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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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We have an 11 year old cocker spaniel that has had chronic

Customer Question

We have an 11 year old cocker spaniel that has had chronic ear infections over the years. She had one recently, but the standard treatment cleared it up. We were told she has a heart murmur, this is new, but the only thing we notice different is that she wants to sleep a lot more and during the day when she typical would hang out where ever we are she tends to go sleep on the guest bed or in her own. She's eating and eliminating normally, though I have had to coax her a big with food. Should I be concerned or is this standard aging. Thanks
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 11 months ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 16 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

This is a tough question. Certainly sleeping more (or even sleeping heavier) can be normal as dogs are not as bothered by noises since the hearing does diminish as the dog ages AND acting confused can be a normal age related changes. However, marked appetite changes can sometimes indicate a problem, especially if she was always a dog who loved her food. Whether or not these changes are related to the heart disease is unclear, but possible.

The best step would be a general screening (blood) if not done in the past 2 months which would include a complete blood count, chemistry profile (with electrolytes), urine check, thyroid screening AND I would highly advocate do the cardioBNP test which screens for heart disease as a blood test. If the BNP is abnormal, then she really does need a full cardiac evaluation with blood pressure check (although this is recommended to do twice yearly in dogs over 10 anyway), chest X-rays and echocardiogram.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please let me know if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 11 months ago.
Hi Wendy,

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

Dr. Joey