Heart meds for heart murmer?

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Tue May 22, 2007 7:47 pm


Chester is our 3 year old (approximate estimate) GP who has a congenital heart murmer caused by a tiny hole in his heart. We discovered it soon after we adopted him over two years ago, and he was seen by a cardiac ultrasound specialist. Both he, and all of the other vets we have seen over the years, said that one day Chester may need meds, but until then he should be fine until he starts to show symptoms.

He's had an on and off runny nose for a while that Bactrum hasn't completely knocked out. The only heart pig hints I see with him are his back feet are redder than normal, and he sleeps more deeply. Lately he seems a little more lazy than before, too, so I feel like the murmer may be starting to bother him, and I'm going to ask if get him a trial of meds. He has an appointment tomorrow with one of our vets who is usually pretty willing to work with us to try new things. I want to get him an x-ray, too, just to be safe that it isn't some URI that's flying under the radar even with the Bactrum.

Do other people here with pigs with murmers use heart meds? What is the best heart med to ask about? I know Lasix would not be indicated if it's just the murmer and no fluid in his lungs. Is Lotensin what people use?

Talishan
You can quote me

Post   » Tue May 22, 2007 7:53 pm


Lotensin (a human med, and therefore readily available and readily compound-able) appears to be what most of us are using to start with.

Vetmedin can be added in if needed. Lotensin is an ACE-inhibitor; Vetmedin also provides heart support but through a different method of action. They can be used together.

Hopefully Pinta will see this and expand a little.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue May 22, 2007 10:57 pm


I think there may be a small amount about heart murmurs in rabbits in Quesenberries' book but I'm not positive. I would imagine standard treatment for similar problems in other species would work for her. Good luck.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Thu May 31, 2007 9:50 pm


A long overdue update on this little buddy. Chester saw our vet last week, and we got switched to Baytril and his runny nose problem seems to be eliminated.

He got an x-ray, though, and our vet felt that his heart looked somewhat enlarged most likely due to life with the murmer, but there doesn't appear to be any fluid surrounding the heart or lungs. He is open to the idea of trying heart meds, and mentioned the possibility of trying Enalapril. I asked about Lotensin and he said they would work similarly. Do any of you experienced with heart problems recommend one over the other, and what are the differences between these medications?

We have not had anything prescribed yet because he wanted to read the report the original cardiologist did when we first adopted Chester 2 years ago to see if he recommended meds. He did, but I noticed he had only mentioned Lasix if there is fluid present. Even though he didn't mention anything else, I think the fact that the cardiologist was recommending drugs will help us get something to help Chester out. Our current vet has never prescribed heart drugs for GP's, but he is open minded and hopefully we shouldn't have that much trouble getting one of the other meds.

Thanks to all who have replied so far!

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Thu May 31, 2007 11:24 pm


Lotensin is a newer and better ACE inhibitor.

I'd use this one over enalapril - it's easier on the kidneys.

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Kermie831

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:22 am


Our Oreo is on Enalapril every am, and does quite well.

My humble opinion:
Captopril is the choice for renal issues, but since it's heart issues... with a lot of the aces it goes on the Dr's preference and trial and error to find one that works.

pinta

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:00 am


Lotensin(Fortekor) is the newer better version of Enalapril. It's easier on the pigs.

Fortekor was readily available in Canada before it was available in the U.S. which is why so many American vets seem to stick with what they know rather than switch to the "new improved" med.

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Kermie831

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:56 am


Can someone find the literature on that?

I am stubborn cardiac ICU nurse... I go with what I know~
same class of drug... same effects, lots of drugs have new versions come out every year, change it a tiny bit and it can be marketed with a new name, and the patent is good for several years.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:00 am


I can give you a link to the information on Fortekor in animals (lotensin):

http://www.ah.novartis.com/products/en/cab/fortekor.shtml

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:57 am


kermie, feel free to google it yourself.

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Kermie831

Post   » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:04 pm


I did, but there are no comparisons... that I could find at least. That's why I asked.

Oh well, Oreo does great on his vasotec, so that's what I am going to stick with.

Does anyone's pigs on any type of ACE get a cough as a side effect?

PigWorrier

Post   » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:30 pm


Hi Kermie. My piggie has been on Enalapril for almost 2 weeks. I have not noticed a cough. I mentioned to my vet about lotensin, she said to just monitor water intake closely. If we notice changes in water consumption we can take that as a symptom the kidneys could be becoming effected and change the med. His med is working for him so we would hate to change him seeing he has been chronicly gassy for so long we don't want to waste time helping find the right heart med that will work for him.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:55 am


Does anyone know if Lasix has any side effects or interactions with Polycitra? Our vet reviewed Chester's records and the original cardiologist's recommendations and wanted to try Lasix first. I forgot to ask if it's ok to use when using Polycitra. We'll give a call in the AM to check with him as well. I also noticed on the medications page here about the possible increased likelihood of stone formation. Has anyone had this happen with Lasix? Chester has never had a stone, but has interstitial cystitis, controlled by the Polycitra.

The dose we got was 0.5 ml 1x daily. He had to compound it himself because Chester is the first pig they have given heart meds to. The specific suspension info isn't on there, but it does say "Furosemide Tab 12.5 mg, (8 Tablet)" It's in what I'd considered a "standard" sized oral medication bottle. Chester weighs about 975 g. Does all this make sense to experienced heart people?

This is our first heart guy, so I am hoping it will work and I'll probably come back with even more questions.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:38 am


There's a range of use. I guess you figure out what works best for your guinea pig. I think the heart sticky mentions starting out with more and backing down.

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:08 pm


How long should it be before we notice any improvements with Lasix? Chester has been on Lasix for I think one week now, and nothing is different. Our vet said we should see some change soon if it's going to help him, but give him a couple weeks. I expected to see something improve by now.

He's not getting worse, just the same. A little lazier than the other pigs. I'm concerned keeping him on the meds due to the chance of stone formation mentioned on the Lasix page here. Any other problems that it can cause?

I wish I could remember the name of the type of hole in his heart that causes the murmer. I believe it is in the septum.

Also, he has a gunky nostril again. His eye on the same side looks a tiny bit bulgy, too. I wonder if we're dealing with a sinus infection here? The Baytril cleared it up before. He'll be going to the vet ASAP.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:21 pm


but there doesn't appear to be any fluid surrounding the heart or lungs
Then why is he on lasix? It won't do a thing if he doesn't have fluid.

Is he on ACE inhibitors as well?

capybara
Supporter in '13

Post   » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:20 pm


I was confused too when I went to go get his meds and they said "Here's his Furosemide." I asked "isn't that Lasix" and told them I was confused because he had mentioned Enalapril before. When he talked to me, judging from the report the original cardiologist wrote and the GL info I printed, he said he thought Lasix would work better to reduce the "fluid load" taken on by the heart from blood leaking back and forth due to the hole. He said that Chester didn't have congestive heart failiure like the GL info mentioned the ACE inhibitors were for. I thought it was a little weird but that the explanation made some sense to my feeble mind at the time. I've never dealt with this before so thought it was worth a try. Does it make any sense?

He has never given heart meds to a pig before, so maybe there is inexperience with knowing what should be used? I do feel uneasy about it, and nothing's changed after a week. Basically, I have a hell of a time getting anyone to take heart med requests seriously. This is the one person that did and now it seems like this med won't work. There just seems to be a lack of knowledge. He even checks the VIN. Just getting frustrated by it all.

I will try again and see if we can try the Lotensin. Maybe because the Lasix isn't doing anything it will push him to try it. Does anyone have some anecdotal evidence about exactly what drug would improve heart symptoms due to a murmer that I can share with him? Chester has a congenital defect--a hole in the septum causing the murmer.

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:42 pm


Yes, the lasix can be used to prevent the fluid buildup- not just when there is some. Does that make sense? If things aren't changing I would ask the vet if he feels an ace inhibitor would take the load off the heart with the defect present.

pinta

Post   » Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:55 pm


What dose of lasix is he on? Many vets underdose.

Lotensin is what will give him energy longterm. Lasix at the right dose works within an hour or two. A collapsed pig after a max daily dose of lasix can recover back to normal within an hour.

If he has no fluid build up he probably doesn't need Lasix and is at risk of getting dehydrated.

Essentially you want to keep a heart pig off lasix for as long as possible by lessening the heart load with Lotensin/fortekor.

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Mr Capybara

Post   » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:46 am


A quick update and a question reg. our goofball Chester.

I took him to the vet yesterday because we still wanted to get another opinon on him. We took him to All pets in Madison. Dr. Ericson (who's seen him before) did a good checkup and found what it looks like to be an abscess under his chin. He thinks it's in his jaw, even though you can easily feel it by just rubbing near his chin. We feel dumb for not ever noticing it but Chester is a fussy guy so we usually don't give him chin scratches.

We have an appt. this morning with a dental specialist, but the question we have about that is should we risk putting him under for a checkup/x-ray when he has a heart murmur. I mean if we don't how will they check up on the abscess? We're just aprehensive about putting him under.

Sorry for the short notice question but if anyone has any thoughts or advice post em!

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