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Tango has an irregular heartbeat

Discussion in 'Dog Health issues and questions' started by Tango's Mama, Aug 16, 2007.

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  1. Tango's Mama

    Tango's Mama Super Boxer

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    I found out 3 months ago that my boy has an irregular heartbeat that seemingly just began. My vet has said he thinks its cardiomyopathy and put him on sotalol one half a tab everyday. I was in shock and just did as they suggested. Tango is very active and shows no signs at all of any type problems. He never seems to be tired or slowing down at all even though he is 10 years old. He eats well and seems as happy as he always has. I began the meds and noticed a change right off the bat. He began eating less, sleeping so much more and seems irritable most of the time. The vet said that he will adjust to the meds. After 2 months I took him off the pills. I dont know if that was a healthy decision for him but he is back to normal and happier than ever. I dont know much about the disease and was under the impression that he needed a holter test to be certain he actually has this? I was hoping someone had some advice or input for me so that I can decide what I need to do next for him. I made the choice about the meds because i prefer quality over quantity. Tango has been with me his entire life and I couldnt stand seeing him unhappy and tired just to prolong his life a bit longer. But I do want to help him at whatever cost!
    Thanks ahead of time for any input. I havnt posted here in sometime but no matter what BW has always been the best source for boxer owners and the first place i turn to when in doubt!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2007
  2. dafzichu

    dafzichu Completely Boxer Crazy

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    My opinion would be to take him to a cardiologist and have them do an EKG and Echo, this way you will know what is going on for sure.

    I agree in quality over quantity. I lost Snubby at 7 years and she was on Sotalol at the time for BCM, so the medication doesn't mean they won't sucummb to heart problems even if medicated. So I think after seeing the cardiologist and discussing with them, if you still feel medication is not good for your boy, I would go with your gut.

    One thing Snubby's cardiologist recommended, if you are interested, was CoEnzyme Q 10. There are studies in humans that indicate this helps and I certainly don't think it can hurt. She suggested 100mg/day.

    Good luck and let us know what happens!
     
  3. ELubas

    ELubas Boxer Insane

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    I agree that only a certified cardiac vet is equipped to properly treat your boy . And at ten I APPLAUD your deciision to seek what is best for him overall, which clearly includes quality of life. I have an SAS boy and though he has always done well on his meds I decided long ago he would have a "dog" quality of life and he is going strong at almost six years (diagnosed at 5 mos) thanks to two WONDERFUL cardiac vets and the opportunity to live large. Check out dogaware.com for nutritional supplements that can support an impaired heart. Lastly, my 16 mos old girl most likely will be diagnosed with Dialated CM shortly so I know this road well. Find a cardiac vet you trust, use nutrition to bolster him , and enjoy every boxer moment and trust your instincts- Tango does! Good luck and please keep us posted :)
     
  4. Tango's Mama

    Tango's Mama Super Boxer

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    Thank you both for the info and advice! I will check into the supplements today. The vet I use sent his ekg and echo off to NC state cardiology dept for a review and they just said it was an irregular heartbeat and didnt say much else! I am going to make an appointment with another vet Tango has seen before and let him advise me a little further. Sometimes second opinions are a good thing.

    I dont have any children and am single so Tango has always been my number one priority I cant imagine life without him but I also want him to live the best life possible so it wasnt a hard decison to give him that better life even if its shorter in the end. I am however being more careful about his activities .

    Thanks again!
     
  5. kassa

    kassa Boxer Insane

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    I'd definitely see a cardiologist and get a precise diagnosis.

    Sotalol does NOT prolong life. It usually will decrease the number of arrhythmias, and if the arrhythmias are causing fainting, that's a plus for quality of life, and reason enough to take it.

    However, there's no proof in humans OR dogs that it extends life, so if it's worsening his quality of life, there's certainly no reason to continue it. Another medication may be preferable, or you may choose not to medicate at all.

    Too many people are under the impression that sotalol will prolong life by reducing the arrhythmias, and statistically it simply isn't true, so if the dog
    is asymptomatic I'd think long and hard about medicating.
     
  6. ELubas

    ELubas Boxer Insane

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    Agree about seeing a cardio vet. I would interject though that if a dog is asymptomatic that is no guaruntee. There are new meds now, and all the time, and different combos that can slow the progression of some cardiac disease. I have an aysmptomatic girl now but she has a left ventricle flow problem and a minor valve leak that is indicative of DCM. There is a new drug protocal I am considering. Lost my last sweet girl to sudden death-completely asymptomatic up until the moment she died except for a low grade murmur- so I look at it a little differently. But also TOTALLY agree that quailty of life for dogs is everything. They need to be able to tolerate the meds and enjoy life and only your vet and you, as thier loving guardian , can judge that. Best of luck to you in any event.
     
  7. dafzichu

    dafzichu Completely Boxer Crazy

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    I did not realize this was the case. I am glad to know this information. Learn something new everyday :)
     
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