Boxer Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We woke up the other night to terrible coughing and hacking. My 10 year old male fell over on his side, and was only down for a couple seconds. This happened two times within about 1/2 hour. He was not disoriented later, and the vet thinks the hard coughing might have precipitated the spells.


We took him to an ER, and they ran a an ECG, and did some x-rays that showed a normal heart size, and clear lungs. The ECG was normal. I know this could have been an arrhythmia, but his parents had echocardiograms, and wore halters before they were even bred to rule out heart issues.


We need to take him to a cardiologist if it happens again. The vet said it could have been the coughing. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
I'm not sure about the coughing but Satchel who just turned 9 the end of September went down the same way after playing in the house last January. In his case it turned out he had a 3rd degree AV block. The Cardiologist explained up until that night his heart was compensating for the blockage. We were so very fortunate to see it happen because up until that point he was not showing any symptoms. He now has a pacemaker and is doing very well.
I hope your baby will be ok!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Satchel. What further tests were done to identify the AV Block? We are currently at our vacation home, and no further episodes in the last 48 hours. We can go the ER at UW-WI Vet School, but should we wait for another episode?


Good to hear things went well with Satchel. Love the name.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Looking through his paperwork and it looks like the Echocardiogram is what finalized his diagnosis. His heart rate was also very low in the 40s and 50s. We were advised in a Vet's atmosphere a dogs heart rate is usually around 100 to 120. He was laying across my lap and I could feel that his heart was beating slow.
Satchel did also develop cardio myopathy as a result of not knowing this issue was going on. The good news on that is now that the pacemaker is doing its job his echo in June showed a significant decrease in the size of his heart. His next follow-up is in February. The hope is to be able to decrease or remove the Lasix from regimen.
You asked about waiting to have him seen. I am a super worrier when it comes to our dogs because of the way we lost Mac and at such a young age. I myself would probably have him seen sooner rather than later.
Hope this helps and your boy is OK!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the information. It's really helpful. I will make an appointment with the Vet School to see him when he can get into their Cardiology Department.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
We saw the cardiologist, and Gus has very mild heart valve disease. During the echo test there were a couple ventricular arrhythmias noted, but that was very minor. He's going to have an ultrasound done by an IM Specialist to see if there are any internal problems. Since he's had one very small Mast Cell, he's continued to be fine, but they do the ultrasound to look for non-cardiac causes of arrhythmias. I didn't know there were any!! As of now they suspect it was vaso-vagal syncope (cough and drop").


The cardiologist has been involved in the ongoing research about cardiac problems in dogs eating grain-free diets, or boutique diets with exotic ingredients. We've never fed grain-free. I guess they are seeing heart problems in dogs, even those who are not testing insufficient in taurine. Scary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
Yes I've heard about heart disease also in feeding grain free but it seems taurine was missing ..They were using legumes for protein instead of meat or fish. I feed grain free but the protein source is meat, I also supplement with freeze dried. A can of sardines would be good too but I can't stand the smell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Very happy for you to hear the arrhythmia is minor! Hope the ultrasound is negative!

Our Cardiologist has also said the same thing about grain free food.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Lindar51, the cardiologist gave me a copy of this article by Tufts nutritionists. They are finding that some of the dogs actually have enough taurine, so there are other things going on besides the taurine issue. I'd also asked Dr. Delaney at DVM consulting through UC-Davis about Legumes. He said they are a safe protein, but I think the trick is to balance out the entire diet. Maybe food has nothing to do with it, but my cardiologist feels strongly that the FDA, and the cardiologists will find out more information.


A broken heart: Risk of heart disease in boutique or grain-free diets and exotic ingredients – Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
owenowlnest ..I am interested. A balanced diet I am sure is as important in our dogs as in us. I am feeding my st poodle grain free, the boxer not. Both eat Victor, they both get added liver treats and other dehydrated food as treats. My poodle has runny eyes but I do not think it is diet related, I will have him checked more extensively when he goes next to the vet. He will be 12 months in December so after that I will have him neuters and have a gastroplexy done at the same time. (I Think).So far our boxer seems healthy. He does not chew his food though so we have to moisten it. We have to be super careful with treats as some he will just choke on, like those virbic dental chews. He does know on Yak cheese.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
My last boxer died in January from ARVC at almost 6 years old. We were naive to the fact that the breeder that we got her from had had several litters that had boxers die from it. It’s a very sad disease especially when she was so young. We researched heavily and found a breeder that had genetic testing completed on his dog’s to assure us that it wasn’t in their genes. People gasp when they hear what we paid for her but it was peace of mind knowing our new puppy’s parents didn’t have the gene. We were paying over $1000 a month in Vetmedin and diuretic pills. We had to have her chest tapped weekly to pull the fluid from around her lungs just so she could breathe. Call us crazy but we loved her and to us and our kids, she was worth it.



This was our Mailee





This is our new baby, Luna. She’s 4-1/2 months old and full of energy!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
What beautiful dogs! Luna has that boxer face, lol ours has the same expression. Yes I understand. I wanted a 2nd dog as our boxer belongs to our daughter and will move with her. Before I got any older I decided I would go ahead. I could not find the health tested pup I wanted and I got a standard poodle. Well I love him as well. And both dogs get along fine for the most part now. The poodle still has a bit more energy that the boxer and is a mouthy player. boxer is not. Considering the effort and time one puts into training their dog properly and how they become an internal part of the family I fully understand paying more in hopes they will be around longer.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top