I see you are not to give Vetmedin for one kind.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the dog? Where does the dog seem to hurt?
Customer: She is 9.5 yrs. old, a Pom/Chi, 7.2 lbs.. She was diagnosed in Mar. 2015 with an enlarged heart & a grade 3 heart murmu . She is now a grade 4 murmur, her heart has enlarged more, both right & left ventricles & her liver is slightly enlarged. My vet put her on eneparil, fluromide & 1.25 grams of Vetmedin every 12 hrs. I have not started her on Vetmedin yet. Is there a chance it could kill her?
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Munchkin (Munchie)ūüėć
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: She cough' s a little maybe 1x a day. Has a rapid heart beat & seems a bit irregular to me. The vets have never said anything about that. Her appetite is great...always hungry, bowel movements are normal 2x's a day, And urinates 4/5 times a day. Doesn't appear to be drinking too much. Seems happy & still likes to go for walks & play sometimes.
JA: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No... Why would I? She is not limping.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear about Munchkin's heart. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

There are two main types of cardiomyopathy: hypertrophic and dilated. You can only tell which kind a dog has with an echocardiogram. If this is hypertrophic, then you might not want to use pimobendan.

Has an echocardiogram (ultrasound) been done, to confirm the heart enlargement is due to cardiomyopathy? An enlarged heart can also be from valve disease and congestive heart failure, which is more common in small dogs than cardiomyopathy. It is always best to have an "echo" done to determine the cause of the murmur, check for cardiomyopathy, see if the heart contractions are weak or strong, look at the heart valves, etc.

Vetmedin is pretty safe and it is unlikely it will kill her. The latest thinking is to start Vetmedin sooner rather than later to get the most benefits and longest possible life span as possible for valvular disease, congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy.

If there is an irregular heart rate, an EKG should be done. If there is an arryhythmia, there might be medication recommended to make the heart beats more regular.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I hope you were able to see what I wrote; I have not heard back from you. How is Munchkin? Can I answer any more of your questions?