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Vetmedin (Pimobendan) For Cardiac Conditions In Dogs

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#26
GrandCynth

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Thrilled to hear how well Biko is doing! My little Bebe is now on this drug as well. I swear it's a miracle drug! How much does Biko weigh? Bebe is too small for the smallest dose of Vetmedin, so the active ingredient "pimobenden" is being compounded into a liquid for her, and it's less expensive than the brand name Vetmedin that Harley is getting. The girls cardiologist also mentioned he has noticed less side effects with the compounded version vs the name brand. Just a thought?

Harley just reached her two year anniversary on Vetmedin, and is due for her next echocardiogram. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her disease hasn't progressed too much in the past 9 months since her last echo.
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#27
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Sending Harley tuns of positive good check up vibes!!! I am still nervous for Bikos check up, where we didn't get to talk to his vet before starting him on the meds, I still having that nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that maybe we started him too early... but... from what Im hearing... is there ever a too early phase? 


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#28
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When an echocardiogram is done, and an enlargement is identified, even if the dog has no symptoms, apparently that's the ideal time to start them on Vetmedin. That is what was learned from the Epic Trial, mentioned earlier in this thread.

When my little Bebe went through her crisis this past fall, and was hospitalized in the ER, a murmur was picked up by one of the ER vets on day 3. She had been treated by 4 different vets during her stay, and it was the very last vet who heard it. None of the other three had! She called it a Focal Murmur, and I thought she was crazy! Bebe had never had a murmur before.

When Bebe was released, I took her back to my own vet for a listen. She could faintly hear it as well. Bebe was immediately scheduled for an echocardiogram with Harley's cardiologist. I was present while he was scanning her heart. He was describing what he was seeing, and when he got to the area that was mildly enlarged, my vet said, "time for Vetmedin" and the cardiologist said, "yep!"

You and I are lucky that our veterinarians and cardiologists got us started early on the Vetmedin, and not further down the line when our dogs are already showing symptoms of CHF. We will have bought extra time with our kiddos feeling good and being symptom free before the disease can progress. Again, it's not a cure, as a cure doesn't exist.....but I'll happily take any extra time it gives me with my girls. Especially symptom free time! ❤️❤️
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#29
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You are so very right! I need to remember that trial, and the overall positive reviews! I cannot agree more about extra time... I cannot think about the alternative, so I wont! I have really noticed a difference in his overall mood, he just seems "perkier" to me!


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#30
bailey

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Our dog was diagnosed with a heart condition when she was 5 & was on vetmedin & she lived to be 17! She didn’t die from heart either. Miss her
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#31
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That is amazing Bailey, thank you for sharing!!!


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#32
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Our dog was diagnosed with a heart condition when she was 5 & was on vetmedin & she lived to be 17! She didn’t die from heart either. Miss her


I'm so hoping I get that result for my Harley, too. Her next echocardiogram is next week. Fingers crossed her disease has slowed it's progression!
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#33
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I'll be keeping you and Harley in my thoughts and sending you loads of Positive Vibes!!!


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#34
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I'll be keeping you and Harley in my thoughts and sending you loads of Positive Vibes!!!


Thank you!!

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#35
GrandCynth

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I'll be keeping you and Harley in my thoughts and sending you loads of Positive Vibes!!!


Harley just had her 9 month echocardiogram, and the results were fantastic! Her heart was smaller, her mitral and tricuspid valves were smaller. In fact, all her measurements were smaller, and the mild pulmonary hypertension she had is now gone! Her cardiologist said that the Vetmedin causes the heart muscle to contract harder, which in turn causes the valves to work less hard, thus they get smaller. She's been on it for 25 months now. (No other heart meds) She was first diagnosed 4 years ago..... I am over the moon with these awesome results today! Her cardiologist was, too!
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#36
Esylum

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Harley just had her 9 month echocardiogram, and the results were fantastic! Her heart was smaller, her mitral and tricuspid valves were smaller. In fact, all her measurements were smaller, and the mild pulmonary hypertension she had is now gone! Her cardiologist said that the Vetmedin causes the heart muscle to contract harder, which in turn causes the valves to work less hard, thus they get smaller. She's been on it for 25 months now. (No other heart meds) She was first diagnosed 4 years ago..... I am over the moon with these awesome results today! Her cardiologist was, too!

 

Oh my goodness Cynth, that is AMAZING news!!! I am so happy for you and Harley!!! I'm doing a little happy dance for you guys right now!!!


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#37
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Thank you!! I'm sending lots of positive Crush vibes that it will work this well for Biko, too! ❤️
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#38
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Hello friends, I have another question for you all about your kidlets who are on Vetmedin, first of all I will state that I am in a phase where I worry about everything that goes on with Biko, if he sneezes or coughs, or cries, or doesn't dive in to his dinner, I am worrying... I know so many have suffered such severe loss, and I am beyond terrified of that thought.

 

I have noticed that Biko seems to have symptoms I'll describe as "breakthrough" if he misses a does at his regular scheduled time. He appears sluggish, and will sometimes cough, just a general malaise... Has anyone else ever noticed any issues if their little ones had a missed dose, or late dose?

 

Also, I think I have asked this already, but do any of you see issue with him having the medicine with a bit of food in his stomach? I know it says it should be on an empty stomach, but I cannot get him to take it without some peanut butter and Corn Chex to hide it in... Does anyone have any experience with full stomach vs empty and impact of the medicine?

 

I have been checking every few months, but so far his super cardiologist has not come back from his sabbatical...  So that is just adding to my paranoia...


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#39
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I have been giving Harley her two times daily Vetmedin with food since the very beginning. I was never instructed one way or the other on how to give it? I also wrap a bit of a pill pocket around it.

For so long, I had to give a multitude of medications to my two eldest kiddos who recently passed, and there was no wiggle room with their med schedules, thus I’ve never been late giving Harley her Vetmedin, so can’t address your concerns with that. When will Bilko be seeing his cardiologist again? If not anytime soon, perhaps you can get a message to him/her to see what they think? I’m much like you, in that I have become very hyper vigilant with any little thing out of the ordinary with my kiddos, too. It can be exhausting, can’t it?

I would reach out to his cardiologist to put your mind to rest. Sending big hugs across the miles! ❤️
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#40
Esylum

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Thank you Cynth! That is very reassuring to me, I remember you telling me that now about giving Harley hers with food, and to know that she had such a good report the last time makes me feel like even if he does have food in his tummy, it isn't going to cause any negative issues. 

 

The biggest issue I was having with his medication schedule was based around him not having an empty stomach, or if we had to travel to the mainland any were stuck on the ferry during his regular medication times... With this in mind, knowing about the full vs empty stomach, I think I am going to work out the best time for him to get his meds 12 hours apart that will not be affected by ferry or work schedules. 

 

Unfortunately I don't think his vet is going to be back until August, but I am thinking that I will reach out to the Vet University and see if they have the contact info for the last Cardiac vet he saw last summer (the one who put him on the Vetmedin) and maybe ask her if I should bring him to see them out of Province... I honestly think that I would rather spend the money to take him there and there be nothing wrong, then to wait and possibly have him get sicker. It is just so tough when you put all your trust in one amazing Dr and then cant access them for their valuable opinion, I want to tell him "how dare he have a life outside of his work schedule... didn't he know I might need him for something while he was away, " pfffft LOL


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#41
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Yeah, they still need to have their hearts monitored while on Vetmedin. It can slow the progression of the disease, but unfortunately, nothing can stop it. It could be that Biko might be ready to have another drug added to help with the symptoms you are describing. Harley started out only needing an echocardiogram at 12 month intervals. Her cardiologist has now reduced that to every 9 months. He told me that the dogs that he sees on a regular basis tend to do better, and live longer. That has always stuck with me.
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#42
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Have you noticed that our kids are prone to respiratory/ pneumonia issues with their cardiac disorders? I'm wondering if Biko might benefit from some antibiotics as well...I'm making appointments as soon as they are open, I just want to make sure I push for what he needs, last time (and I dont blame them) the vet waited until the cardiologist got back to them before she would prescribe me ABs for a chest infection... This time I think I might ask for them up front...


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#43
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Your vet could do a chest X-ray to see how Biko’s lungs look. Harley had aspiration pneumonia right before she first went on Vetmedin. She suffers from gastric reflux, and I believe she aspirated some of her stomach contents into her lungs. The reflux often happens while she is sleeping, and will awaken her while coughing on it. A chest X-ray was able to diagnose the fluid in her lung. Thinking good thoughts for Biko! I’m glad you are taking him in. My vet did get a second opinion from a radiologist and also Harley’s cardiologist on the X-ray she took.
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#44
Esylum

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They don't have any appointments available but are going to fit us in, so he will be seen today, he woke up with a honking cough :( I am not sure what is going on with him, but I am so worried :(


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#45
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Oh, dear! Sending tons of positive Crush vibes for Biko. Glad they are seeing him today! Please update when you can. ❤️

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#46
Esylum

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So he has a super case of Bronchitis that is causing the fluid to back up into his lungs and this in turn is causing his heart to press against his trachea.

 

He has been prescribed a low dose of Lasix to help with both the fluid in the lungs and the lungs themselves, I was not aware that Lasix is a brochodilator as well as a diuretic, so in this case he is going to benefit from two of the medicines uses. I am not a fan of lasix... it terrifies me, but the vet said it might only be required temporarily, or in case of flare ups if we can get him to a low enough dose that helps his lungs.

 

So it isn't anywhere close to the news I wanted, but the vet seemed rather optimistic that it was not associated to his heart, that it was due to such severe inflammation in his lungs... not great but also manageable if we can get on top of it. 

 

It was not my regular vet, and I am rescheduled to see her in two weeks time... depending on how Biko responds to the Lasix treatment I will possibly push to take him out of Province to the teaching hospital. 

 

It has been a very long day with ferry rides both ways and now that we are home I am exhausted, physically and emotionally...  Every time I start to cry Biko comes over and licks my nose though... even when he is unwell he still feels like he has to take care of me.  I love him so much.


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#47
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I didn’t know that Lasix was also a bronchodilator, either! I’m happy to hear this isn’t related to his heart. Getting that fluid out of his lungs is going to make Biko feel so much better. Is he prone to getting bronchitis? Sending more hugs your way, and hoping you feel better after a good nights rest! ❤️
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#48
Esylum

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So he has never had any issues with an official diagnosis of Bronchitis... but he has always had reverse sneezing fits, and allergies, and apparently that can be a sign/ attributing factor, so they say that things like his allergies can make him more prone to irritation to his airway and lungs, and then with everything else I guess it can compound... First thing he wanted to do when he got home was get his Ratatouille... I just hope that the pills kick in and start helping right away, the vet let me see his xrays and I cant imagine what it would feel like to have your heart pressing on your trachea. He is my little trooper, now we just need to focus on getting him better!

 

I am so thankful for the people that I work with too, this morning when Biko woke up honking and panicking, I knew I couldn't leave him, and I knew we had to get to the vet... I also knew that I had two important appointments today at work, and my supervisor was great, no fuss, just said no problem. I felt so guilty for leaving him high and dry today, but I really needed to be with Biko and it was nice not to have to worry about work. 

 

Now its time to snuggle with my Boys, Errol has also been worrying about Biko, which is a new side of him, he has been a lot closer with us the past few days, and that is something because Errol doesn't like to be mauled lol, but he has been very supportive which I can tell is also draining on him.

 

Thank you Cynth for being supportive as well, One day it would be nice to meet face to face to share some stories, I am so glad to have you and the other members of Crush in my life, Crush is a safe place to share ones fears and experiences, and you just know that crushers will "get it" lol. 


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#49
Esylum

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Today wasn't a great day, he had a few little fits, nothing like the first night with the honking, but I could still see him panicking. I have to keep reminding myself that the meds are not a miracle cure, and it is going to take time for his lungs to improve, it is just so worrisome to see him struggle.


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#50
GrandCynth

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I wish I lived closer to you! I totally understand your fear! My little Bebe was dealing with a severe collapsed trachea when I lost her last month. Watching respiratory distress is awful! But you do think he is improving the past two days while being on the Lasix , correct? I’m sorry you and Biko are going through this. My only advice would be to get him back to the vet or even an ER vet if you have any concerns about his breathing. They might give him something that would relax him a bit so he doesn’t panic when it’s hard to breathe, or he may even need additional meds to help him through this. For a short while, Bebe was on a low dose of prednisone and that helped the inflammation in her trachea tremendously.
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