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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20546
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My 14 year old ***** *****had what I think was a fainting

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My 14 year old ***** *****had what I think was a fainting spell last night its the second time in a few months this happened is goes limp and a sound like howling she comes around in a few minutes. She has a heart humour. Its a very frightening experience fr all. Any advice would be greatfull .Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today

Based on your description, I am concerned that your lass has syncope and it will be related to her heart troubles (I am assuming you meant that she has a heart murmur not tumor; though both can cause this and would be treated similarly). The reason we can see dogs with heart conditions faint is because their compromised heart is not pushing blood through the body as efficiently as it once did. This means that she has limited blood oxygen levels and if she uses what her blood can support, the blood oxygen get used up (with activity, even at the cell level), the levels drop, this leads to too low oxygen in the brain, and that triggers fainting. Once they are down, the body's oxygen use decreases (since they are not moving), breathing increases their levels, and they wake once there is enough oxygen for the brain. So, this is why you saw what you did.

In this case, I would strongly advise updating your vet on this situation. They can start her on medication to help her heart to beat more effectively so that this reduces her risk of these episodes. And if we can stabilize her on treatment, we'd hope to settle these for her and keep her comfortable. Of course, in the meantime, we want her to take it easy, keep to low activity (so no long walks, mountain climbing, etc), and avoid over excitement.

Please take care,
Dr. B.
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