Enlarged heart - advice sought

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Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby Three B's » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:13 pm

I am looking for advice or guidance from anybody who has experience of living with a mini with an enlarged heart. My 8 year old black mini bitch, Belle, had a lump removed from her ear before Christmas and, unfortunately, it was found to be an agressive malignant melonoma. She is back in at the vet's today having x-rays and fine needle aspiration of the lymph nodes to see if it has spread already. The x-ray of her lungs does not show any spread there yet so I proceeded with a further op to have her complete ear flap removed to give more margin around the original melonoma site.
If a melonoma wasn't bad enough, the chest x-ray has shown she has an enlarged heart and some degree of heart failure. I will be discussing options with my vet who has initially suggested medication and a cardiology referral.
Does anybody have any experience of their dog having an enlarged heart and if so what did you do? Medicate, ECG, referral, are there any side affects to the meds etc?
I know if the melanoma has spread the prognosis is very pooor and the heart enlargement will be irrelevent but I am trying very hard to be positive and hoping the melonoma has been contained. Any info would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby Sianny » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:57 pm

I know nothing about this sort of thing I'm sorry. I just wanted to give you my regards. Please keep us updated.
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Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby BeeBee » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:20 pm

Sorry, no experience of this, but it sounds very stressful & worrying for you. Our old lady Jasmine was treated last year for a melanoma in her eye and it was terribly hard for us all so I feel for you and wish you all the very best.
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Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby BBG » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:50 am

Not sure what the cause of an enlarged heart in dogs but often it means the heart has been working hard and as it's a muscle it becomes enlarged. Quite often it is triggered by an illness.

This site might give you more info

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/enlarged ... -dogs.html

Sorry I can't be of more help
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Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby Three B's » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:23 pm

Thanks for the comments. Had some good news today, there is no evidence of malignant cells in the samples sent for testing, so with the lung x-rays clear and no sign of spread to the lymph nodes I am hopeful that the melanoma has been contained. I am over the moon with this result so if anyone has a knitting pattern for a mini schnauzer ear let me have it so I can knit her a prosthetic earflap! (giggle)
I have decided not to do anything about the enlarged heart, this is the first chest x-ray she has ever had so who is to say how long it has been enlarged. She has no clinical signs of heart disease - no cough, no murmur, no exercise intolerance (she normally has a combination of free running and road walking - total of between 2 and 5 miles a day plus a good size garden to run about in) so, given how much she has been through lately I think I will leave well alone and just monitor her.
Last edited by Three B's on Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby kristyg » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:34 pm

That is really great news about Belle. I don't have any experience for melanoma in dogs but I lost my beloved Dad to it 5 years ago (aged 56). It sounds as if the diagnosis is similar though and the absence of melanoma cells in her lymph nodes is encouraging news. Just make sure you are vigilant and check her regularly for lumps (if these arise they can also be removed helping to stop spreading).

I am not sure about the heart issues. I often think that sometimes the "cure" can make things worse. She sounds like she is a very fit dog and I would think that a sign of any issue would be her having shortness of breath after running around etc.

All the very best to you and Belle and really pleased that you have some positive news.
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Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby dannie_kl » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:34 pm

Lovely to hear its been positive news!

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