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Thread: study on Pimodendan and heart test day

  1. #1

    Default study on Pimodendan and heart test day

    Yesterday was the annual meeting of the Aquitaine region of the French Cavalier and King Charles club. As usual, the senior cardiologist Dr Le Bobbinec had agreed to carry out heart ultrasounds for half his usual fee, which is 130€. As he is one of the official cardiologists of the club scheme it means that the results are immediately official, the local delegate sends all the results to the person designated to put them on the database and then they’re sent to the owners with the club stamp and the number of test. However, because of the number of dogs he doesn’t give the owner a print out of the ultrasound or do a colour Doppler: if owners want that they have to have an appointment at his surgery! This time last year Goldi’s was No. 13,551, so I’ve made a bet with myself that this year's numbers will be around 15,100. Delegate Lynda had drawn up a timetable, geographically nearest people to have their dogs tested first, and her husband Nicolas phoned us all to give us our time. I think things were going better than anticipated as my time was 10:00 and my three were finished before then. Dr Le B normally has a cut off number of 50 dogs but he said IF he could be guaranteed no waiting time he would do a few more: there were 71. Obviously the day is financially very worthwhile to him so he can give up a Sunday.

    At lunch time he made the usual report: little had changed since last year; the quality of hearts was good: there were a few at Stade 3, but they were at least 8 years of age, and there were none worse. He said that he wasn’t going to retire yet but if the club continued to make him work this hard he may think about it! He then said he had some VERY good news – not just for Cavaliers but breeds like Dobermanns. There is a relatively new drug called Pimobendan, and one of the Veterinary Universities here has carried out a five year test on its efficacy. Obviously the manufacturers have done their own tests – but this was totally independent. The results show that it is an extremely effective drug for mitral valve disease and dilated cardiomyopathy, even, if I got this correct, when given as a “stand alone” treatment. I don’t think the report of the study is yet available, at least, not to the general public. I suspect that Dr Le B had referred some of his patients. The drug is sold here under the brand name Cardisure. He also offered a pretty well-known tip for people who have a dog which may have heart problems: this is to count the resting respiratory rate. When the dog is calm and relaxed, or even asleep, count the breaths over 15 seconds and multiply by 4 – too easy to lose count if you do it for a minute! It should be about 24 breaths per minute. If it’s more, get a check-up, and also if significantly less!

    Personal results: Cedric, 9, is just about Stade 3, Hula, 4 , just Stade 1; nothing yet audible; and Lettie, 19 months, strictly normal. Cedric was Stade 1 for several years and went to Stade 2 when he was 7. I was a bit disappointed but Dr Le B said he was in good physical shape, clearly active as his muscles are firm, and suggested I ask my vet to prescribe Cardisure; he’d talk to my vet if I liked. I mentioned that Vincent went to Stade 3 when he was only 5 and is doing fine at a bit over 12, and doesn’t cough although you can feel his heart through his ribs. Dr Le B’s answer was along the lines of There you are, it’s not certain that a heart murmur automatically means a young death: don’t be pessimistic!

    Jane
    Last edited by Janelise; 09-29-2016 at 07:50 AM.

  2. #2
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    That's all particularly interesting for me, today of all days being the day that 9 years old Little Joe has been diagnosed with a Grade 5 (perhaps getting close to 6), with a strong suspicion of leaked fluid lying on the chest. He has been prescribed Pimabendan 10 mg, 1/4 tab. 2 x daily with Frusemide 40 mg, 1/2 tab 2 x daily.

    It was quite a shock Jane, but thank goodness I took him in. It's reassuring to know that Little Joe is getting what seems to be the optimum treatment for his condition.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo

  3. #3

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    Oh Flo,

    I'm sorry to hear that! But, as you say, he is on the best treatment!

    Gve him a special hug

    Jane

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    Oh no Flo.... But he's getting the most up to date medication now... Hopefully you'll see some improvement.

    Pimabendan is also known as Cardisure and our little Bertie has been on that for the last 12 months and it has had a good effect on him...
    Julie, Peter,
    Sydney & Harvey - Jake 21.02.11 - Bertie 21.11.16

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    Flo, I used Cardisure with old Bonnie, it gave her the eight months that we would not have otherwise been lucky to have with her.
    Give Little Joe a gentle hug from me, thinking of you both xx

    Alison.

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    It turned out to be a false alarm!

    Later during the night I posted Joe refused food, went off to the garden to crop lots of grass then came in to drink almost 2 bowls of water. Then he brought up most of the grass and some of the water but still refused to eat or drink, so I rang the emergency service for advice. I was advised to watch his breathing and to limit the water he took to very small amounts, then to bring him in to clinic for reassessment.

    The following morning we saw the chief vet, who had read his records from start to finish, then took a complete history from me. She then gave him a very thorough examination. On reaching the back end she rummaged around then pulled out what looked like a chipolata sausage. She held it up and said 'Look it's a hairball! Must have been building up for some time and he couldn't pass it!' She said she had not gone along with the grade 5-6 murmour because none of the vets who had seen him in the past had commented on the condition of his heart and when she had seen him herself some months ago she had no concerns about it. She thinks that he refused food and drink because he was filling his system up with water to try to disperse the hair ball. She also thinks that is why his heart rate was alarming.

    She has kept him on the Cardisure for a trial period of one week but cancelled the Frusemide from the day before.

    He is now absolutely fine, running around with the others and eating and drinking for England.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo

  7. #7

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    I'm sure our dogs do things like that just to keep their worried owners on their toes. So pleased he is doing well now. Take care.
    Stephanie.....and two little ladies.

  8. #8

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    Something of a surprise! I know it's a problem with long haired cats, but wouldn't have thought about it for a dog. I imagine he feels a LOT better now, poor little chap

    On the same subject, when Tchi the Ridgeback was quite young she was struggling a bit to pass faeces and Tom said it looked a bit odd. He put a plastic bag over his hand and I held her as still as I could: he then burst out laughing. Very, very slowly he withdrew a length of clingfilm. Where it came from was initially a mystery as I don't use it, but then remembered that a couple of days before we'd bought some wet fish that had been wrapped in clingfilm before being put in a bag. I was sure that all the wrapping had gone in the wheelie bin which was outside the gate.... but perhaps had let my attention lapse for a moment. Tchi could get things off the kitchen worktop without making it obvious. We did both have cold shivers later, thinking how very much more serious it could have been, and watched her for days to make sure that everything was back to normal.

    Jane

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    Thank goodness for that... these little ones are so much worry..
    Julie, Peter,
    Sydney & Harvey - Jake 21.02.11 - Bertie 21.11.16

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    Quote Originally Posted by julieb7 View Post
    Thank goodness for that... these little ones are so much worry..
    Big ones too by the sound of it.

    Jane the vet did exactly the same while I held LJ as still as I could while she extracted the 'sausage'.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo

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