ck fix !

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. There is no “quick fix” for weight loss, the cause must be diagnosed and treated. Rehydrating a dog with cardiac disease is a delicate balance and should only be done under strict veterinary supervision. Recheck with your veterinarian. If the medications are affecting your dog’s appetite, they may need adjusting. Consider a physical exam and blood work to diagnose any underlying cause. A low protein diet is usually contraindicated in a cardiac patient, especially those with age related heart valve disease. You may be able to feed a “regular” diet, but will need to monitor the sodium content and your dog’s kidney function. Discuss a heart healthy diet with your vet that will satisfy caloric and protein needs while limiting sodium intake and protecting kidney function.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Heart disease

Veterinarians will also commonly use enalapril with other heart medications like pimobendan (i.e. Vetmedin®) as combination therapy for heart failure.

The mainstays of a good low-sodium diet may be fresh beef, pork, chicken, bland macaroni and/or low-sodium. Do not give “dog snacks.” A good diet is 1/4-pound ground round or other lean beef, 2 cups cooked white rice without salt, add a tablespoon vegetable oil, and one tablet of Pet-Cal supplement.
Does Vetmedin have any side effects? Normally dogs tolerate Vetmedin very well. It is rare for side effects to be observed but some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, an increase in mitral valve regurgitation, reduced appetite or a slight increase in heart rate.
Toxicity usually occurs after extreme overdoses—about 10 times the recommended dose. The biggest concern after an overdose is low blood pressure which can lead to weakness, lethargy, collapse, and kidney failure. Contact your vet if your dog gets more enalapril than recommended (even if it does not seem like a lot).
Enalapril is the ACE inhibitor most commonly prescribed to dogs in the United States. Maximal reduction in proteinuria is desirable, so I recommend initial administration of the maximum recommended dosage (0.5 mg/kg orally b.i.d.) in nonazotemic dogs with serum creatinine concentrations < 3 or 4 mg/dl.
Don`t give your dog any cereals (unless it`s low-sodium puffed wheat) Avoid all milk products (small amounts of unsalted cottage cheese or low-sodium cheddar are occasionally permissible) No salted butter, margarine or fat from salted meats. Canned vegetables must be salt-free.
The severity of the heart murmur dictates how much exercise is okay for your dog. For low-grade heart murmurs, exercise can continue as normal. For high-grade heart murmurs and dogs with congestive heart failure, gentle short walks only are advised.
It is also not absorbed very well from the stomach if there is food there too. 30-60 minutes before feeding is often recommended, but closer to 60 would seem better if you can manage it. Vetmedin is possibly the most useful drug there is for many heart problems, so it is well worth getting right if you can.
Are there any potential side effects? The most common side effect is an increase in urination. Other possible side effects include diarrhea or constipation. Serious side effects include weakness, collapse, head tilt, balance problems, electrolyte imbalance, lack of urine production, or a racing heart rate.
Frequent exercise: Getting your dog adequate exercise including frequent cardiac exercise, helps keep your dog or cat healthy and happy. Consider walking, running, playing, swimming, hiking, or dog-related sports such as flyball and agility.
A low-sodium diet is important for dogs with enlarged hearts, as it can help manage the condition and improve quality of life. Fresh beef, pork, and chicken are good sources of protein, while bland macaroni can help add some carbohydrates to the diet.
Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine. Call your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain (with or without nausea or vomiting).
This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure.
Although enalapril is used to treat some forms of chronic kidney failure, there are instances in both dogs and cats where enalapril therapy has worsened the underlying kidney problems. Enalapril is eliminated from the body by the kidneys. Animals with decreased kidney function will need additional monitoring.
Works for cats and dogs. Dilates blood vessels to increase the blood flow to and from the heart. One oral, daily tablet that starts working in 1 to 2 hours, and works for 24 hours.
The good news is that many dogs live a good, healthy life with a heart murmur, as long as they are getting the correct treatment and lifestyle changes have been made if needed. Early detection is a key success factor for a better prognosis with heart conditions.
Many dogs live a long time after being diagnosed with a heart murmur, and some can even live years after being diagnosed with heart failure. If you have any questions or concerns about murmurs, please contact your veterinarian.
A heart murmur caused by cardiac disease or defect may require medication, a specialized diet, or surgery. At the very minimum, your dog will require vet visits every 6 months to monitor the murmur. This visit may require a repeat echogram and/or X-rays depending on your dog`s condition.
Some heart murmurs, such as innocent murmurs in growing puppies, require no treatment at all. But for other murmurs, treatment will be based on the underlying cause. That might include regular monitoring of your dog`s heart, medications, specialized diets, or even surgery to correct certain heart defects.
Dogs with a heart murmur graded 4-6 need restricted physical exercise three times a week to avoid putting excessive strain on their heart. Mental exercises like puzzles and stuffable toys to lick can be given daily. Dogs with a lower grade 1-3 may be able to live a normal life.
However, some murmurs caused by a structural abnormalities in the heart may be present for the rest of the dog`s life. Older dogs with mitral valve disease will always have a heart murmur that gets louder over time.
Clinical Signs of a Heart Murmur in Dogs

Excessive tiredness or sleeping more. Cough. Rapid breathing, panting more, or breathing that sounds wet or congested. Fainting or collapsing.

Vetmedin® Possible Side Effects

Difficulty breathing. Elevated kidney enzymes. Weakness. Lack of coordination.

For initial use, particularly if a extra speedy onset of action is desired, the tablets must be administered on an empty stomach; nonetheless, for extra chronic use, they are often administered with food.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Chihuahua w/Heart Murmur on Lasix, Enalapril & Vetmedin on lowfat-protein diet-too much weight loss & hydration loss too fast ! I need a quick fix !
ANSWER : A. There is no “quick fix” for weight loss, the cause must be diagnosed and treated. Rehydrating a dog with cardiac disease is a delicate balance and should only be done under strict veterinary supervision. Recheck with your veterinarian. If the medications are affecting your dog’s appetite, they may need adjusting. Consider a physical exam and blood work to diagnose any underlying cause. A low protein diet is usually contraindicated in a cardiac patient, especially those with age related heart valve disease. You may be able to feed a “regular” diet, but will need to monitor the sodium content and your dog’s kidney function. Discuss a heart healthy diet with your vet that will satisfy caloric and protein needs while limiting sodium intake and protecting kidney function.

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. My pet shows weight loss and has a hard time walking, like he has lost strength in his legs and has no control to maintain balance. What’s wrong?
ANSWER : A. Loss of balance or inability to control the limbs can be caused by a wide range of problems and is usually cause for concern. Damage to the nerves or muscles can cause loss of balance, as well as neurological disease or some illnesses. Having your vet perform a complete examination is needed to determine the exact cause.

Weight loss can refer to the actual loss of fat and weight on your dog, or may also be due to the loss of muscle tone in the body. If there is a problem with one of the limbs, it may be that the weight loss you are seeing is actually loss of muscle in that area. Weight loss can again be caused by a wide range of problems from neurologic disease, illness, parasites or disease. Making an appointment with your vet is best.

Q. How do I know if my pet is overweight?
ANSWER : A. There are many ways to determine if your pet is overweight: breed standards, body condition score (BCS), body fat index (BFI), and morphometric measurements. These tools are used to determine how overweight a pet is, as well as to determine how much to feed to reach the pet’s ideal weight. Most weight loss programs fail because food dose calculations are based on inaccurate estimations of ideal body weight.

Current methods of estimating ideal body weight (body condition score/ guessing) are most likely to underestimate % body fat and therefore overestimate ideal weight, which leads to overfeeding. Pets are being overdosed on food because of inaccurate estimations of ideal body weight.

To determine body condition score it’s often helpful to have a scale from 1-5 to compare to: http://www.hillspet.com/weight-management/pet-weight-score.html. This scale is based on your ability to feel or see the ribs, the size of your dog or cat’s waist, and the appearance of the abdomen.

An overweight animal can be predisposed to several health conditions including high blood pressure, arthritis, endocrine disorders such as diabetes, and hypothyroidism. This is why it is important to determine an ideal weight for your pet and work hard to maintain a healthy weight.

Q. My pet eats too much. I need to know when and how much to feed him. Any advice?
ANSWER : A. If you feed your pet a commercial food, most food bags have a feeding guideline on the side to help you know how much to give. This is a good baseline and is usually based on your pet’s weight or age. Once you start with this amount, you can adjust the amount of food given as needed – if your pet seems to gobble his food and is losing weight or is more active, then increasing the amount is good. If your pet picks at his food or appears to be putting on the pounds, reducing the amount can help. The amount to give is usually best fed broken up into several smaller meals throughout the day rather than one big meal. For most adult animals, feeding once in the morning and once at night is enough. Smaller dogs or young animals may need a third meal mid-day as well. Switching out treats for healthier options may also help prevent overeating or weight gain. If you feel your pet cannot safely lose or gain weight on his own, then making an appointment with your vet can help!

Q. My 16 year old indoor cat has lost most of her body weight in the last couple of weeks. I think she may have worms. What do I do?
ANSWER : A. Weight loss can be a serious sign of many underlying conditions in older cats, most notably metabolic issues such as thyroid disease or organ dysfunction. If no worms are visible in her stool, bringing in a stool sample to check for them, or making a wellness exam to check for any other causes of the weight loss are best to help find why your cat is losing weight prior to just treating for worms.

If worms are present, then determining the type of worms they are is the next step. Worms generally cause digestive upset in cats such as vomiting or loose stools in addition to weight loss in large infections. The two most common types include roundworms (long spaghetti-like strands) and tapeworms (small rice grain segments). Roundworms can generally be cured with any over the counter wormer, however tapeworms need a wormer specific to them to be given. Tapeworms are also spread via contact with fleas, so starting a flea prevention treatment can help prevent further infections. Cleaning all bedding and the environment your cat is in will also help for any type of internal parasite infection.

Q. My pet is overweight, what should I look for in a food?
ANSWER : A. There are many therapeutic food options available. These foods have been formulated to provide the proper nutrients with controlled calories or formulated to alter metabolism, so the pet will lose weight. Using over-the-counter wellness foods is not advised for weight loss. They have not been formulated for weight loss, so while calories can be restricted; nutrients will also be restricted, which could result in deficiencies in important nutrients, such as protein, minerals or vitamins.

There are many options for weight loss foods. There are restricted calories and fat foods; typically calories are replaced with fiber, water or air to give a feeling of fullness. The pet can eat the same amount, but receive fewer calories. There are weight loss foods that alter metabolism. High protein foods have been used successfully to alter metabolism to burn fat. Research has been completed using neutrogenomic technology to alter metabolism in dogs and cats.

Q. My 11 yr old cat craves feeding all day even tho he has free choice dry and 1/2 can 2x daily. He’s been de-wormed. What causes this issue?
ANSWER : A. A voracious appetite coupled with weight loss or no weight gain can be a sign of diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Many older cats have hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid gland produces too much hormone and causes the cat’s metabolism to run much higher than normal. This puts extra strain on the heart and kidneys and causes weight loss, even if the cat is still eating well. I recommend getting your cat in to see your vet for an exam and labwork. Hyperthyroidism is easily treatable with medication and regular monitoring to make sure the medication is getting the thyroid levels into the correct range.

Read Full Q/A … : Vomiting in Cats – VetInfo