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Help....sudden collapse

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Help....sudden collapse

Post  jalk on 2/9/2014, 1:16 pm

Hi Puglovers,

I'm new to this forum. I have a situation in which I was wondering if anyone else has experienced.  I'm very worried about my boy who is going to be 16 on Feb 20th.  I love him dearly and he gets around pretty good and still tries to patty cake me even though I know he has some arthritis. He still has a puppy in him. 

Anyways about a month ago after he had an accident in the house, had a BM, I noticed he was laying on his side.  I did not see him go down but he must have collapsed.  I took him to the vet. They did a chest xray on him and said it was normal. She listened to his heart and did not hear anything unusual.  Then a few weeks after that, in the morning, he got up and had an accident, another BM, and this time I saw him lay down in the middle of the living room.  I went to him to see if he would stand up but he did not want to. After about 15 seconds I was able to help him up and he acted normal.  I called the vet again and she thought my idea of having him see a cardiologist is a good idea but he can't get in till April because they are booked. Unless it was an emergency. My vet felt that this was not an emergency as it's not happening all the time. Well, yesterday it happened again. I was fixing his dinner. He had been excited and barking for his dinner then all of a sudden I heard a thud and turned around and saw him laying on his side. He had collapsed. I went to him and was petting him and noticed his eyes open and he was breathing. He laid their for about 10 seconds and then tried to get up, I helped him up. He acted normal after that.  No paddling noted like with seizures. I'm sooooo scared. He coughs a little at night but not a lot and my vet said she does not feel it is CHF as his xray showed fine.  

Has anyone else experienced this with their pug?  I'm calling the vet and insisting she tell the cardiologist that it is an emergency.  I'm not sleeping well now because I'm so worried. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. 
Thanks. Crying or Very sad

jalk
 
 

Number of posts : 4
Location : New York State

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Re: Help....sudden collapse

Post  Pugsaunt on 2/9/2014, 6:16 pm

I am so sorry that you are going through this with your beloved boy.  I would not rule out a seizure just yet - there are full-blown grand mal seizures with the paddling, and there are petit mal seizures that could be what you describe.  You are right to consider it an emergency, though.  Please keep us posted as to what the cardiologist says, and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your boy.
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Re: Help....sudden collapse

Post  PugLady3 on 2/10/2014, 11:17 am

So sorry to hear that your boy is going through this. Has your vet checked his trachea/airway? I'm wondering if he doesn't possibly have a collapsing trachea and this is being caused by a lack of oxygen. Either way, I would still make an appointment with the cardiologist just to be sure that it's not CHF. I had a foster/hospice pug that started collapsing out of the blue about a year ago. Sadly, they found that she had a large tumor in her chest that was pressing on her heart/lungs so we had to make the decision to let her go.  Crying or Very sad  I hope that the outcome for your boy is better and they find that it is something treatable.
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Re: Help....sudden collapse

Post  LisaIzzyAggy on 2/10/2014, 1:05 pm

I'm so sorry. I would agree that it is an emergency. I will keep you and your pug in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted.
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Going to emergency room now

Post  jalk on 2/11/2014, 8:56 am

Taking my boy to the ER. Its the only way he can get to see the cardiologist sooner then April.  Boy, they sure know how to play on a persons heart strings and get the most money out of you as they can.  That's just fine. I do not value money in that way. It's here for me to spend on what I think is important and my little man is the most important thing to me.  I have been sooo worried and my sleep has suffered.  I honestly feel he has some kind of heart arrhythmia that can not be treated unless he has a pacemaker placed which requires surgery.  He would never make it though surgery at age 16.  I've already started grieving and crying.  This is so hard.  I'm so scared that one day I'll come home from work to find that he died.  How does one get through this grief?  There are days I wished I never got a dog but then someone told me he brought me so much joy and I gave him a good life. Just feeling very sad. Thanks for reading.

jalk
 
 

Number of posts : 4
Location : New York State

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Re: Help....sudden collapse

Post  LisaIzzyAggy on 2/11/2014, 1:28 pm

I'm so sorry, I know how difficult it is to watch your friend suffer. You have obviously given him a wonderful life since he's made it to 16. I am thinking of the two of you and praying for you both.
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LisaIzzyAggy
 
 

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Re: Help....sudden collapse

Post  Pugsaunt on 2/11/2014, 5:56 pm

I'm keeping both you and your boy in my thoughts and prayers.  Please keep us posted.
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Pugsaunt
 
 

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Re: Help....sudden collapse

Post  Imon on 2/11/2014, 7:07 pm

I don't have any experience with this sort of problem to share, but I'll add my prayers and good thoughts to the others - hoping you get some answers and suggested treatments and that whatever the problem is, it is something easily treatable.

(I do know that some humans will pass out if they stand up suddenly, sometimes after eating - I think it is called vasovagal syndrome or something like that - it isn't serious, and treatment seems to be getting up slowly - I have no idea if there is something similar in dogs, but I'll try to google around and see.)

I've been reading up on this, and vasovagal syncope apparently DOES exist in dogs. Here's some info from a reasonably non-technical vet's website about the subject:

Dogs and cats may occasionally experience syncope (fainting).  Syncope may occur for a number of different reasons.  Basically, the blood pressure falls low enough that the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, resulting in transient loss of consciousness.  When dogs and cats lose consciousness, it may appear to be a seizure.  Most of the time, patients will stop whatever it is they were doing, stretch out their front legs, stretch their neck and throw their head back, fall over to one side or another, and may involuntarily vocalize, urinate and/or defecate.  Usually, fainting episodes are brief, lasting less than 10-20 seconds or so, and patients often recover and behave normally immediately afterward.  While these episodes are frequently alarming to most pet owners, they may or may not be life-threatening.  A neurologic seizure is typically associated with convulsions, paddling of the legs, clenching of the jaws and sometimes drooling.  A seizure is usually followed by a period during which the animal does not act normally, and may even appear to be blind.  Differentiating syncopal events from neurologic seizures may in some cases be difficult.

Syncope may result from any of one or more different types of arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart beats or rhythms.  If an arrhythmia results in syncope, the basic cause is a decrease in blood pressure that results from a heart rate that is either excessively fast (tachycardia) or slow (bradycardia).  Examples of tachycardias that may cause syncope include ventricular tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, and atrial fibrillation.  Ventricular tachycardia may very well be life-threatening.  Examples of bradycardias that can result in fainting include atrioventricular block, sick sinus syndrome and atrial standstill.  Treatment for tachycardias usually involves oral antiarrhythmic medications.  Bradycardias can sometimes be managed with medication, but often require implantation of a permanent artificial pacemaker. 

Heart disease may result in syncope for a number of different reasons. Patients at high risk for or a history of congestive heart failure may faint if they start having congestion or fluid in the lungs. This usually is the result of vasovagal syncope, and resolves with appropriate medical therapy for heart failure.  Some patients with heart disease may faint from the development of arrhythmias (i.e. atrial fibrillation) which results from underlying heart chamber enlargement. Some patients with severe heart chamber enlargement may even suffer from a rupture or tear in the heart, leading to bleeding into the pericardial sac. 

Pericardial disease can cause syncope in small animals.  Tumors on the heart itself may bleed into the sac that surrounds the heart (pericardial sac).  When too much fluid accumulates right around the heart, the heart may become compressed, and this is what leads to a low blood pressure, which can in turn cause fainting.  

Occasionally, patients may experience collapse and syncope because of internal bleeding in the chest or abdominal cavities.  Rupture of a mass on the spleen or liver may cause bleeding into the abdomen.  Patients may have other signs of bleeding, which may include difficult or labored breathing and pale gums/tongue color in addition to collapse.  Immediate veterinary attention is advised in these situations, as the bleeding may become life-threatening. 

Vasovagal syncope is a complex syndrome that may cause patients to faint.  Typically, in response to excitement/stimulation, these patients have an inappropriate drop in the heart rate and/or dilation of the blood vessels, resulting in a decreased blood pressure and fainting.  This may result from congestive heart failure, or may be stimulated by other activities such as excessive coughing, vomiting/retching or even defecation.  Definitive diagnosis of this condition is fraught with difficulty in small animals, and head-up tilt table testing is used in human medicine.  Holter or event monitors may be helpful to document a low heart rate associated with the episodes.

Chest x-rays, echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart), EKG, and blood pressure evaluation are generally recommended for any patient with syncope.  A Holter monitor is a 24 hour ambulatory EKG.  This allows us to document the heart rate and monitor for any arrhythmias that occur in a 24 hour period.  The patient has electrodes attached to the chest and a small monitoring device is worn in a vest-like apparatus.  An event monitor records brief periods of the EKG in response to the push of a button, and can be worn for longer periods in patients that have infrequent episodes.  Holter and event monitoring may be helpful in patients where an underlying cause for syncope is uncertain based on the results of previous tests. 





Might be worth asking your vet if this could explain what you've been experiencing with your pug.
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Imon
 
 

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Re: Help....sudden collapse

Post  pugmom on 2/11/2014, 9:05 pm

I am so sorry that you are going through this with your pug.  I do so hope you have many special times together in the future.
You are doing what is best for both of you by going to emergency and then having him checked by the specialist.

You must however, prepare yourself for the reality that your pug at age 16 has already given you many memories and you have given him a great life.  All of us wish our pugs or any beloved pet would live forever just as we wish those humans we love would live forever.  I do not want to sound morbid but death is a part of life that we all have to deal with in one way or another.  I know you love your pug enough not to ever let him suffer.
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Re: Help....sudden collapse

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