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    dog with pulmonary hypertension
    LILARGIE posted:
    My toy poodle (13 years) began having a small hacking cough around May. At his physical in July we had xrays and bloodwork done and vet was concerned he had fluid in his lungs and/or that it was his heart causing this. He saw a specialist for an echocardiogram and the specialist said his heart was fine, not cardiac related and he also did not feel there was fluid in the lungs. He diagnosed "some degree of pulmonary hypertension" and said to continue on antibiotic and possibly begin Prednisone. We did that and got temporary relief but nothing seemed to help. Viagra was the next step for pulmonary hypertension but is expensive. The past 4-5 days he took a turn for the worse with a lack of energy, breathing heavily, etc. We were going to bring him to his vet first thing Monday a.m. but at 3:30 a.m. he collapsed. We thought we lost him. Got him right in the car and headed to animal hospital ER. He came too in the car barking and by the time we got there was ok. They said he was pink which was good, heart was good, etc., did more xrays and said there are lung issues, maybe inflammation, lung disease. They kept him in oxygen cage until we got to our vet and our vet sent us to an internal medicine specialist who wanted another updated echocardiogram. That showed now moderate to severe pulmonary hypertension and expert recommended Viagra which he said dogs have a good response with at least to treat the symptoms. No telling what the underlying lung issue really is since we are hesitant to put him under anesthesia now and especially at this age. He just started the Viagra last night and so far as taken 2 doses. Breathing is good, he is stable, but energy is not back. Seems to be a bit better but of course nothing like he was. Anyone have experience with this?
    Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
    Dear Lilarge,
    I am so glad that you have allowed your veterinarians to do a very thorough work up. Finding the exact cause of pulmonary hypertension can be very difficult. You might try going to
    for a very good overview of this condition.

    The prognosis for your dog is extremely variable. Much depends on the severity of the hypertension, the collapsing that you saw may be syncope (see wikipedia) and how well he responds to medication. Viagra has been very helpful for many pets. I would ask the specialist that you are working with for their input.

    Best of luck...
    Dr. Bernadine Cruz
    Home2strays replied to Bernadine Cruz, DVM's response:
    Hi there, sorry to hear about your pup. My dog was diagnosed with PM about 2 yrs ago after a long battle trying to figure out what was wrong. My vet says it was probably from having heartworms when she was younger (going to be 16 this coming november) I wasn't able to afford the viagra for her so we put her on vetmedin and it really did help a lot though it also isnt very cheap and she's not 100% better but then again shes an old chow mix with creaky hips who farts when she coughs lol. My thought is just try and make him comfortable and see what works best for your family. Good luck : )
    LILARGIE replied to Bernadine Cruz, DVM's response:
    Thanks for the reply. We have seen a definite improvement since the start of the Viagra. His breathing is almost 100% better and his energy is slowly getting there. What exactly does the Viagra improve, and even though I know we were expected to see improvement right away, is it something that should continue to get better daily? We are so nervous of another collapse. Is there anything we can do to prevent that or anything we should do if this happens?
    LILARGIE replied to Home2strays's response:
    Thanks for the reply. Is your dog still on medication? What symptoms does she have? Has she ever fainted or collapsed?
    An_221037 replied to LILARGIE's response:
    my 11 year old bison was diagnosed with PH 2 and half weeks ago. she was diagnosed as moderate to severe and her breathing rate was at 92 when we took her in. she has been on a host of medications since, including viagra. she was also in an oxygen cage for 48 hours. unfortunately, we saw a mild improvement for almost a week and now she is very bad again. she has stopped eating and she will not do anything but lay down. initially we though that the medications that she is on was making her lethargic so we have removed those that cause her blood pressure to drop. we have continued with the viagra and the bronchiodialator. her breathing is still rapid (92 breaths per minute) and she does not seem to be getting much relief. when she walks even 2 feet she is very winded. i am having a hard time letting go but i do not know of what else we can do. if anyone has any suggestions or professional advice, please pass on. thanks.
    Home2strays replied to LILARGIE's response:
    she was on vetmedin 5mg 1.5 tabs twice a day but is off now and doing ok, im not sure if this is a disease that can "heal" but I have put her on a more holistic medicine since I simply cant afford $136 a month for the vetmedin in this economy but i didnt want to give her nothing, and she's doing pretty well. She has passed out a few times, she has suffered some brain damage(i think, she will occasionally get "stuck" in a corner of the house or stare at nothing) from the lack of oxygen. But it's hard for me to distinguish what is PH and what is- 16 yr old chow mix- disease i know her time is almost here, she has awful arthritis in her back and legs but its being managed with an antiinflammatory and a pain pill and she has seizures if she goes to work with me ( i think its overstimulation w car ride and being worked on) but shes still wiggles on her back every couple days and loves to be brushed so we are ok for now.
    LILARGIE replied to Home2strays's response:
    Unfortunately my beloved dog passed away on Monday, 10/4. He took a turn for the worse at the end of the week and weekend, and even the Viagra was not subsiding the symptoms. He continued to collapse and lose oxygen and he was suffering. It took us a few days to know we had to let him go. We love him so much and miss him so much.
    Home2strays replied to LILARGIE's response:
    oh, Im sorry : ( but atleast you had the courage to know when to let go and Im sure he is much happier now and running around wherever he is. It was the kindest thing anyone can ever do when our pets get too sick to enjoy life anymore.
    Summerxstarrsxx responded:
    Anyone know how long their dogs survive after diagnosis of PH?
    Summerxstarrsxx responded:
    Sorry about your situation how long did your dog live for after diagnosis?
    Home2strays replied to Summerxstarrsxx's response:
    my dog was officially diagnosed 2 yrs ago but has been syptomatic for about 4 years. It has progressively gotten worse going from just panting a lot to panting full time except when asleep and coughing. For now though she hasnt really changed in the last couple of months after stopping the vetmedin.
    shortygus replied to Home2strays's response:
    My dog started both vetmedin and viagra (now generic) a few days ago. Better but if can't eat at times have you had any trouble with nausea?
    Pam_Daisy replied to shortygus's response:
    Hello...My dog 13yr old Carin Terrior Daisy also has severe pulmonary hypertension which is secondary to a lung disease.. She was diagnosed in Feb 2013. We definetly have ups and downs. She currently on Vetmedin...Vigara...benzapryl..furesomine...prednisone..and flovent. Recently she has had episodes of collapse and upset stomach. For the upset stomach she gets infant gas drops and one pepcid a/c. We go about every 6-12 weeks and do iv steroids and then remain on prednisone for several weeks. the meds are very expensive, but worth every penny. You can also buy the viagra and vetmedin online from Canada. Its much cheaper....this experience has been the hardest thing I have ever endured. but Miss Daisy is doing well and acting like her old
    self 99% of the time. sorry for any typos trying to post from my cell.
    parisgirl14 replied to Pam_Daisy's response:
    Hi I am not sure if you will get this message but I have a toy poodle diagnosed a few days ago with the same illness of your Miss Daisy. She was in oxygen and in hospital for three days. Sent home on viagra and theofoline. She has only been home since Sunday and it is now Tuesday afternoon. She is very tired and today will not eat at all. We have another appointment for Friday as a recheck. It is so sad to watch this little girl and I am hoping to get her some more time but have decided also that I will not let her suffer. If you have any suggestions please let me know it would be much appreciated. Thank you so much. Kathleen

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