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Just found out about DCM when I took Winston, my three year old Golden companion, to the vet for a cough and looking tired!

I was told that he has an advanced stage of DCM and asked if I want to euthanize him today! I never heard of DCM until then and was not about to take Winston home in a donated blanket!

Right now, he is on a host of medications prescribed by the vet to improve his QOL but was told that DCM only gets worse until euthanizism is the only choice.

We are not there yet and I want to do everything I can do to put that time off as long as possible. I am sure that all of you that have experienced DCM fully understand my feelings.

What can I do?
How long does Winston and I have together?
When we reach the point of "no return" will Winston be suffering?

Thanks for any help and direction.
 

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The very first thing you need to do is find a board certified cardiologist and take him for consult with them. Have a Taurine test run to determined if is it taurine deficient related DCM, because medication to increase taurine can help.

Also research the food you are feeding him. If you have been feeding grain free, you may want to change it, but wait to do that until you see the cardiologist.

Where are you located? Members of the board can direct you to a cardiologist near you.
 

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That isn't state of the art advice you got.
Find a cardiologist and get a good diet, let the cardio determine what type DCM he has, as Mylissyk says, if it is diet related, there ARE some partial fixes your cardio can help you with (as in, if you feeding a grain free diet you may be in the unfortunate group who've in the last 18 months been in this fix) I just hope your meds are not contraindicated for DCM that's diet related, just in case you are lucky enough to be able to get him some real help. Especially if you feed grain free, get your vet to refer you to a cardiologist immediately. Really- don't take no for an answer. And if he won't refer you let me know where you are and I will find a cardio for you. Take a full meds list for the exam.

There was a dog here @ our cardiac clinic a few months ago- signed up for auscultation. Had to upgrade to an echo. On echo, the cardiologist told owner she'd call ahead but it was entirely possible that the dog may not make it the 45 miles to UF. That dog had diet related DCM. And that dog is living today (albeit not 100% but still able to do field work) and it was just the blessing of right place, right time, great advice and immediate excellent cardiologist on the case. Don't give up hope.
 

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I would go to a cardiologist and maybe get a new vet. A relative of my son in law has this on her Facebook about her dog:
My dog Sam (only 6 1/2 yrs old) has Advanced Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Left-Sided congested heart failure.
Moderate mitral valve regurgitation.
Moderately to severely dilated left atrial dimensions.
Severely dilated left ventricular dimensions with severely decreased heart muscle function.
Mild right heart enlargement.
I have been feeding him "Acana" Pork & Squash Singles Formula for over two years. Not knowing he was not getting efficient Taurine that his Heart needs.
There are studies out there with the FDA linking Grain Free Dog Food to DCM. And the spike of DCM in Golden Retrievers is unbelievable.
Sam had to spend the night at the Cardiac Care For Pets Thursday night. I picked him up on Friday, so he is at home now, but still in critical condition with his Heart and fluid on the lungs. His heart is swollen (pushing his Trachea out of position. Sam will be on MEDS for an extended time.
I am crushed and heartbroken over this.

This was from last November. Sam is doing much better now but still on lots of medications. Some dogs see a complete reversal of the problem
 

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I absolutely agree with everyone here. It is critical you get to a board certified cardiologist, change diet, get an echo, join a group dealing with this. The echo is the only way to really tell what is happening and a regular vet cannot diagnose that without an echo. I am very surprised a vet would suggestion euthanizing without positive proof. You may need a new vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank all of you for the quick reply and giving us a ray of hope that Winston will be with me for awhile longer. I am so glad that in my dispare that I told the vet that Winston was going home with me sitting in the back of my car, not in a blanket!

I will keep you posted as to the developments I experience with Winston which may help other folks that are "owner" by their Golden with DCM!
 

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I lost Winston Saturday. He was so full of fluid in his stomach due to the right-side heart failure. He stopped eating and drinking last week and got so weak in just a few days time. I still had hope that with the meds. and changing diets that I could help him through this terrible disease.

Last Wednesday I renewed four of his meds. hoping that we had at least another month together. He was gone three days later.

In total, I have approx. $200 in medication to reduce the problems caused by DCM. I would like to give them to someone that is also fighting to save their companion's life. I had Pimobendan compounded into a liquid format because it was less stressful on Winston to squirt 1.5 ml in his mouth twice a day rather than force feed him 4 large pills.

If you or you know someone that can use them, let me know and I will send you the specific drug names and strengths. I hate to see them go to waste knowing that there is someone out there in the same situation that Winston and I were in.
 

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I am so sorry to see this. Three years is way too short of a time to be saying goodbye. Rest peacefully sweet Winston.
 

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I am so sorry to see this awful disease take Winston so quickly. I do not understand how so many Golden’s are still dying too soon compared to 20+ years ago when my Kelsey reached her 15th birthday.

They are so worth every day we get with them.

Expenses for these compounded meds are ridiculous. I too had expensive meds left over, etc, and one of the vet techs was able to take them to a shelter (since the vet could not give them directly to another client).
Know you will find someone else in need (although that is also bittersweet).

H.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss - three is too young. You're so kind to be sharing Winston's meds to help another pup. I wish I knew better words to say to help the hurt. Sending hugs from CA {{{hugs}}}
 

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Oh no, I'm so sorry that Winston passed away so suddenly. 3 years is too short. Rest in peace, good boy.
 
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