The Schnauzer Forum

It's all about our lovely, bearded Schnauzers and their carers.

Enlarged heart - advice sought

Need help or advice on feeding your Schnauzer, whether it be kibble or treats, you'll find the information here. There is food reviews, recipes, remedies for poorly tummies and a wealth of feeding knowledge from your fellow Schnauzer owner. We cover BARF in a separate section.
  • Supporting the Forum
  • Random photographs from our Schnauzer Gallery.
  • Supporting the Forum
  • Follow us:
  • Supporting the Forum

Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby Three B's » 07 Jan 2011, 13:13

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.
Three B's
Puppy
 
Posts: 41
Topics: 5
Joined: 08 Sep 2010, 10:35
Last visit: 26 Dec 2016, 09:03
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby Sianny » 07 Jan 2011, 13:57

I know nothing about this sort of thing I'm sorry. I just wanted to give you my regards. Please keep us updated.
Follow Ralphy on Facebook (occasionally featuring George) http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ralphy-the-Miniature-Schnauzer/111639952249008
User avatar
Sianny
Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: 03 Sep 2009, 15:37
Last visit: 03 Jan 2014, 04:15
Location: Swansea, South Wales
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 15 times
First Name: Sian
Dog #1: Ralphy
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 12 Feb 2009
Dog #2: George
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 25 Mar 2011

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby BeeBee » 07 Jan 2011, 16:20

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.
Jasmine 13.06.96-13.12.10 loved her more than we thought possible
Renae mini b.01.11.10, gorgeous sister to Susie-Belle & Twinkle-Berry puppy farming survivors showing us what matters in life.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susie-Belle-Schnauzer/705830289434936
http://www.janettaharvey.com/
@SusieBSchnauzer
User avatar
BeeBee
Member
 
Posts: 7541
Topics: 431
Joined: 18 Dec 2010, 08:09
Last visit: 09 Oct 2017, 05:43
Location: Sometimes Surrey, othertimes France
Has thanked: 1082 times
Been thanked: 679 times
First Name: Bee

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby BBG » 07 Jan 2011, 23:50

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
User avatar
BBG
Member
 
Posts: 1767
Topics: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2010, 21:42
Last visit: 27 May 2014, 07:59
Location: Essex
Has thanked: 234 times
Been thanked: 107 times
First Name: Gerri
Dog #1: Rufus
is a: Black Giant Dog
Dog #2: Eva
is a: Black Giant Bitch
Dog #3: Blaze
is a: Black Mini Dog

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby Three B's » 12 Jan 2011, 14:23

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 12 Jan 2011, 17:24, edited 1 time in total.
Three B's
Puppy
 
Posts: 41
Topics: 5
Joined: 08 Sep 2010, 10:35
Last visit: 26 Dec 2016, 09:03
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby kristyg » 12 Jan 2011, 14:34

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.
~ My Girls ~
Pip ~ Salt & Pepper - DOB: 14.02.2005
Gidget ~ Black & Silver - DOB: 14.02.2005
User avatar
kristyg
Puppy
 
Posts: 21
Topics: 3
Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 15:01
Last visit: 16 Nov 2017, 05:31
Location: Western Australia
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby dannie_kl » 14 Jan 2011, 20:34

Lovely to hear its been positive news!
dannie_kl
 

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby dyfan » 12 May 2017, 05:51

I was looking to reaearch more about the schnauzers heart issues (enlarged heart ) and came across your mail and this site

to reply to you I decided to register

one of our twin schnauzers aged around 8 died recently from enlarged heart

symptoms and experience:

strangulated coughing as if something was caught in the throat especially first thing in the mkorning when the body kick starts

the coughing gets worse and more strenuous

we took to vet and the hear was approx 30% over the size it should be

all other areas and bloodwork ok generally given the age

unfortuantely there was either a sudden rapid deterioration or a reaction to the tablets she was given and condition went down hill in 24 hours- in 48 hours or less whe was dead

i took her to another vet and he prescribed deifferent medicine we administered but as stated above she died

we will never be sure if the adverse reaction assumed by the second vet to the first drug - or one of the tqo drugs cause the rapid decline or indeed whether that was just the timinig

we always think what if we ahd not given the tablets at all ?........

from experience - I would stongly think twice before administering any drugs- there appears to be no cure for this condition and surgery is out as that would be overlaoad even if feasible which it probably is not

the tripping point appears very sensitive with this condition- the dilema is that you see the dog suffering

turned out the second vet we went to is spacilaist in acupuncture !!!- i would have preferred to explore options such as this - i just did not know they existed

(her sister so far ok but we are monitring as breathing a bit heavy)






technical stuff below:

Miniature Schnauzer

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD)

Related terms: myxomatous mitral valve degeneration (MMVD), mitral valve disease (MVD), degenerative valve disease (DVD), degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD), endocardiosis, mitral regurgitation (MR), chronic valve (valvular) disease, chronic mitral valve disease, valvular insufficiency, acquired mitral regurgitation, chronic valvular degeneration, chronic valvular fibrosis

Outline: Mitral valve disease is a serious, progressive disease of the heart, caused by the deterioration of one of its valves. It is the most common heart disease of adult dogs and is more prevalent in the Miniature schnauzer than the average dog. It has a serious impact on welfare, causing respiratory and other difficulties, with severe discomfort due to breathlessness and coughing. Unless animals are euthanased, the disease causes death by chronic heart failure.


Summary of Information

(for more information click on the links below)

1. Brief description

Mitral valve disease is a disease of the heart, caused by the deterioration of one of its valves. It is a common disease in Miniature schnauzers. Because of the damage to the valve, with each heart beat some blood is forced backwards from one chamber into another rather than out of the heart (mitral regurgitation).

One effect of this backflow of blood is that the heart enlarges and the knock on effects of this interfere with breathing and cause the dog to cough. At the same time, as less oxygenated blood is being pumped around the body, any exertion can result in the dog panting heavily and struggling for breath. As the disease progresses the lungs become increasingly fluid filled resulting in further breathlessness and coughing. Affected dogs may be reluctant to sit or lie down, because of the extra pressure this puts on the chest, and may also show appetite and related weight loss (Prošek 2007). They may faint at exercise. Most dogs die or are euthanased when the disease has progressed to this stage.

Dogs with mitral valve disease, but without heart failure, appear normal to their owners and do not have any welfare problems at that time, although they generally have a detectable heart murmur on auscultation (listening with a stethoscope). Most develop heart failure within several years of the onset of mitral valve disease (Häggström et al 2009).

Surgical repair of the valves is rarely a feasible option. Combination drug therapy can usually help to control the early stages of heart failure but the prognosis is guarded (French 2005). Most dogs die less than two years after the onset of heart failure (Kittleson and Kienle 1998).

2. Intensity of welfare impact

Mitral valve disease has a serious impact on the welfare of affected dogs as a result of respiratory and other difficulties. The progressive heart failure causes discomfort associated with breathlessness and coughing. Unless animals are euthanased, they are likely to die of chronic heart failure.

3. Duration of welfare impact

Mitral valve disease is progressive. Treatment is usually aimed at relief of the symptoms rather than cure. The period from when heart failure begins to develop and animals first show adverse welfare signs (eg coughing breathlessness) to death or euthanasia can be years.

4. Number of animals affected

Mitral valve disease is the single most common heart disease of dogs (Egenvall et al 2006. Miniature schnauzers are recognised as one of the breeds most commonly affected with mitral valve dysplasia (Abbott 2003, Rishniw 2005). Individuals of this breed are 4.4 times more likely to be affected than the average dog (Gough & Thomas 2010). However, we are unaware of data on the proportion of Miniature schnauzers that are affected.

5. Diagnosis

Initial diagnosis is by detection of a characteristic heart murmur with a stethoscope, and can be confirmed by ultrasound investigation. Other diagnostic tools may also be used to determine the severity of the disease and the presence of heart failure including ECG (electrocardiogram) recordings, chest radiography, blood tests and full physical examination.

6. Genetics

The known predisposition of Miniature schnauzers to develop mitral valve disease is evidence for a genetic influence on this disease in the breed. It is known that most of the variation in severity of mitral valve disease in some other breeds is genetic, for example, in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel in the UK (Lewis et al 2010) and the Dachshund (Olsen et al 1999). The genetics have not been studied in the Miniature schnauzer.

7. How do you know if an animal is a carrier or likely to become affected?

Dogs that will become affected cannot be detected in earlier life. Because the problem affects middle-aged or older dogs, if the parents of a dog appear unaffected, this does not mean that the individual or its parents are free of the condition. Choosing a dog born to older parents (perhaps 5 years plus) which have not themselves developed mitral valve disease has been advocated (Swenson et al 1996, Häggström 2004a). Knowing that grandparents and great grandparents are free of heart murmurs and heart failure is probably helpful.

8. Methods and prospects for elimination of the problem

Neither the genes involved with mitral valve disease nor the inheritance pattern have been determined. This, plus the late onset of signs makes control currently rather difficult. Currently there are no guidelines or schemes developed to help reduce mitral valve disease in Miniature schnauzers.

Buyers should ask breeders whether the parents have any signs of mitral valve disease and how old they are. A cardiac examination by a veterinary surgeon should be made prior to breeding any dog and if a heart murmur is found then this should be investigated (not all heart murmurs indicate significant disease).

Research is currently underway (for example at the Universities of Minnesota, Missouri and Davis in the USA; the University of Toronto in Canada, and at The Animal Health Trust in England) to improve understanding of the genetic basis of mitral valve disease in various breeds. This is the LUPA project (http://www.eurolupa.org/). The development of genetic tests to help identify the genes involved in the condition may help to eliminate this
dyfan
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 12 May 2017, 05:30
Last visit: 13 May 2017, 01:45
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
First Name: dyfan

Re: Enlarged heart - advice sought

Postby dyfan » 12 May 2017, 05:53

Miniature Schnauzer

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD)

Related terms: myxomatous mitral valve degeneration (MMVD), mitral valve disease (MVD), degenerative valve disease (DVD), degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD), endocardiosis, mitral regurgitation (MR), chronic valve (valvular) disease, chronic mitral valve disease, valvular insufficiency, acquired mitral regurgitation, chronic valvular degeneration, chronic valvular fibrosis

Outline: Mitral valve disease is a serious, progressive disease of the heart, caused by the deterioration of one of its valves. It is the most common heart disease of adult dogs and is more prevalent in the Miniature schnauzer than the average dog. It has a serious impact on welfare, causing respiratory and other difficulties, with severe discomfort due to breathlessness and coughing. Unless animals are euthanased, the disease causes death by chronic heart failure.


Summary of Information

(for more information click on the links below)

1. Brief description

Mitral valve disease is a disease of the heart, caused by the deterioration of one of its valves. It is a common disease in Miniature schnauzers. Because of the damage to the valve, with each heart beat some blood is forced backwards from one chamber into another rather than out of the heart (mitral regurgitation).

One effect of this backflow of blood is that the heart enlarges and the knock on effects of this interfere with breathing and cause the dog to cough. At the same time, as less oxygenated blood is being pumped around the body, any exertion can result in the dog panting heavily and struggling for breath. As the disease progresses the lungs become increasingly fluid filled resulting in further breathlessness and coughing. Affected dogs may be reluctant to sit or lie down, because of the extra pressure this puts on the chest, and may also show appetite and related weight loss (Prošek 2007). They may faint at exercise. Most dogs die or are euthanased when the disease has progressed to this stage.

Dogs with mitral valve disease, but without heart failure, appear normal to their owners and do not have any welfare problems at that time, although they generally have a detectable heart murmur on auscultation (listening with a stethoscope). Most develop heart failure within several years of the onset of mitral valve disease (Häggström et al 2009).

Surgical repair of the valves is rarely a feasible option. Combination drug therapy can usually help to control the early stages of heart failure but the prognosis is guarded (French 2005). Most dogs die less than two years after the onset of heart failure (Kittleson and Kienle 1998).

2. Intensity of welfare impact

Mitral valve disease has a serious impact on the welfare of affected dogs as a result of respiratory and other difficulties. The progressive heart failure causes discomfort associated with breathlessness and coughing. Unless animals are euthanased, they are likely to die of chronic heart failure.

3. Duration of welfare impact

Mitral valve disease is progressive. Treatment is usually aimed at relief of the symptoms rather than cure. The period from when heart failure begins to develop and animals first show adverse welfare signs (eg coughing breathlessness) to death or euthanasia can be years.

4. Number of animals affected

Mitral valve disease is the single most common heart disease of dogs (Egenvall et al 2006. Miniature schnauzers are recognised as one of the breeds most commonly affected with mitral valve dysplasia (Abbott 2003, Rishniw 2005). Individuals of this breed are 4.4 times more likely to be affected than the average dog (Gough & Thomas 2010). However, we are unaware of data on the proportion of Miniature schnauzers that are affected.

5. Diagnosis

Initial diagnosis is by detection of a characteristic heart murmur with a stethoscope, and can be confirmed by ultrasound investigation. Other diagnostic tools may also be used to determine the severity of the disease and the presence of heart failure including ECG (electrocardiogram) recordings, chest radiography, blood tests and full physical examination.

6. Genetics

The known predisposition of Miniature schnauzers to develop mitral valve disease is evidence for a genetic influence on this disease in the breed. It is known that most of the variation in severity of mitral valve disease in some other breeds is genetic, for example, in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel in the UK (Lewis et al 2010) and the Dachshund (Olsen et al 1999). The genetics have not been studied in the Miniature schnauzer.

7. How do you know if an animal is a carrier or likely to become affected?

Dogs that will become affected cannot be detected in earlier life. Because the problem affects middle-aged or older dogs, if the parents of a dog appear unaffected, this does not mean that the individual or its parents are free of the condition. Choosing a dog born to older parents (perhaps 5 years plus) which have not themselves developed mitral valve disease has been advocated (Swenson et al 1996, Häggström 2004a). Knowing that grandparents and great grandparents are free of heart murmurs and heart failure is probably helpful.

8. Methods and prospects for elimination of the problem

Neither the genes involved with mitral valve disease nor the inheritance pattern have been determined. This, plus the late onset of signs makes control currently rather difficult. Currently there are no guidelines or schemes developed to help reduce mitral valve disease in Miniature schnauzers.

Buyers should ask breeders whether the parents have any signs of mitral valve disease and how old they are. A cardiac examination by a veterinary surgeon should be made prior to breeding any dog and if a heart murmur is found then this should be investigated (not all heart murmurs indicate significant disease).

Research is currently underway (for example at the Universities of Minnesota, Missouri and Davis in the USA; the University of Toronto in Canada, and at The Animal Health Trust in England) to improve understanding of the genetic basis of mitral valve disease in various breeds. This is the LUPA project (http://www.eurolupa.org/). The development of genetic tests to help identify the genes involved in the condition may help to eliminate this
dyfan
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 12 May 2017, 05:30
Last visit: 13 May 2017, 01:45
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
First Name: dyfan

  • Supporting the Forum

Return to Feeding

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests