Heart condition

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Boxer Insane
Hey all

Just wanted to get some input from those who have some experience and knowledge of a boxer with a heart condition.

On 8 October 2011 Diva had a full on cardiac arrest and was resuscitated and brought back to life – fortuitously we happened to be at the vet at the time, otherwise the outcome would have been different I think. She is currently of 40mg of sotalol in the morning and 40mg again at night. Previous to her cardiac arrest there was no indication of a heart condition.

Last Thursday evening I took her to the emergency vet as she had this episode of drooling – I am talking Niagra Falls mega drooling and it wasn’t stopping – this has happened before, but not on the scale of last Thursday (7 June). She was doing a lot of lip smacking and was obviously uncomfortable and wouldn’t budge from my side. I know that the lip smacking etc can often mean that a dog is feeling nauseous.

Given that she has a heart condition (ventricular arrhythmia) an ECG was undertaken, but given she was distressed it wasn’t the greatest, but it did show that she was experiencing premature ventricular contractions of the heart.

Diva had another ECG undertaken again on Saturday 9 June and this more thorough ECG showed that the ventricular premature contractions were not there.

Have discussed with her vet and we are going to increase the sotalol to 80mg in the morning and 40mg at night. Diva will also undergo an ultrasound scan in the near future. The vet is linking the drooling episodes to her heart condition and thinks that she is experiencing palpations and is stressed, hence the drooling and feeling nauseous.

I am well aware that Diva is over 13 years now and has arthritis in her lower spine and all four legs (the front legs arthritis is similar to what cats get and is due to her being a jumper in her younger days); I just want to do the best I can by her.

Just wanted to see what others thought. Sorry I know this is long and I hope it makes sense.


Boxer Insane
I am sorry Diva isn't feeling well. Thor has arrythmias and is on sotalol as well. He started drooling this week as well. Then this morning he was on grass eating "mission". He suffers from pancreatitis as well so any signs of an upset stomach is a concern. We went to the vet when he wouldn't lay down and rest. The gave him fliuds and something to settle his stomach. He didn't even want any food until 4 this afternoon. (He usually has two meals by then.) He's had a little food, and lots of gas. (And very smelly gas as well.)

While we at the vet they listen to his heart and didn't hear any VPCs, plus he just had a holter a week and a half ago.

I guess what I am saying is maybe Diva just had an upset stomach and the heart isn't a cause.


Boxer Insane
The vet is linking the drooling episodes to her heart condition and thinks that she is experiencing palpations and is stressed, hence the drooling and feeling nauseous.

Cami did this EXACT same thing only hers was due to supraventricular tachycardia (rapid heart beat). Her heart was beating so incredibly fast that I couldn't take her pulse myself at her femoral artery and it was off the charts (well over 300 beats per minute) while in ICU and on a monitor. In her case the rapid heart beats contributed to her heart becoming enlarged. The damage occurs VERY quickly and she progressed to congestive heart failure within days. Various meds were tried in an attempt to help the many heart aliments that took over in the last 6 weeks of her life.
She went from ARVC minus symptoms for 3 years to collapse, supraventricular tachycardia, dilated cardiomyopathy to the eventual congestive heart failure.
Here is a link to my posts about Cami's heart issues from 2010. All of the meds she was on and or that were tried are included in the posts. It is a long thread but you might find something useful in it.


Boxer Insane
Thank you both for your reponses :) Susi, I can so relate the panic you felt when they collapse.

Unfortunately on Saturday morning Diva collapsed again - it was a very cold morning (minus 1 degree celsius) and I had just collected some wood from the garage (would have taken all of 2 minutes) and as I came to the back door I saw her flat out on the grass :( I just dropped the wood and went to her. She was breathing, but her gums were very pale. She did manage to get up on her own, but she took a couple of hours to come right. I did ring the vet and took her in and have arranged for an ultrasound on Tuesday this week. The dosage of sotalol has been increased - there is room to move with that, so will see if that helps.

I just have this awful awful feeling that things are progressing and that this is the beginning of the end nonoicon I am trying to stay positive, but this is tough.

Boxer Babies

Super Boxer
I am so sorry your going through this but can fully relate as I too am going through the same. My boy has severe aortic stenosis and after 6 years of no episodes he has them all teh time now and I just know the next one could be the last one.

My cardio told us he does not experience any pain etc when they happen it is more distressing for us that them so please take some comfort in knowing that.

I do hope you can get things under control with some tweaking of meds but please know my thoughts are with you and your family.

Lots of Boxer slobbers to you all



Boxer Buddy
Just wanted to add my thoughts and prayers as well. I went through some of the same feelings you are now. I wish I could offer advice but Im keeping everyone's pooches in my prayers.

Hope it all turns out for the best


Boxer Insane
Well the preliminary ultrasound results are not promising :( It seems that Diva has an enlarged heart (which I already suspected, so wasn't surprised by this), but also has a problem with the mitral valve not functioning well and therefore the blood not being pumped like it should and also it seems that the walls of the arteries are thinning markedly.

Once I receive final results we will look to see if there is another medication (besides the sotalol) that may help the mitral valve pump better. Of course we have to be careful that any additional medication is not contraindicated with the meds that she is already taking - namely sotalol and previcox.

It also seems that during the ultrasound there was a lump discovered where she was shaved down and you know, I just can't bear to think about what that might be.

I didn't sleep well at all last night and I just feel so brittle and defeated (which is not like me at all). I guess I doesn't help that my jobs sooooo sucks at the moment. Having said all of this I am putting my positive hat back on and I am sure tomorrow will be a better day :)


Boxer Insane
Wow, I'm sorry you didn't get better news. {{{Hugs}}} to you and positive, healthy (((vibes))) to Diva.
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