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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21244
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog has a mass on s heart that has grown twice its size

Customer Question

My dog has a mass on his heart that has grown twice its size since March.. He has difficulty breathing, he used to have a dry hacking cough following with a gag. He hasn't ate since Saturday, refuses all types of food, will only drink water. Vet said the prognosis is poor.. Bloodwork was done.. He's anemic and has high WBC. He had 2 shots of antibiotics and 1 shot of cortisone to try to boost his appetite but no results. We tried feeding him baby food and he just throws it up.. He's become much weaker and lethargic since.. I am so concerned that perhaps it's not the cancer that is causing this but perhaps something else? He has no fever or any other symptoms of infection despite the WBC count. All enzymes were a little off but nothing significant as per the vet. I just wish my dog would eat but he is throwing everything up and at this point, I don't know what to do.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, since he has stopped eating.. He is no longer coughing.. I thought maybe that's because he's been much less active and hasn't been getting excited which usually provoked the coughing.. He used to love food.. He just turns his head when you approach him and is literally throwing up everything.. He still drinks water but within the last 24 hours barely
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
First, I am very sorry to hear about your lad's heart mass and ongoing anemia. These will surely be getting him down, especially as anemia can cause weakness and even compromise their breathing when advanced.
Now if he is refusing food and has vomited, I'd be concerned that his fast is related to nausea. Therefore, we'd be best to address that for him at this stage to see if we can settle his stomach and potentially get him eating for us. To do so, you could start by treating him with an antacid. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. I would advise only treating with one, but the ones I tend to recommend are:
*Pepcid (More Info/Dose @
*Zantac (More Info/Dose @
* Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @
All are available over the counter and of course this medication shouldn’t be given without consulting your vet if he does have any other pre-existing conditions or is on any other medications you didn’t mention.
Alternatively, if his nausea is severe or appetite very poor, you can speak to his vet about dispensing a strong anti-nausea/vomiting medication like maropitant (Cerenia), metoclopramide (Reglan),or ondansetron (Zofran). Your vet can provide this via injection or orally if need be and these should be considered if the antacids are not strong enough to get him eating. As well, since the steroid injection didn't help his appetite, then you could also speak to them about an appetite stimulation medication (ie Mertazipine) to give him another a wee push to eat for us.
Overall, despite his ongoing health issues, his lack of appetite does sound to be secondary to nausea. Therefore, we'd want to address that for him at this stage to then see if we can settle his stomach and get him back to eating for us.
Please take care,
Dr. B.