After a 4 year hiatus, Stew has CHF/DMVD - Chihuahua Forum : Chihuahua Breed Dog Forums
 
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  #1  
Old 06-04-2016, 12:57 AM
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Default After a 4 year hiatus, Stew has CHF/DMVD

I was blessed to join this online community to obtain invaluable information 4 years ago when I met my best friend, Stewie. Stew moved in with me prior to my girlfriend moved in, and it was obvious from the start we would be very close. Stewie greets me when I come home, sits on my shoulder when I'm on the couch, snuggles up against me when I'm sleeping. When my grandmother passed, he sat at my side while I talked to him for hours. When he had an eye tumor, I took him to have it removed and when he developed severe gingivitis due to bad teeth, I took care of that as well and helped him through his recovery. We used to take long walks on the beach and on our boardwalk when I lived in Florida. When my wife and I were engaged, he helped me pull it off. When we were married with just the AF chaplain on the beach, he was there and is even jokingly on our marriage certificate as a witness. He was even at our large family re-wedding and has a permanent place in our wedding photos. He is deeply folded into my family's life, and I will never repay him for being such a keen friend and ally on the walk through life. We have since added two Alaskan Klee Kai to our family, but although they are wonderful they are completely different.

Approximately one year ago, Stewie was diagnosed with a systolic heart murmur on a routine examination. Subsequently, it has been confirmed at each routine evaluation and this past week, after an upper respiratory infection was resolving, he went into heart failure and had to be rushed at 3 AM to the ER vet who gave him diuretics and started him on O2 therapy. He improved over the subsequent 12 hours and was released home. They did an echo that categorized his mitral valve regurg as "severe" with left atrial enlargement and trivial tricuspid regurgitation.

At any rate, I am on here now to ask if anyone else has a Chihuahua living with CHF and/or Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease. I am hoping that if we keep him on medications and follow with a puppy cardiologist, we can keep him happy and healthy for quite some time, but I have also read some publications that say he will only live for another 12-18 months. As of now, he is on Lasix and pimebendan (VETMEDIN).

This is very unfortunate, and I want to do everything I can to keep his quality of life for as long as possible. Already, with the medications he is more active than he has been in at least a month. I hope he maintains this momentum, but I do understand that his disease is progressive.

Thanks all in advance!
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:11 AM
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I have a 10 yr old female that has been on medication for heart failure for 2 years and is still going strong. Vet says the murmur is now a 5-6/6. Very severe. She coughs with excitement, barking, and occasionally, I think, for attention. When she can't stop coughing I give her codeine. I hate to do that, as it makes her miserable with gastro upset. I did not do the echo as the vet said it was around $300, and I just didn't have it.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:14 AM
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She also takes vetmedin, lasix and enaperil. The vetmedin and enaperil are compounded into a liquid that I give 2x a day.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:55 AM
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Thank you for sharing. Seems like he is already looking much better! I hope we can have plenty more time with him as long as he has a good quality of life
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:25 PM
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I say to continue with treatment and hope for the best he is part of your family and to stop treatment will cause you to doubt your decision and a lot of regret....


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  #6  
Old 04-05-2018, 02:05 AM
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We said goodbye to Stewie on Sep 10, 2016 and nothing has been the same since. I miss him everyday, and my family was immeasurably blessed and fortunate to include him.

Thanks to all who helped me become an adoptive pet parent for the first time. He changed my life forever, and for that I will always be in his debt. I hope I helped him have a few extra months of quality. We took long walks in the woods and I held him as much as humanly possible. In the end, nothing helped, and we had to help him cross the bridge. It will forever be one of the most difficult days of my life on earth. As the medicine went in, he reached up and licked my wife on the face and fell asleep forever.

We have two dogs still, Alaskan Klee Kai. They are crazy but loving. Weird but infinitely affectionate to us. They aren’t Stew and there will never be a replacement. He was my best friend and confidant.

RIP buddy. My brave boy. My great wolf.
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:43 PM
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So sorry. I, too, lost my Zarita in October. 3 years was a wonderful gift to me. She was so good about her meds. One night, however, she refused her night time treat, and woke me up at 6 am when she came into my room, wheezing and uncomfortable. I made that horrible trip to a vet emergency room and had her euthanized. I miss her, but at least now, I don't look for her in her little carrier that she made a bed in.
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