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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30780
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Vermin 2.5 in the am and half of 1.25 mg in the pm and enalapril

Customer Question

Vermin 2.5 in the am and half of 1.25 mg in the pm and enalapril 5mg caused my 12 yo poodle to pant excessively and his heart raced. He has a significant murmur and slightly enlarged heart . I have never heard him cough tho. Suggestions as he pants more at night abd seems ubabe to get comfortable. He is on 12.5 lasix only.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you tell me, please, if your poodle isn't coughing why a diuretic was prescribed? Did the X-rays reveal congestive heart failure? Is his respiratory rate elevated over 40 breaths/minute? Has an arrhythmia (irregular heart rate) been identified by EKG? Has an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) been performed in order to clarify from where the murmur has arisen? Has the diuretic been helpful? Has his blood pressure been checked? So many questions, I know, but necessary to understand why he's panting and uncomfortable.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I adopted brownie 3 1/2 years ago and at his first visit to his vet was informed he had a pretty significant heart murmur. He seemed fine and was doing very well until about 2 months ago when he started panting some at night . The vet put him on 2.5 mg of vetmedin in the am and half of 1.25 mg at night . His panting seemed to get worse at night only and the vet did an xray. He informed me that his heart was slightly enlarged and added the lasix. He never mentioned CHF. The panting continued at night and vetmedin increased to 1.25 at night causing severe panting and increased heart rate . His heart was also pounding very hard . I immediately stopped this and vet changel him to half 5mg of enalapril twice daily. The first dose was that night and it also caused extreme panting and increased heart rate. His heart also pounded very hard. I kept him on the lasix and he does well during the day but pants with the increased and irratic heart beat starting about 7 each night . No other test have been performed . This is a small town vet and I would need to go else where for the testing outside of blood work. I don't mind doing this if it would help. His heart rate now is 92 beats per minute . My sis in law is a RT and came to listen for me . I did not know if vetmedin could be lowered . My vet office closes at times for him to take care of large animals and I can't always reach him. He is still very active and loves to chase his ball inside . I do think the diuretic has helped . His panting is more smooth if that makes sense and it's odd that he has stopped most urinating accidents or marking in the house since on it. No clue why . He sleeps with me and would get up during the night and urinate in the same places most nights . Maybe three times now in last month . I have never heard him cough at all .

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. I understand your logistical constraints. The primary adverse effects of pimobendan that have been noted in dogs are gastrointestinal effects. There's a good chance that Brownie's panting at night isn't related to his heart at all but, instead, sundowner's syndrome - a form of senility seen in people and dogs. The quiet and dark of night exacerbates the sensory deprivation seen in many forms of cognitive dysfunction. I would expect panting throughout the day if medication were responsible. I agree with you...if congestive heart failure hasn't been diagnosed, there's no reason to medicate with either pimobendan or enalapril at this time. A small dose of Lasix is reasonable in such a patient if only to keep his blood pressure down. Please continue our conversation if you wish.