Just read this very interesting blog article The Importance Of Respitory Rate With Regard To Mitral Valve Disease on the BRIARCREST ROCKSTAR website. This website has been set up by someone who tragically bought a Cavalier without knowing the health issues about Cavaliers and now has their Cavalier boy in full heart failure at the tender age of only 7 years old, 'At the age of 5 Bugsy was diagnosed with mitral heart valve disease. It is a slow, insidious disease that you are told by breeders is very manageable with the right medications, but as I am learning, it is a heart breaking, and sad disease that has no cure, and has taken the lives of many wonderful puppies as early as 4 years of age. Bugsy's father has already died from the disease at 8 years of age, and one of his littermates died at 5 years of age. Bugsy was diagnosed at 5 years of age with a grade 3 heart murmur, and now at 7 years of age is in full heart failure. (CHF)'
Anyone who has just had a Cavalier diagnosed with MVD should read the article on this blog titled The Importance Of Respitory Rate With Regard To Mitral Valve Disease as it will really help you in management and know when it is progressing and your Cavalier may need help in the form of medication.
Extract from the blog, 'In a 2011 study which compared the effectiveness of (a) respiratory rate, (b) natriuretic peptide concentration, and (c) echocardiogram, in predicting heart failure, the respiratory rate count was more accurate than both of the other procedures. The researchers stated:
"Only respiratory rate predicted the presence of CHF ... with high accuracy. ... Home monitoring of respiratory rate is simple and very useful in the assessment of CHF in dogs with either DCM or MVD."
Every cavalier owner can and should learn this very simple procedure of how to count the breaths of their MVD-affected dogs while they are sleeping or at rest. Several cardiologists are recommending that owners become familiar with their MVD-affected cavaliers’ normal resting breathing rate and effort and keep logs of their sleeping respiratory rates, to establish a baseline rate for each dog, and report when the dogs’ rates increase to consistent rates approaching or above 30 to 40 breaths per minute. For example, the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school advises “When your dog is at rest, watch their sides rise and fall as they breathe normally. One rise and fall cycle is equal to one breath. Count the number of breaths they take in 15 seconds, then multiply this number by 4 to get total breaths per minute. For example, if you count 8 breaths in 15 seconds, that is equal to 32 (8 x 4) breaths per minute. A normal dog at rest should have a respiratory rate less than 40. If you notice this number increasing consistently, or notice an increase in the effort it takes to breathe, contact your veterinarian.”'
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!