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We have a 7 yo 3 mo female west highland terrier that has…

We have a 7 yo...
We have a 7 yo 3 mo female west highland white terrier that has currently slightly large heart. In the last year or so we notice she has begin to pant easily after playing or running around. We consulted with two local vets and one said we do not need to give her any medication and wait out to see if it gets worst. Another vet suggests to put her on heart medication and prescribe 10 mg of VetAce daily.Other health history - two cruciate ligament done on both knees in 2014 and 2016. She also has a chronic colitis so has been on bland diet all her life. The colitis often flares up if she eats fatty meat. She is always an excited dog - often get hyped up easily when go on a car ride or to new places/parks....not sure if it contributes to her current heart issue.My question is what could we do to maintain a healthy heart for her. Should we start her on a medication?
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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/8/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,842
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. The answer to your question is made after careful auscultation (listening to) and X-raying of Maile's thorax (chest). If an arrhythmia (irregular heart rate) is heard, an EKG should be performed. If her exam doesn't find an obvious problem, an echocardiogram (ultrasound of her heart) may be recommended. It isn't standard of care to prescribe heart medications until baseline diagnostics such as I mentioned are performed. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for your reply Dr.Salkin. The auscultation was carried out but both drs did not detect any unusal sign. The chest xray images are attached. Should we request for an ultrasound?

Thank you. Give me a moment to take a look, please...

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I see an enlarged heart and liver and pronounced air bronchograms in the left caudal lungfields suggestive of

I would have these films reviewed by a specialist veterinary radiologist whom most of us have on retainer. The cost to you for such a review is minimal compared to the benefit received. This should be done before an ultrasound is considered. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
How do I proceed with the specialist veterinary radiologist? Should I start with a new question and direct this to them?

No, this is arranged by Maile's vet. The films can be sent to the specialist as a file if they are digital films or the films themselves can be sent to the specialist. My primary concern is pulmonary fibrosis in a Westie with secondary pulmonary hypertension causing the enlarged heart. Regretfully, the films are difficult for me to see to be any more accurate than that.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,842
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for your advice. I will contact the vet and ask if we could get refer to the specialist.

You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
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