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Theresa, A Voice for Your Pet
Category: Dog
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Experience:  19+ years experience in small animal medicine
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I have a 12 year old dog with an enlarged heart and with

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I have a 12 year old dog with an enlarged heart and with
If she isn't exercise intolerant then it isn't likely that the panting in the home is caused by the heart condition. However, if she has minor fluid buildup in her chest her adrenaline may take over and she may not be aware of the issue until she is at rest. Yes, a complete cardiac workup would be recommended as well as having a heartworm test performed. If there is heart enlargement then there is heart disease and there is medication that can help slow down the progression of this disease but we have to find the ultimate cause first.

At 12 there are other potential issues which include Cushing's disease which can cause this excessive panting. She may be producing too much cortisol which can in turn affect the heart but also can affect the liver and other organ systems as well. There are also medications to help improve the symptoms of this condition as well.

I would definitely start with a urinalysis and bloodwork if you don't have recent bloods on her. If the breathing is constant and not only at night then repeat chest xrays are also recommended.

Please let me know if further assistance is needed.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

X-ray done last July and no comments made by vet as to fluid in lungs. Also, vet

does not give any details re. cause of heart other than the fact that it is enlarged. I

am unable to get any further details. Observation of her drinking habits has eliminated

Cushings and other similar problems. She does not pant at night but only during the

day. She is on Vetmedin 5mg., 1 and 1/2 daily. She weighs about 35lbs.

She is already on medication for the heart but she may need something in addition to so when you can do go for that cardiac workup. Vetmedin is usually used in congestive heart failure cases.

I would be sure to ask for clarification as to what condition your vet is treating and if a heartworm test wasn't run then have this run as well.

If she is overweight this can contribute to her panting.

Since she is being treated with vetmedin I am going to assume that congestive heart failure was suspected by your vet. In this case since she is having increased respirations/panting it wouldn't be a bad idea to recheck a chest xray because many changes could have occurred since July.

Please let me know if further assistance is needed.

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