Dilated Cardiopathy and Vizsla - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
  • 5 Post By texasred
  • 3 Post By Canadian Expy
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Dilated Cardiopathy and Vizsla

Hi there

My Vizsla is 2 years old and recently when going in for his castration had his heart checked. To our surprise they found what is called Dilated Cardiopathy. Thankfully is is asymptomatic which means we caught it early. He has been immediately put onto some medicine to help prolong his life and help strengthen his heart, but the vet said he will almost certainly lead to heart failure. The timeline of this is unknown, and concerning to us. I wondered if there was anyone else out there that has experienced the early stages of that with the Vizsla ?

Thank you so much
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 01:39 PM
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Rachel, very sorry about the diagnosis of your pup. I don't know if the diagnoses was made via your local vet or a cardiologist but if you have not seen a cardiologist you may wish to do so to get their opinion. 0

My oldest pup Aspen (who just turned 6 years old) was recently diagnosed with early onset mitral valve disease after a recent vet visit detected a new heart murmur. He had some concerning blood work results, which when combined with the onset of the murmur prompted them to make me an appointment with a cardiologist (they were concerned he had an infection in his heart). An echocardiogram was performed, which led the cardiologist to her diagnosis. Mitral valve disease also leads to heart failure sometime in the future, but as with DCM, they cannot predict when. With Aspen's disease there are no medications to administer until he is showing signs/symptoms of congestive heart failure.

I don't have experience with DCM (but have been researching diet induced dilated cardiomyopathy recently due to the attention it has been receiving), but I can lend you my approach and insight on Aspen's condition. I am obviously not happy with the diagnosis and the uncertainty around it. I have notified his breeder and provided them with the cardiologist's report. I was advised by the cardiologist not to limit his exercise, but let him determine his own activity level (ie. no more chuck it ball fetch). He is to have his heart checked by our local vet every 6 months to monitor the progression of the murmur (good news from the cardiologist - the vet had said his murmur was a grade 3/6, the cardiologist confirmed it as a grade 1 or 2/6). I am now monitoring his breathing rate and heart rate (more for my own information than anything else, but I feel like I need to do something). Other than that I'm loving on my pup the best I can, and continuing to give him the best Vizsla life he deserves. I'm trying not to focus on a time frame - there's no point. Dogs live in the moment and I am going to try to as well. The cardiologist did say that although heart problems have not been common in Vs, she is started to see more Vizslas with them.

More than anything I just wanted to offer you support. Aspen was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago and since then I have combed every article, forum, facebook group, etc for anything that might help.

Fingers crossed that both our pups remain symptom free for as long as possible.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 10:30 AM
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I'm glad the vet said to let him be a dog. We never know when the end will come, but he gets to enjoy life until it does.
Losing Ranger in the field (either by heart attack, or stroke), made me realise something. He left this world doing what he loved, running, and chasing birds. Had I known there was a problem, he would probably would have been at home laying in his recliner. Me worried about getting more time with him, instead of the quality of the time we had.

Not all those who wander are lost.

Life is just a leap of faith.
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 09:23 AM
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TR - I too am glad. A lifetime prescription of bed rest would be no life for Aspen. That dog is happiest running through the fields with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. If/when he becomes symptomatic I will have some decisions to make, but I am hoping that my mind can overcome my heart and whatever choices we make will be based on what is best for him. I want him to keep doing the things he loves for as long as possible - even if that leads to the end. I would eventually find comfort knowing that he was doing what he loves most, just as you have realized with Ranger. But I still dread the day.
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