Posted by: Linz | 2013-01-07

Enlarged heart and Collapsing Trachea

Hi. My 11 year old yorkie male was diagnosed with an Enlarged heart and Collapsing Trachea a few years ago. He takes Enacard, Vetmedin and Puresis daily. He used to sometimes cough at night. He then started coughing every night. Now he is even coughing in the day. He has had so many tests and xrays, we could own shares at his vet''s practice. He is othrewise fine. Eats like a demon, plays and barks. Any advice? Is there maybe a cardiologist or some veterinary specialist we can take him to?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Linz. Congestive heart failure is not one of the curable diseases, unfortunately. The treatment prescribed helps the heart manage in such a way as to decrease its workload and ultimately increase its longevity. As effective as any treatment will ever be, it is critical to understand that the treatment applied will not prevent the condition from getting worse, but simply slow down the progression while increasing the quality of life for your beloved pet. Since the condition of the heart will deteriorate with time, continuous evaluation and monitoring is always a good idea and it may be required from time to time, that we adjust/supplement/remove certain elements of the treatment. At some point in the future, the prescribed treatments may not be helpful anymore and the quality of life for your beloved little boy will begin to decrease significantly. When the quality of life is no longer acceptable, we as responsible pet owners, need to make the hard decision and consider the option of euthanasia in order to avoid any potential suffering. A specialist that I would recommend is Dr Remo Lobetti (Bryanston Veterinary Clinic – 011 706 6023) who was my lecturer for Small Animal Cardiology and is well known for his expertise in Small Animal Cardiology. If your little Yorkie was mine, I would go and visit Dr Lobetti.

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