Oh my God, I just had to wear the Zio Patch and was thinking the exact same thing! I wonder if somehow we could connect the makers of Zio Patch with a vet clinic and try to get them to offer it for dogs? I got mine put on at Stanford, and my cardiologist had just had a meeting with the creator of the patch that day. I could probably talk to him and have him connect with someone at UC Davis. I think it would be brilliant.
Susi, when do you get the results of the holter back?
Just got off the phone with the cardio.
Previous holter (no meds):
over 14,000 singles
Too many couplets and triplets to count (v-tach).
Medication MUST show an 85% reduction in PVC's to be considered successful.
Raine's holter from this week......
DRUM ROLL PLEASE - -
A greater than 85% reduction however meds are being increased. Triplets and couplets are never a good thing and they must go.
The surprising thing is the distribution of the PVC's.....all of the couplets and triplets as well as the majority of the singles occurred within 30 minutes of having the holter on. This was during the release from the vets office and the drive home. She is a much better patient at home than at the vets office (per the cardiologist).
Of course while at the vets office she was in the company of so many people and other dogs. When they brought her out to me she was panting so heavily I thought even if she didn't have a heart issue she could easily keel over from a heart attack. I don't let her get that winded on my watch (even before I knew she had issues) unless of course she does it to herself out in the yard playing but I still try to police her.
They want to up the dose from 40mgs twice a day to 60mgs twice a day.
I pleaded to have it only bumped up to 50mgs first but the medication does not come in either 50mgs or 100mgs so it would have to be compounded in order to get that dose. Of course there is no guarantee that any specific increase is going to be the right amount so it is still going to result in yet ANOTHER friggin holter next week after the increase takes place (tonight).
Hubby is livid. He is stuck on the number 40mgs, 60, etc...
He says NO WAY is she going to have to take more and that the 40mgs just haven't had enough time to work yet (it had been a solid 5 days since starting it when she had the 2nd holter). OF COURSE I had already asked the cardiologist if 5 days was enough time for the med to do its job (she said yes, and that it is good to go at 3 days).
I don't know what to do. I am elated that the medication IS working just not happy that already we are having to up the dose. If this is a sign of things to come I can't imagine how quickly this is going to STOP working? I know the meds need to be increased as the disease progresses and that eventually you just run out of what is acceptable therapy for a dog and other meds need to be added. Just having a hard time wrapping my brain around this whole mess.
Splitting an 80mg tablet into 1/2 was never perfect. The pills are soft (best description I can come up with) and getting a true split hasn't ever been spot on. Now I have to take that same pill and split it into quarters! I have a pill splitter but it also isn't perfect. ARRGGG!! I am not trying to be a downer and complain but damn...I was hoping and praying for the best news and I only got good news. I feel like bawling my eyes out. I don't want her to be affected by a higher dose. She vomited again this morning....trying to get this med in her with little food is trying. She takes it at 10pm and needs to have a couple of bedtime biscuits to ward off that traditional empty belly Boxer syndrome. Doc said I could give the medication just one hour after her breakfast in the am so that I can switch to a 9 & 9 schedule which would free up some time at night to add a bit of food before bed.
I need to know how is it that 40mgs twice a day resulted in over an 85% reduction and yet they want to up it by so much to 60mgs. Isn't that a bit over kill? I know plenty of dogs take 60mgs twice a day and do well but what I can't understand is why increase it so much to 60 when 40 was so successful at reducing so many VPC'S? I know it needs to be increased but wondering why such a large jump and is it only because the med does not come in a 50?.
The holters and recheck seem very close comparing to what the cardiologist Snatch is seeing says. But I don't know who is right or wrong...
Snatch had a first check up on 7/1 (day of collapse)
Cardio asked to try meds for 2 weeks (30mg twice a day)
Snatch had recheck #2 on 7/15 which showed great improvements. EKG showed still shows some arrhythmia but cardio was very happy. (He was VERY concerned on 7/1). He didn't say to up the meds.
Cardio has asked 5 weeks recheck (planned on 8/16) to see if the meds are ok. He told me to try to let Snatch off leash on 8/16 morning before coming. That way if he's ok, that's all good.. If he is not ok, I have appointment with them set up right away
Snatch had mild fainting on 7/23 (sister and nephews came from France that night). I called. They told me then to call back immediately if it happened again. It never happened again. Snatch plays with his toys daily (no off leash play yet)
Of course, when I saw the cardio on 7/1 and he sent me home for 2 weeks on the medication try (30mg twice a day) - (120mg pill to divide in 4) - I was super nervous!!!
Maybe if Raine needs 60mg, they could sell you the 120mg to divide in half? That would be easy! I get them at Walgreens and only paid $8 for 30 pills!
(I also got a pill splitter to cut his 120mg pill in 4... )
Is he the only cardio around? maybe you could ask a second opinion? - I know it is always so delicate to ask....
I just requested the 120mg dose be called in. Trying to split the 80mgs into quarters wasn't happening! I used a splitter and different knives with various sized blades but it was a no-go. Called the pharmacy too and the pharmacist said it would be nearly impossible to get that dose down to a dead on 20mgs since the pill just turns to powder.
I paid $4.00 for the 80mgs but the 120mgs isn't on the cheap-o list and is going to cost $35 but I called around and Costco has it for $13 something for non-members and $10 for members. I can deal with that until we figure out if we are even at the right dose. I am not complaining about the price....she is worth anything but I have spent $3500 in 3 weeks between her and my cats surgery! I will have to sell a kidney soon.
Made appt for the 3rd holter for Aug. 21st. That will give her a full 11 days on the new dose.
Regarding the 2nd opinion. My friend suggested that too but this cardio was hand selected since she worked so closely with Dr. Meurs (boxer cardio guru) when she was here at OSU. Who knows what I should do at this point.
OMG. I can't believe I just caught this thread. Susie, this can't be happening again! Sending healing vibes and anything else I can think of to you, Raine and DH. Sounds like the meds are working so that is great news!
You guys are in my thoughts. Keep us posted.
P.S. I did have to smile during one of your posts when you said Raine was "90% Diva". I'm afraid to ask what the other 10% is.
That is great news with those holter results!!! Well, very encouraging at the very least.
I'm glad you found the 120mg pills. How much would it be to compound the meds for the 50 mg dose, did you ever find out? I used to have to take a compounded medication way back, but I can't for the life of me remember how much it was... though I don't think it was that much so it might be worth checking?
oh glad you found the 120mg! that will help!
(bizarre that different walgreens practice different prices btw... thieves!)
I see your point about the 2nd opinion. At least, the cardio you have is very thorough. See, this cardio here in OR didn't even talk about a holter test. I will ask about it on 8/16.
I will move back next month to Texas where I will work for a specialty/surgery vet center. I will check with their cardio there and see what they recommend...
I feel you with the costs! Petplan refused to pay anything concerning Snatch's AVS because they said it is pre-existing condition (he has heart murmur since birth) .. WTH???!! I am so mad at them, you can't even imagine!
Good luck! Keep your baby happy and try to take on yoga or meditation
Put a call in to the cardio department (after hours). Hoping they can reach a doc. I wanted to ask about doing a split of sorts. 60mgs in the am and 40mgs in the pm. Wanted to get their thoughts on that. She said I could do 50mgs *if* I wanted to compound and that would be 100mgs a day in total so my 60/40 split would be the same but not.