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Old 12-06-2008, 07:23 AM
 
551 posts, read 737,790 times
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About one year ago Leon first had a collapsing episode. We had no idea what it was and at first thought he just slipped and fell. We took him to the vet at that time and the vet didn't seem to find anything wrong with him.


Well, it happened again recently. This time it was very scary. He collapsed and went limp. I thought he was gone, but after I carried him inside the house he came to.

I've brought him to the vet and we've just finished our first Holter Monitor test. My vet got the unit from Cornell and sent the results up there for diagnosis.

Well, 24 hours after we removed the Holter, my vet calls me and tells me that the specialists in Cornell are concerned about what they've seen. They hadn't even finished analyzing the whole tape, but they want him on meds now.

I started him on Sotalol last night.

Leon is my best friend in the world. He is all that is good and true about life and he doesn't deserve these problems. I've has dogs before and I have others currently but I've never met a soul (human or otherwise) as innocent and good as Leon.

My vet seemed like she wanted to give me some good news and some hope but the facts she presented were not inspiring.

I've read that this is pretty common in Boxers so maybe someone out there has experienced it. I really need someone to talk to about this.
Is there a good chance Leon can live a long life with help of the meds? Is there anything else I can do to compliment meds? Change in diet, herbal or holistic treatment, exercise (lack thereof)?
I'm terrified that my oldest and truest friend in the world may leave me soon. Can anyone out there give me some hope?
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
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I don't think there's much you can do besides medication at this point.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:43 AM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
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I'm sorry about Leon, is he taking Lasix and a BP med like quinapril? He seems so young for this, but I have read it can start at an early age.

I took a look at yahoo groups canine chf maybe you can get some info there. I will search around for help for you.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:03 AM
 
551 posts, read 737,790 times
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Thanks rural lady.

Right now Leon is just taking Sotalol. He just started today. Should I ask my vet about Lasix and a BP med?

Any help or hope you can give is much needed.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:08 AM
 
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One of my best friends has a boxer with cardiomyopathy. Collapsed and was brought back.

He brought Payton to a state-of-the-art animal medical facility and they did a 24h monitor reading. Sure enough: cardiomyopathy.

His dog has been on inderal for a year and just had a checkup: he's doing fine. All is stable.

But you should know that furosemide (Lasix) and quinapril are not indicated for every occurrence of cardiomyopathy. If there is an element of pulmonary hypertension, then quinapril is appropriate. If there is evidence of hypertension or congestive heart failure (CHF), then furosemide could be indicated. Cardiomyopathy is a problem with the muscle of the heart, not hypertension or CHF (although congestive heart failure could result from the myopathy) and unless those elements are there, those meds aren't needed.

I'm sorry your boxer isn't well. They're wonderful dogs and have so many health problems (one of my friends, who's also a vet, calls them 'cancer factories.)
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,033,372 times
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I don't have experience with boxer cardiomyopathy, but my husband has had cardiac arrhythmia for many years and the treatments are similar. Generally, if the arrhythmic episodes are infrequent or mild a beta blocker such as metaprolol will be prescribed. Sotalol and amiodarone are prescribed for more serious cases. Sotalol, when given properly with close monitoring for side effects, can be used for years. If it is effective, it's a great treatment option. An implanted defibrillator may be a surgical option in an otherwise healthy dog but I don't know how often that is performed.

I do know that ventricular arrhythmias are difficult to manage and even with medication sudden cardiac arrest can occur. With good vet care Leon could live a normal life span, but he could also succumb to the disease suddenly at any time. These genetic diseases are awful. It sounds as if your vet is taking an aggressive approach to treatment, which is good.

In one way, you could look at Leon's diagnosis as a gift. So often we squander our opportunities because we think we will have plenty of time to take that walk, or rub that tummy, or play ball, or just snuggle with our canine friends. You can make every day with Leon count. Don't think of him as a dog who's going to die soon. Think of him as a dog who still has a lot of living to do, so when you look back on this time with him you will see a bright chain of days linked together with love and fun and joy in each other.

I'm so sorry this has happened to Leon and to you. It is very unfair. If you haven't read "Merle's Door", you might want to pick up a copy. The last few chapters might resonate with you right now.

I wish you well.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:10 AM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,110,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undeader View Post
Thanks rural lady.

Right now Leon is just taking Sotalol. He just started today. Should I ask my vet about Lasix and a BP med?

Any help or hope you can give is much needed.
Did you check your mail on this board?
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:39 AM
 
551 posts, read 737,790 times
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Thanks guys! Your words and advice really help.

Rural Lady, thanks for the link!

Leorah - Thanks so much for your comments. I was given the Sotalol and told that we will re-holter him in about 10 days. What kinds of side effects should I be looking for?

Do you think that is the best medication for him? Do you know of anything else I can do to help (herbal, holistic, diet)? I'll try absolutely anything.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,033,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undeader View Post
Thanks guys! Your words and advice really help.

Rural Lady, thanks for the link!

Leorah - Thanks so much for your comments. I was given the Sotalol and told that we will re-holter him in about 10 days. What kinds of side effects should I be looking for?

Do you think that is the best medication for him? Do you know of anything else I can do to help (herbal, holistic, diet)? I'll try absolutely anything.
The most common side effects of Sotalol are lethargy,fatigue, confusion, coughing and wheezing and an upset stomach.

I would not give Leon any supplements or holistic medicines without consulting your vet or a holistic vet. Soltalol can cause changes in blood sugar and metabolism, and my husband was told not to take anything without approval of his cardiologist to avoid possible interactions.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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So sorry about Leon. As Leorah said, you have a gift, to not waste time now. If you focus on the positive, you will make your and Leon's time together so good!
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