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Old 18.11.2011, 15:25
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Extremely High Pulse in Dog

Our Geat Dane suffers from a weak heart and has been on medication for some months now because we only found out recently. Now my daughter took him for a walk and his pulse was 168, his eyes all red and he was panting like crazy, but after 10 mins he was back to normal, pulse being 68.

He has always shown signs of fatigue after longer walks/lots of play which means the moment we came home he fell like a rock to the side and was panting heavily so you thought he was about to get a heart attack. That's why we had an ultrasound and he was diagnosed with a weak heart.

You would think the medication would support him and we don't let him run wild any more. My fear is that now, while he's still young, he regenerates fast, but will happen when he gets older?
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Old 18.11.2011, 15:28
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Re: Extremely High Pulse in Dog

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Our Geat Dane suffers from a weak heart and has been on medication for some months now because we only found out recently. Now my daughter took him for a walk and his pulse was 168, his eyes all red and he was panting like crazy, but after 10 mins he was back to normal, pulse being 68.

He has always shown signs of fatigue after longer walks/lots of play which means the moment we came home he fell like a rock to the side and was panting heavily so you thought he was about to get a heart attack. That's why we had an ultrasound and he was diagnosed with a weak heart.

You would think the medication would support him and we don't let him run wild any more. My fear is that now, while he's still young, he regenerates fast, but will happen when he gets older?
Might not work for your family schedule but is it possible to shorten the length of the walks but on a more regular basis? Rather than 2 walks a day for an hour, split it down to 15 minutes over the course of the day. In that way, the dog still gets to socialise, get fresh air and exercise but on a less intensive basis.

My previous dog was diagnosed with a heart condition when she was 3 and we did just that - together with lifelong medication till she was 18. Worked out ok for us thankfully because my mum is a homemaker who helped out when i was at work.

Another thing to consider is also how excited he/she gets before they leave the house and try to minimise that. Most dogs tend to work themselves up in a frenzy when they see the leash and by the time they get outside, they are a bundle of excited energy which can contribute to the increasing heart rate that is totally unnecessary.

Alternatively, speak to the vet?
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Old 18.11.2011, 15:46
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Re: Extremely High Pulse in Dog

You should probably discuss this with your vet for recommendations on how best to deal with your dog's exact circumstances.

My Beagle has had a heart murmur all his life. He can't go more than 10-15 minutes before he gets winded. It translates into shorter walks more often, but he's happy and healthy and he's lived a long time medication free.

Eventually your Dane will mellow out. You'll have to regulate his activity though to keep the stress off of his heart, and find ways to keep him stimulated that don't involve running.

Good luck!
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Old 18.11.2011, 16:29
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Re: Extremely High Pulse in Dog

MGD, I would encourage you to speak to the vet anytime you have even the smallest concern.

Are you comfortable that the meds or the dosage your dog is on suits him? If you don't think the meds are acting as expected, talk to your vet soon. Sometimes a bit of trial and error is needed to get the right meds for the individual.

I have two dogs with heart conditions.

Haifish has a heart murmur and age-related complications, and is on Fortekor and Furospir. It did indeed take a while for us to get the meds exactly right - and since we have only recently added the diuretic we are sort of having to adjust all over again.

My guys are older, way past that giddy 'schwache funf Minuten' stage, so I can count on them to set an appropriate pace for exercise. Your dog is younger, so you may need to impose limits yourself more often.

Both dogs see our normal vet regularly for check-ups, and the Belltie (who has a grossly enlarged heart that - astonishingly - seems to function fairly well at the moment) sees the cardiologist at the Tierspital 2-3 a year for a heart ultrasound. This helps to establish what normal is for each of them - because their 'normal' isn't quite normal.

Big thumbs-up for the cardiology department at the Tierspital - I am very happy with the care they have been given, and the communication with my primary vet is good. You can always ask your vet for a referral.

As with anything - when you are concerned, for whatever reason, don't hesitate to talk to your vet. Better safe than sorry.

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Old 18.11.2011, 18:28
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Re: Extremely High Pulse in Dog

Him being young and and active it is a bit of a struggle to keep him calm, after all you can't tell him : "Slow down man, you have a weak heart", well you could, but he wouldn't understand.

Thanks for the tip about the medication, we were told to give it to him for three months and then come for another checkup to see if it has helped him.

I never knew there were so many dogs with heart issues! Thanks for sharing your experience with me, he is our 4th dog and this is the first time we have such a serious health problem in a dog.
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