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Well, I'm pretty much freaking out right now. Apparently, Riley has an arrhythmia. I'm so worried and so mad right now I'm not even thinking, so excuse my babbling.

This new vet actually DID an exam (which the previous guy obviously didn't bother to do.) He did his thing, started writing stuff on his chart and asked me what the previous told me about the exam results, etc. I told him that he said everything looked good. He asked if the guy listened to his heart, and I said that I assumed he did, as he was in for his annual exam. The new vet, right away, said "Uh-huh... they take them in the back right? Yeah, he didn't bother listening to his heart." and told me that he hears an arrhythmia.
He said it could be related to the hypothyroid - that it could be in relation to the low metabolism, etc. Or it could be a separate issue.

He took about five x-rays while we were there and said that he doesn't see anything that would cause concern. He's having a radiologist (I think) look at them and is supposed to let me know what this guy says sometime this afternoon.
His go-to cardiologist is on vacation, but we're meeting with him as soon as he comes back, just (as he said) to err on the side of caution and make absolutely sure that there isn't a separate issue here. He didn't see any need to get into a cardiologist sooner, or he said we would.

He agreed with starting the supplementation for his thyroid, but he doesn't want to start it until we find out, for sure, what the deal is with this arrhythmia. He said he's leaning toward it being related, and figures that it should disappear when we bump up his metabolism, but he doesn't want to take any chances.

Anybody have experience with this? How scared do I need to be?
 

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I would be talking to the previous vet about this especially if you paid for an exam.

As for the heart issue, my Rottie had a heart arrhythmia due to his low thyroid and he lived a while after that diagnoses. He died from Hemangio so I couldnt say how long he would of lived if he didnt get that.
 

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scary to be sure.....glad to hear Riley will be seeing a cardiologist.
 
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When I transferred to a new vet recently--mostly because, with two dogs now, I wanted to go to the vet hospital closer to home--the new vet did a very thorough intake exam on my little spaniel. Then told me she has a heart murmur! I was NOT happy. They did a large work-up and had a cardiologist come in and do an ultrasound, and she is well enough to not need meds but will need monitoring from now on. Her breed is prone to mitral valve disease (she's a Cav King Chas Span), and I had always been on the lookout for it. So I was stunned to find that the other vet hadn't caught it. It's possible that she developed it within the last year since he'd seen her, but unlikely because it's really loud. :(

I guess the truth is we have to be watchful with the vets and ask a lot of questions. I think I was just too trusting because I liked the man a lot and he was good with Tess.

Here's hoping all is OK with your dog.
 

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I am so glad you switched vets. Thank goodness because Riley will now be treated if he needs to be after the cardiologist reviews everything.

I don't have any advice on whether the metabolism and heart issue are related, but do want to suggest that if the cardiologist suggests an echocardiogram, you might want to see if they will add in an abdominal sonogram at the same time, just to do a quick look/see and make sure things are okay. Our vet usually suggests the two together because it's cheaper to do it that way here, though both are very expensive IMO. We actually needed to do an abdominal sonogram on Toby, but added in the echocardiogram to just look and see and they discovered a mitral valve issue that we now monitor. I'm glad I know so we can monitor his activity levels a little closer.

I'll keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers, but right now I'm very thankful you have a new veterinarian who is thorough! Try not to worry too much until you meet with the cardiologist. Now go pet Riley for me!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the good thoughts. I appreciate it.
And yes, I am SO glad we switched vets. This might turn out to be the best thing we've ever done. It's sure looking that way!

Dallas Gold said:
I don't have any advice on whether the metabolism and heart issue are related, but do want to suggest that if the cardiologist suggests an echocardiogram, you might want to see if they will add in an abdominal sonogram at the same time, just to do a quick look/see and make sure things are okay. Our vet usually suggests the two together because it's cheaper to do it that way here, though both are very expensive IMO. We actually needed to do an abdominal sonogram on Toby, but added in the echocardiogram to just look and see and they discovered a mitral valve issue that we now monitor. I'm glad I know so we can monitor his activity levels a little closer.
Wow - it's great that you caught it!
He did say that we'll be doing an echo when we meet with the cardiologist, so I'll ask about the abdominal, too. He also said it might not be a bad idea to run a complete blood panel while we're at it. He's never had one, so the vet said it probably wouldn't hurt to check everything out. I think it's a good idea. I told him, whatever tests he thinks might be a good idea, just schedule them and let me know when we're supposed to be there.

I asked about his activity level, and if I should limit him, etc. He said that he'd probably keep him on a leash for now - don't let him run around, chasing squirrells or anything. He didn't seem too worried about it. He said it's always better to be overly-cautious, so I felt a little better hearing that. I don't know this guy though, so I can't read him yet.

OutWest said:
When I transferred to a new vet recently--mostly because, with two dogs now, I wanted to go to the vet hospital closer to home--the new vet did a very thorough intake exam on my little spaniel. Then told me she has a heart murmur! I was NOT happy. They did a large work-up and had a cardiologist come in and do an ultrasound, and she is well enough to not need meds but will need monitoring from now on. Her breed is prone to mitral valve disease (she's a Cav King Chas Span), and I had always been on the lookout for it. So I was stunned to find that the other vet hadn't caught it. It's possible that she developed it within the last year since he'd seen her, but unlikely because it's really loud. :(
Again, it's great that you caught it!
Yeah, I'm not real happy right now, either. This vet said that the arrhythmia has probably been there for a while and was pretty angry that our previous idiot didn't catch it. Normally, vets won't really say anything bad about other vets, but he said this guy just flat out didn't bother to listen to Riley's heart and he wasn't happy about it.


Lincoln_16 said:
I would be talking to the previous vet about this especially if you paid for an exam.
Oh, I'll be giving him a call, that's for sure. I just want to calm down a little bit first. I'm fuming right now, so it wouldn't be wise for me to call him at this point.
 

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I don't blame you for being upset! SO glad you went to a new vet! and he sounds great!
Sending lots of prayers for Riley!!!
 

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I wouldnt be surprised if he claims he listened to the heart but didnt hear anything so it must be a new issue...they will cover it up :(
 

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He did say that we'll be doing an echo when we meet with the cardiologist, so I'll ask about the abdominal, too. He also said it might not be a bad idea to run a complete blood panel while we're at it. He's never had one, so the vet said it probably wouldn't hurt to check everything out. I think it's a good idea. I told him, whatever tests he thinks might be a good idea, just schedule them and let me know when we're supposed to be there.

I asked about his activity level, and if I should limit him, etc. He said that he'd probably keep him on a leash for now - don't let him run around, chasing squirrells or anything. He didn't seem too worried about it. He said it's always better to be overly-cautious, so I felt a little better hearing that. I don't know this guy though, so I can't read him yet.
Unbelievable! OH MY! How old is Riley and he hasn't had a full blood panel ever? Yet another reason why I'm glad you have a new veterinarian! We've gotten our dogs complete panels every year of their lives and it's very helpful when things arise and we see a change in a value here or there. I'd definitely get that complete panel and keep it up at every annual exam.

I'm also disgusted your first vet apparently didn't do a heart check with a stethoscope on Riley. That's standard operating procedure for our veterinary team because so much can be picked up. They also do eye checks each annual visit (not just Toby, but all of them got them), and blood pressure/heart rate checks. They get a rectal temperature at every visit as well and the old rectal exam at annual exam time. The vets are always checking out the ears while we are there too, for any old thing. Then they feel the dog--I mean hands all over the dog feeling for anything odd or off. They also get the full leg extensions and we go outside and I walk the dog(s) so the vet can check the dog's gait. No visit would be complete without a look in the mouth too. I'm so blessed with the veterinary team we use! :)

IMO I'd forgo confronting the other vet. It will just cause you more upset and they won't be giving you any money back. It's just not worth it, but that's my personal opinion. Best to just sigh, shake your head and move on, thankful you have someone competent to take care of Riley now. I had a situation last summer with a dentist that basically ruined my mouth with veneers that kept on popping off. I finally went to a prosthodontist, who corrected everything, to the tune of $$$$$$$, and I'm happy. I had the new team call over to get my records sent over and that was all the former dentist needed to know.
 

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wow, it's sure a good thing you went to a new vet! Sending good thoughts that there's nothing serious wrong with Riley!
 
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Yeah, I'm pretty surprised your old vet never listened to Riley's heart. I remember bringing Flora in at 7 weeks 3 days and that was one of the first things our vet did. I hope the arrhythmia is just an artifact of the thyroid issue!
 

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Unbelievable! OH MY! How old is Riley and he hasn't had a full blood panel ever? Yet another reason why I'm glad you have a new veterinarian! We've gotten our dogs complete panels every year of their lives and it's very helpful when things arise and we see a change in a value here or there. I'd definitely get that complete panel and keep it up at every annual exam.

I'm also disgusted your first vet apparently didn't do a heart check with a stethoscope on Riley. That's standard operating procedure for our veterinary team because so much can be picked up. They also do eye checks each annual visit (not just Toby, but all of them got them), and blood pressure/heart rate checks. They get a rectal temperature at every visit as well and the old rectal exam at annual exam time. The vets are always checking out the ears while we are there too, for any old thing. Then they feel the dog--I mean hands all over the dog feeling for anything odd or off. They also get the full leg extensions and we go outside and I walk the dog(s) so the vet can check the dog's gait. No visit would be complete without a look in the mouth too. I'm so blessed with the veterinary team we use! :)

IMO I'd forgo confronting the other vet. It will just cause you more upset and they won't be giving you any money back. It's just not worth it, but that's my personal opinion. Best to just sigh, shake your head and move on, thankful you have someone competent to take care of Riley now. I had a situation last summer with a dentist that basically ruined my mouth with veneers that kept on popping off. I finally went to a prosthodontist, who corrected everything, to the tune of $$$$$$$, and I'm happy. I had the new team call over to get my records sent over and that was all the former dentist needed to know.
He just turned 4 in July and he's never had a full blood panel. We've been to three different vets with him (one was just for one visit - we found out real quick that she couldn't handle him, so we didn't go back) and not one of them have ever suggested a full blood panel for Riley. I didn't realize that vets are supposed to do those as part of a routine annual exam. We had blood panels done with Gunner, but we wer trying to get his EPI diagnosed. They never did them as part of a routine.

And nope, apparently he never bothered to break out the stethoscope. The old place takes your dog in the back to do the exam, so you don't know what they've done, or haven't done. Last year, this guy flat out said that his heart and lungs sound real good. This year, he just said "everything looks good" when he obviously didn't bother to check at all.

I know Riley can be difficult. He's a nervous wreck at the vet's, he can be hard to handle and he can get a little snarky, at times. But that's no excuse. If they'd rather not deal with him, they could have told me. There's no excuse for telling me they did an exam when they obviously didn't.
And this new guy, by the way - no problem with Riley at all. They discovered that Riley likes the spray cheese in a can, so they simply bribed him. He was really good for them! And he did everything in front of me - felt him all over, checked his ears, checked his teeth, checked "the boys"... everything.

I wouldn't expect the old place to give me any sort of refund and I don't care about that. I'd just love to give him a piece of my mind right about now! Had you guys not pushed me to have his thyroid checked and I had... gee, I don't know - trusted my vet!... I don't even want to think about what might have happened.
 

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Yeah but if this vet knows about this maybe he would be more inclined to actually check dogs hearts in exams.
That's what I'm thinking. I doubt it'll make any difference. He'll probably dismiss this like he apparently does everything else... but I'd like to bring it to his attention if there's a slight chance that he might be more professional in the future. Maybe it could prevent him from killing somebody's dog.
 

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I would go into the vet's office and physically speak to the vet. Maybe if you say it to him/her in front of the other staff, he might get the message. I would be extremely angry to learn that my vet was basically conning me.

And fwiw, I would never return to a vet that took my dog away from me to perform the check up. I want my dog in front of me so I can see what's going on. Would anyone let a physician take their child into a back room for an examination? I think not!
 

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The vet just called. The radiologist said the x-rays are perfectly normal. (Okay, so I can breathe a little bit, now.)
The radiologist did recommend that we follow up with a cardiologist, so as the vet said "So that's what we're gonna do." He said he still wants to confirm that it's related to the hypothyroidism and I agree. I don't want to start the thyroid meds, and take any chances, until we're sure.

Thank you again for all the good thoughts, everyone. This boy is my heart and soul, so I sure appreciate the good thoughts and prayers!
 

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I would go into the vet's office and physically speak to the vet. Maybe if you say it to him/her in front of the other staff, he might get the message. I would be extremely angry to learn that my vet was basically conning me.

And fwiw, I would never return to a vet that took my dog away from me to perform the check up. I want my dog in front of me so I can see what's going on. Would anyone let a physician take their child into a back room for an examination? I think not!
Oooh, that would not be a good idea right now. It might be the way to go once I calm down a little, but right now, I don't want to see him.

You'd be surprised how many vets around here take your dog "in the back" to do anything. It's common practice. That's why I didn't think much of it. But I sure like this place better - they do everything right in the exam room, right in front of you. And he said I was welcome to go back with Riley for the x-rays, too. I didn't, because I thought Riley might behave better for them if I wasn't there, but I had the option.
 

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Oooh, that would not be a good idea right now. It might be the way to go once I calm down a little, but right now, I don't want to see him.

You'd be surprised how many vets around here take your dog "in the back" to do anything. It's common practice. That's why I didn't think much of it. But I sure like this place better - they do everything right in the exam room, right in front of you. And he said I was welcome to go back with Riley for the x-rays, too. I didn't, because I thought Riley might behave better for them if I wasn't there, but I had the option.
Man, I've been to three different vets and they've all checked Flora out in front of me. I think one time my old vet took Flora back to extract urine, but that was understandable. I'm glad you've found a vet you feel more comfortable with! Vets are like doctors - no use going to one that you're not comfortable with.
 

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I've only had one vet (not his regular one) take Toby to the back to draw blood and to do an rectal exam and expression....and that one backfired on her because a cat walked by just as the fluid was released and Toby barked and lunged. :yuck::doh: Everything else is done right in front of me. There is a lot of conversation that goes on during the exams--questions/answers, etc. that help in getting a full picture of the dog's overall health. Taking a dog to the back prevents that exchange. I learn a lot through watching the physical exams.

If there is any chance you will become upset in front of your former veterinarian I wouldn't do a face to face because you will only be dismissed by this person as an "emotional owner" who obviously doesn't know anything. Why work yourself up for a confrontation and increase your stress level? If you are intent on letting the vet know what's happened, maybe sending an unemotional, well thought out letter would serve its purpose to inform him of what went on and to express disappointment over how he managed Riley. As I get older I realize there are battles worth engaging in and those that are just lost causes and IMO this is one of those I'd lump in the latter category. This veterinarian probably has a high opinion of himself anyway and criticism from a "mere" owner would not be taken well, IMO. He won't change what he's been doing, unless it's a malpractice type of situation that is brought before a state disciplinary committee. People these days don't want to own their mistakes.

I'm glad the radiologist didn't see anything abnormal! Whew!
 
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