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I'll try to make a long story short:
Last July Pitanga had to do a small surgery to repair her eye lid. At the time, the vet told me there were some anomalies with her ECG and that I should check it out. During summer, she had some episodes of "colapsing" with heat: she'd be outside playing and suddently she'd go to a shade, lay on her side and pant, whitout respondind to anything or anyone for a while.
She had never done this before, so to ease my mind, I decided to check her heart just to be on the safe side. An ECG, X-ray and Ultrassound later, Pitanga has been diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Tricuspid Dysplasia. I'm still in shock because when she was one year old, she had a perfect heart function on her ultrassounds, so my mind was at ease (this is something that normaly appears around that age)... Vets tell me the prognosis is bad and the average life time after the diagnosis is 10 to 12 months. The most likely outcome is for her to be outside playing and collapse one day, never to wake up again.
I look at her and can hardly believe we are talking about my perfect little Pitanga. She plays, eats, andruns around like there is nothing wrong - she just prefers to lay down and rest when it's too hot...She's not even 4, looks perfecly healthy and here we are, living everyday as it may be the last...
Of course I'm hoping the Canine Gods will give me a bit more time with my girl, but I'm still devastated to find her heart - wich I tought was fine - is giving out. There will be some changes in our lives, but there is not much I can do to stop the progress of the disease, so my main concern will be keeping her happy and living as normal as possible.
Is there nothing they can do ?
I can not imagine how you are feeling but my thoughts are with you.
Make her time as enjoyable as possible and spoil her rotten.
I know I don't know you but I'm sending you a big hug any way and one for your beautiful Pitanga.
Thank you so much for your words Pippa. We are still waiting for our 4th opinion, but so far, everyone says the same...there is no way to reduce the damage already done and her heart will only get worse. With medication she will be a lot more confortable because her lungs won't have fluid, but other than that there is not much to be done. She could reduce drastically her exercise and that might give her a few more months, but she'd be absolutely miserable during the whole time - the way I see it, I'd be selfish doing that, so I'm letting her do as much exercise as she wants...She's always been able to tell me when she has had enough, so I trust she'll still be able to do that from now on!
Pitanga hasn't realised what is wrong with her yet(she just knows I'm sad right now), but I'm sure she apreciates your hug and kind words.
Hello Teresa, many years ago I had a bitch that had a heart condition, I took her to Christopher Day the famous homeopathic vet and he gave her what he called his heart remedy, it was a combination of remedies he prepared himself, she did very well on it, perhaps it could help Pitanga, here is his website http://www.alternativevet.org/
Thank you Rosie, I'll definetely look into it. I'm not sure I can find a homeopathic vet in Portugal, but maybe I'll contact through the website and see what happens!
Very best of luck, if you need any help this end please let me know
I am truly sorry to hear about Pitanga's illness. I wish there was a cure for this awful heart disease.
Two members of my own family died from it. One aged 84 and the other just 11 years old.
It is often hereditary so it would be worth getting Roma checked out and also contact Pitanga's breeder to let her know.
Giving Pitanga Coenzyme Q10 is worth considering as this is known to benefit the condition of the heart and I would say anything is worth trying at this stage even if it only helps to prolong her life by a few months more.
Thank you for your words Torie. You are right, I skiped that part of the story (my mind is still racing)... It is hereditary and that is actually the part that concerns me more. At the time of the litter, Pitanga was a completely healthy girl, and there was no reason for concern: both her parents were 8+ old with no problems and her heart ultrassound was completely clear. All of the owners of Romã's brothers and sisters have been notified of this situation and I have requested that no one produces any litters from this dogs, and if possible get them checked out ASAP. As for Romã, I'm looking for a vet hospital that tests for cardiomyopathy with Holter because it's much more accurate than just the ultrassound - she should be fully tested somewhere around the next 3 weeks.
She is already on medication, but I'm still in the process of searching everything that might help. I do not know anything about Coenzyme Q10, but I'll do some research to see how it fits in her treatment plan and discuss it with the vets. Thank you very much for the info!
I am so sorry that Pitanga has this condition.
Joan and I had a cat with this and he lived another two years quite happily, he was treated with drugs. This link tells you a lot about Canine Cardiomyopathy and its treatment.Sadly there is no cure apart from a transplant.
We will be thinking of you and Pitanga enjoying her life as she obviously does.
Howard, Thank you very much for your words. Pitanga started her medication last night, and I can tell you that during the night her breathing was already less noisy. She also did not ask me to go out and pee during the night so I'm hoping the dose of diuretics can remain the same for a while.
This site you provided is very helpful! It explains the condition and the medication in very simple words, and I was able to clear somethings out. I want to able to understand completely her condition and medication, so that I can understand any changes that my occur as soon as they occur. I think this will give me the best chance of making the right decisions in the right times. I'm sure Pitanga will always let me know how she feels and that will certainly help me as well!
I am so sorry to read this bless her. My friends young Doberman had this condition too, and lived a further 9 months, I do hope you can find a homeopathic vet as Rosie suggests in Portugal. If you are on Facebook, you should be able to find Christopher Day on there, and he might be able to help you find somebody in Portugal to help? It's worth a try. All the very best to you both.
oh teresa im so sorry to hear about pitangas condition and hopefully she may prove the vets and live for much longer.i can imagine how you are feeling right now because we had a scare the other week when my layla had 5 mast cell tumours removed.i kept looking for information and read not many dogs live beyond 30 weeks after they have had some removed .i was petrified .however there is a god her results come back begnin so its happy ever after. i know it your case its a different scenario but take each day as it comes dont make too many changes to her life ( as you say treat it like her last ) and lastly try not to be too sad infront of pitanga as she will pick up the vibes from you and she will be unhappy. this is also from experience when my layla was diagnosed with pra some 6 years ago .i was destrought and layla became so unhappy because she picked up on my sadness.
hugs to you and pitanga
Thank you Fran, Sue and Iyn for your words. I will look up Christopher Day on FB! She is already breathing better after two days on medication.
All your words have been very conforting! I'm actually not that sad with all this, because Romã simply won't let me. Whenever I stop to think, she makees sure I'm properly cuddledand kissed, and fools around as long as I need her to. It really does help there are two red girls next to me.
It also helps that Pitanga is just as she always was for most of the day. She just gets a bit frustrated when she gets tired in our walks, but I'm teaching her that if she's tired she can come walk next to me and there is a treat in it for her - it's working so far. Even though I know there is not much more to be done, I'm still looking for other opinions(traditional and alternative medicines), to see if anyone has anything up their sleeve to keep her confortable for a bit longer. And yes, We'll keep our normal lives and I'll make sure everyday is a great day for her! (...and we're off to our morning walk and then visit their border collie friend who became a mumy last week. See? so much fun!). ;-)