Enlarged heart.. anyone with experience with this??????

 I found out today that my lil girl has a slightly enlarged heart.. She was put on Enalapril.. I would like to know if anyone else has a dog with this?  I was told that there is nothing that can be done except medication. I would like to know does this mean she will just get worse?  or can they live a normal long life with one?  I think my Vet tried to sugar coat it a little just so I didnt  have a total melt down in her office.. please, any info would be helpful

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture

Enlarged Heart

Well first I would get a 2nd opinion if this was your vet and not a specialist suggesting she has an enlarged heart and I would not stress over it to much. How old is your girl? How did they determine she had an enlarged heart? Is she experiencing symptoms that suggest an enlarged heart? What are they?

Here's why --- my vet said Kohl had a slightly enlarged heart too. Now I can't remember why we xrayed those organs but I think it was because I had a trach xray done and they were able to see the heart in the xray. He was under a year I'm pretty sure.

Then he got a ccl tear when he was about 2 and I took him to another vet, mostly because of their specialist that comes to their office to do the TPLO surgery. While there I mentioned to the vet that my usual vet said he had an enlarged heart. This vet highly doubted Kohl had an enlarged heart, that the xrays they took don't suggest that. Anyway he is 2 1/2 now and just fine and has always been just fine.

So with this kind of diagnoses I would always get another opinion from a specialist. Which maybe you have, but didn't say that.

enlarged heart.....

Thank you Deb for responding... The Vet I have has been my Vet for almost 17 yrs.. she breeds English Bulldogs and was into showing, she does not show anymore, however, she still has a few of her own.. My Emma has been having a problem of coughing and hacking, kinda acting like a hair or something is stuck in her throat. She has LOTS of mucous, and you can hear it everytime she breathes.. She is very short and compact, weighing in at 56.7 lbs. as of Mondays visit.. I knew she had a smaller airway just from past surgeries that she has had, the Vet told me it was pretty narrow.. Anyway... she was coughing up the mucous and it becomes so thick sometimes that she can not get it up and can get no air in to help it come up, On Jan 5th she had another episode(she has had a few during the year). she actually is choking to death because of lack of air that she cant take in to get the mucous out of throat.  My Vet suggested that I change foods (had them all in Blue Buffalo) and to rule out a tumor in the esphagus or stomach, or a possible hyanial (spelling) hernia.. She took xrays and said that they showed the heart to be slightly enlarged.. In my mind she sugar coated it saying only slightly because she knew I would flip out.. She has put her on Enalapril, 1/2 tab. a day.. she is also taking Metoclopramide, which is used to relieve heartburn and speed the healing of ulcers and sores in the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD; condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the esophagus) that did not get better with other treatments. Metoclopramide is also used to relieve symptoms caused by slow stomach emptying in people who have diabetes(copied and pasted that...lol)  , she also was put on a 7 day doseage of Flagyl in case she was having any bacterial issues.. She also wanted me to give her Carafate, which is a generic form of Sucralfate, it helps to coat an ulcer and stomach... to me seems like to many medications for her to be on, but we really had no idea before the xrays came back on what it may be.. they showed nothing but the heart issue im questioning..

I would not be against a second opinion, I just trusted what she said because she has seen my dogs since 1996, all my animals not just this dog..Emma turned 6 yrs in July... my boy who is same age, her brother, seems to be having a hacking and gagging issue also, but does not have mucous buildup, that is why we originally thought maybe something with the food..  I have switched her to wet food, Purina One Lamb and brown rice or the Chicken and brown Rice... she has been doing nicely on it..

thank you for anything else you may add.... below is a pic of her (she is the red brindle) and her brother...

cgzapien's picture



Please find an excellent cardiologist in your area and take your baby in for a complete cardio work up. it depends on the cause of the enlarged heart what meds will work best. Before you go read up on your med and Vetmedin, Sildenafil, and the use of Lasix.

God Bless!!!


Thank you and God Bless!!!

Cecilia & George