Can dog have heart attack?

dixiesmomMarch 30, 2007

My lab is 14 years old and has lost most of her hearing. She has just recently developed an intense fear of thunderstorms. Since I have to work and leave her alone, I'm worried she may have a heart attack. She is in otherwise good health for her age. During a storm She paces and pants to the point, I'm afraid she'll drop dead from exhaustion. I hate to give her any drugs, as she has had a close call with her liver when the vet gave her Rimadyl.

By the way if you have a lab DO NOT give them Rimadyl. Labs have a tendency for liver and kidney failure on Rimadyl. Some dogs may tolerate it, but a few will not. I was one of the unlucky ones. Don't take the chance. Ask your vet for tramadol .

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I think so.

Ask your vet about Rescue Remedy or Kava.

Here is a link that might be useful: kava

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 12:53PM
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"By the way if you have a lab DO NOT give them Rimadyl. Labs have a tendency for liver and kidney failure on Rimadyl. Some dogs may tolerate it, but a few will not. I was one of the unlucky ones. Don't take the chance. Ask your vet for tramadol."

Is this some sort of professional advice given with actual facts or just because your dog is one of those particular cases in which the medication has undesirable side effects ?

99% of the population can take Penicilin, only 1% of the population is allergic to it, that doesn´t mean that penicilin is bad for the remaining 99% of the population.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 1:04PM
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I did quiet a bit of research on it at the time, and later my vet told me it was the rimadyl. There is quiet a bit of info on the internet about it. You are right it is not ALL labs, but if I had known, I would not have taken the chance. After losing her appetite, I was petting her and the whites of her eyes were as yellow as lemons. I called the vet and she was in the ER within the hour. I would have never known.

here are some links;

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 2:14PM
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My old gal had the same type of problem with the Rimadyl. Still has liver problems thanks to that drug, but she is one of the lucky ones. She survived, some have not. She is not a lab, but in doing research at the time, I do remember that labs have a higher incidence of problems with this drug.

It is interesting that since your dog has lost it's hearing that her storm phobia began. Our old gal has had storm phobia for 11 years, but has gotten to the point of needing medication for it since she has gone deaf.

We tried the Rescue Remedy and a whole slew of other stuff with no results, hence the meds. I know that some on this forum will probably blast me for using the meds, but this old gal is almost 15 and I will do all that I can to make her last remaining time with us as pleasant as possible. Good luck in finding a solution that works for you and your gal.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 2:35PM
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It´s not problem of the medication, it´s problem of the vet for not informing the client that the patient may suffer from undesirable side effects caused by the medication. Every medication can have undesirable side effects, it´s the duty of the vet to know these side effects and to inform the client of this.

If your vet didn´t inform you of the possible side effects he´s the one to blame for the condition, not the medication.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 2:45PM
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raul in mexico- what is up? Do you work for Pfizer or have their stock? My vet did all the appropriate testing before the drug was given. All liver and kidney tests were normal before Rimadyl. I was informed of what Pfizer was saying 8 years ago, that the incidence of liver and kidney problems was small, so we opted to give it a chance. How was I or my vet wrong in our decision? The medication is the only thing that caused my dogs liver condition. It was so evident that my vet reported this to the FDA.

Some dogs have had no problems with Rimadyl. Great for them, but every owner that puts their dog on this medication, takes a risk. There are much better drugs on the market now without the side effects of liver and kidney damage or failure.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 4:19PM
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I don't think raul is disputing the fact that the drug did damage to your dog. However, to make a statement "if you have a lab do not use..." is going too far. I take many medications that keep me alive and they all have side effects but I take the risk to save my life. In fact all drugs have side effects of some sort. Unfortunately many vets have very little pharmacological info and don't inform the patients human of the risks involved. So you were never given a choice, or given informed consent and that's the vets fault. I fortunately have a pharmacist who lets me know all the problems.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 5:11PM
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Back to the origional question. "Can a dog have a heart attack?"

Yes. They can.

As for the Rimadyl issue. I was told at least 10 years ago that it could have a negative side effect on my Lab/Shepherd. I only used it when nothing else would work (she had hip dysplasia). I have had 8 vets in 16 years, they ALL said the same thing. That is, Labs COULD have a more negative response to it. I didn't want to take the chance by using it very much.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 7:25PM
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I just called the attention on a statement which is not 100% accurate, like: "There are much better drugs on the market now without the side effects of liver and kidney damage or failure."

Are they really better ? no medication is 100% safe, that´s a fact, other drugs may not have the side effects of liver and/or kidney damage but they have other side effects that can be as undesirable as the possibility of liver and/or kidney failure.

Why we know so much about Rimadyl now ? because it has been in the market long enough to be used extensively and as the medication is used and as there are more users the skeletons hiding in the closet begin to appear, other similar medications that have not been so long in the market apparently have no skeletons hiding in the closet, that doesn´t mean they are better/safer, that means the skeletons haven´t come out of the closet yet; as time goes by and the population of users increase the skeletons eventually appear. The history of pharmacology is filled with examples: penicilin, aspirin, cloramfenicol, gentamicin, kanamicin, enrofloxacin, carprofen, metamizol, etc, etc, etc, each and every one of them represents a potential risk if used, but if there´s no other option and the benefits are greater than the potential damage they are well worth taken in consideration. So it´s not THIS medication, it´s all the medications.

And BTW, I don´t work for Pfizer nor have a large stock of their products.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 7:33PM
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I found this link that may help out the theory of the dog and the heart attack. A vet I used to work for said no they dont have heart attacks. I had a dog pass away many years ago and his vet said he had a heart attack, Go figure.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 10:59PM
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It's not just the Rimadyl but all NSAIDS that can have adverse effects on the liver. That was why I chose to use Metacam with my Dobe. It seems to be metabilized better and doesn't cause as many reactions. Thing is when your dog is in pain you have to give them something, can't let them suffer, even at the risk you may cause some damage if you have to use something as strong as a NSAID.

As far as heart attacks I don't think that's technically what happens but I'm not sure, Raul or Meghane could explain that better. My Dobe had a horrible phobia about thunderstorms. Someone told me about a website called I checked them out and thought it was the biggest crock I had ever seen but she was so panicky I was willing to try anything for her so I ordered one. I'll be danged if it didn't work. She was about 80% better wearing the thing. This company's theory is that the dog is reacting to the static discharges in the air from the lightening. The lining in the cape discharges that so the dog doesn't react. Sounds like voodoo but it really did make her much more comfortable and I didn't have to drug her anymore.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 8:28AM
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i took my dog in to vet doc check him and said he has Afib she listen to his heart and did a EKG she put him on digoxin and diltiazem and lasix. no blood test was taken, shouldn't the vet took blood to check it see what might be wrong or the cause? my cuz has the same thing and doc check his blood and my cuz and my dog both take digox and diltiazem, lasix. so i am wondering if my dogs blood should of been checked or not.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:14PM
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Doing blood work is always a good idea when doing health evaluations on patients, but most blood tests will tell little to nothing about the cause or for monitoring the progress of a cardiac condition. For evaluating the heart best, ECGs, radiographs and Echocardiograms are by far the more useful tests.

However, long term Lasix can effect the kidneys, so pets on Lasix should have their blood monitored now and then for signs of kidney changes.

As for dogs having heart attacks, few dogs get coronary artery disease like humans do, but dogs can still develop cardiomyopathy or acute worsening of chronic heart failure and suddenly die from these conditions, mimicking a heart attack, though these conditions are not 'true heart attacks', but rather conditions in which the heart gives out and fails (end result can be the same).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:04AM
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dog was playing like a normal dog would play, he had clean bill of health beginning of the 3weeks. then in to the 3rd week this afib started up.
can a normal heart rhythm go to chaotic rhythm at anytime? the cause is (AFIB), and can it go back to normal beat again?

thx chris

whats the difference from EKG to a ECG?
they did a EKG on my dog that told the doc what type of meds to use. but the meds not doing much of anything he actually seems to be doing worse, how i know this is from me falling asleep early forgot to give he med dose one night because iv been waking up every 3hrs to check on him and to let him sleep outside, anyhow the dose i missed that night he slept all night and he seemed happier his tail was mostly up instead of down. but his heart still beating the same sounds like bunch animals running i cant even count the beats it's like chaotic beating makes it hard to count. so doc told me to give him a lower does he act like he feels a little better but he has his bad episodes once or twice a day. it's sad when he goes through these episodes the looks on his face is not good.

thx chris

This post was edited by chrisEbelt on Sun, May 11, 14 at 16:02

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 5:54AM
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EKG is the same as ECG, only ECG is English (not sure what EKG is... German?).

ECGs have their uses for sure, but I would not treat a dog solely on the basis of an ECG unless a cardiologist was in charge.

Atrial fibrillation has several possible causes but most involve some previous cardiac disease. Does your pet have any underlying heart condition (often diagnosed by ultrasound)? Is his heart rate too fast now? What medications is he on? Without knowing WHY your pet has Afib, it will be difficult to accurately manage it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:24AM
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