Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart Average Cost

From 51 quotes ranging from $2,500 - 8,000

Average Cost

$5,000

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What is Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart?

In the normal anatomy of a canine, there is the presence of a very thin membrane surrounding the heart which serves as protection. A small amount of fluid is required to act as a lubricant; it is abnormal and dangerous when fluid builds up continually (and in many cases rapidly), causing the heart to become enlarged. When this happens, there can be compression of the esophagus, bronchi or lungs. Intracardiac pressure, affecting the heart itself, leads to decreased filling of the heart, decreased cardiac output and subsequently, shock to the system. Examples of causes for pleural effusion may be infection or right-sided heart failure. Prognosis varies and it must be considered a life-threatening condition.

When there is an accumulation of fluid within the pericardial sac, it is known as pericardial effusion. How much this abnormality will affect your pet will depend on the rate of fluid flow into the sac as well as the amount of fluid that accumulates.

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Symptoms of Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart in Dogs

Symptoms can evolve to a dangerous level whereby the situation becomes life threatening. These are the signs you may see in your pet, depending on the extent of the effusion.

  • Loss of appetite or willingness to eat
  • Lethargy
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pale mucus membranes
  • Abdominal distention
  • Collapse

Types

Fluid buildup in the sac surrounding the heart can happen due to congenital illnesses (present at birth) or due to acquired diseases that develop throughout life. The effusion can be chronic and of a progressive nature, or acute which means the event came on suddenly.

Causes of Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart in Dogs

Some of the recognized reasons for pericardial effusion are:

  • Tumor
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Migrating foreign body such as Foxtail
  • Mitral valve disease which causes left atrial rupture; small breeds are predisposed
  • Coagulation disorders
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Congenital hernia
  • Idiopathic hemorrhagic pericardial effusion; large and giant breeds are prone

It is documented that German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are predisposed to a fluid buildup in the pericardial sac.

Diagnosis of Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart in Dogs

The physical examination performed by the veterinarian will include listening to the heart and taking the pulse, two indicators of the heart’s performance. The pulse of your dog will most likely be poor or low if he is in a state of advanced pericardial effusion. The heart sounds that the veterinarian is trying to distinguish will most likely be of a muffled nature because of the volume of fluid buildup. If there is right side heart failure, there may be jugular vein distortion apparent during the exam.

Standard tests that will be ordered are the blood chemical profile, complete blood count, and urinalysis. Tests that will give further diagnostic leads are radiographs. Abdominal x-rays could show fluid in the abdomen as well, and thoracic x-rays  can show the heart size and signs of metastatic disease if this is the case. An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound that can clearly identify fluid buildup and determine present functioning state of the heart, and can show other problems such as a hernia. An electrocardiograph will tell the veterinarian the state of electrical activity in your pet’s heart.

Treatment of Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart in Dogs

The treatment for pericardial effusion is pretty straightforward in that the essential need is to remove the excess fluid from the sac surrounding the heart. However, as simple as it sounds, it can be complicated if the amount of fluid has caused further developments and damage to the body of your dog. Cardiac tamponade for example, is when the fluid causes compression to the heart, a very severe situation resulting from the fluid buildup. Right side heart failure can occur, which promotes the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. The removal of fluid is done by a procedure called a pericardiocentesis. A needle or catheter is inserted into the sac around the heart, aspirating the liquid. In cases where there is fluid in the abdomen as well, this will be taken out in addition.

Some canines will need surgery if the effusion returns. A pericardiectomy involves making a window in the sac which allows the continuous flow of liquid to move into the chest cavity. It should be noted that both of these procedures can have a good to poor prognosis, depending on the body’s response to the treatment. Of course, as with any procedure involving the heart especially, there are risks and the possibility of failure. In the instance of an infection, parasitic invasion, or underlying disease process, the appropriate measures in the form of antibiotics or medication will be addressed.

Recovery of Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart in Dogs

There are chances that your pet may not recover from a heart procedure. However, it depends on the cause. Parasitic invasion, infection, and hernia can have a successful recovery depending on the extent of the problem. If your beloved pet has a tumor that is slow growing, he may have a fair to good prognosis. If your pet has pericardial effusion that keeps returning, the situation may be described as poor to guarded because continual effusion can change the pliability of the heart sac making it vulnerable to disease. Your veterinarian will do her best to prolong the life of your pet as long as the quality of life we all want for them is there.

Fluid Buildup in the Sac Surrounding the Heart Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Dutches
Pit bull
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Larthargic, vomit, no appetite, whi
Larthargic

My Boston Terrier just turned seven years old. I woke up one day and she did not want to get up from the floor I gave her water and she was drinking it very slowly I then refilled it 2 more times and then she laid down again and isn’t want to go for her usual walk. I chk her gums and they were white so I took her to the E.R and within 5 minutes the doctors came back to tell me that she has fluid in her heart and they had to drain it and I had to take her to see a cardiologist, or I had to put her down. Because I just lost my job and the cost just to remove the fluid was almost $2,000 after asking the Doctor 3X if she was sure if it was a tumor she said most likely but the fluid was going to keep coming back. I decided to put her down. That was 2 days ago and now I’m wondering if it was the right decision or could I have more test done. How did the doctor know in less then 5 minutes she had fluid in her heart?

It's January 18, 2020, 3:11 p.m. on a grey and chilly winter afternoon. My middle-aged boy lies on the floor to my left while I lay on the couch writing this, watching my two older kiddos (6 and 8) playing XBox, and trying to figure out my next move. Let's back up a bit.

Approximately 10 days after my "pup" turned 9 yrs old, in August of 2019, he declined with dizzying rapidity. Perfectly fine, strong, energetic and racing my UTV at over 25 mph, he suddenly began laboring in his breathing, swelling in the belly, whining with certain movements, refusing to eat, and "drooping" in every way. His breed is a working breed with low "inbreeding" and has an average life of 15 years. I was baffled.

As with Dutchess and the others, we raced off to the vet when he became nearly unresponsive in his normal ways. We were told he was critical and the vet feared fluid around the heart and were sent to the Vet-ER. There, a thoracic x-ray was performed and fluid, an enlarged heart, concerning "lumps" on the splean and heart were noted. He also had some preliminary blood work done that provided some tell-tale cancer "markers" that I cannot, now recall. We were told he was terminal and that procedures could delay the inevitable, but that was all. The ER vet recommended putting him down.

It's hard to described how stunned and emotional I was with my 4 kids (8,6,4, and 3, at that time) in the tiny exam room. We were not "prepared" for this, in any sense of the word. So, we drove off to the Vet-Cardio-ER and had an echo performed. It was about 10 minutes from arriving at the front desk to sitting in another exam room with the same information, now "confirmed" to the best of their expert opinion. My boy likely suffered from a metastasized cancer effecting heart, splean, who-knows-what else, a tumor in the heart likely caused the sac to fill (pleural effusion, I think it was), and then leaked out of the sac into the abdomen leading to the abdominal distension and finalizing the symptoms related to discomfort (loss of appetite, lethargy, whining, labored breathing). The filled sac put pressure on his heart, and if we didn't drain asap, he was not expected to make it. Putting him down was a very understandable choice, she assured.

We ordered the drain and he was treated immediately. She left the abdomen alone, assuring us that the fluid would reabsorb. We were told to come back in about a week for further testing and to consider further surgical approaches, if hopeful. We were given a 6 month prognosis even with continuation of all-best efforts.

His recovery was beautiful and within the week he was about his normal self again. Our bill, around $4,000.00 for the three vet locations combined. We had lots of somber, serious talks about what was reasonable for the family moving forward. We cancelled the follow-up vet visit which would have included another echo and bloodwork, and began to look toward a longer term solution. Our boy lives on the farm with us and is a herder who had even directly saved our eldest when she was a toddler running toward the road chased (very ineffectively) by my 9 month pregnant wife at the time while I was at the office. Our boy read the situation, ran around the front of our runaway and knocked her down. He has worked well for us, and protects the home at approximately 80 lbs of loving, loyal, devoted muscle. There's a lot of emotion involved here (I actually purchased him as a pup 3 months before our eldest girl was born and raised them together), BUT there is a lot of work to still be done in all the areas that he's worked with us.

So, we found a brilliant breeder, and bought another male Beauceron pup for our dying boy to "rear". Our new pup was born on my wife's birthday, the very night we visited the breeder and met the pregnant dam.

The plan has been phenomenal, so gratifying. The two boys love each other. Our older boy (dog) has been himself completely all this time. He really has influenced the socialization and training of our now 4.5 month old boy (who is brilliant, beautiful, and hardworking).

And now, our older boy lays by my side in day two of a tragically familiar struggle of distended belly, reduced activity, labored breathing, smelly emissions, and long and "knowing" gazes at me. It's been 5 months. We had the talk last night. My wife is at work now, saving actual human lives (she is a surgeon, and on-call at the moment).

I don't know what we'll do, I just cannot accept that I'll put this amazing middle-aged pup down. Is another 5 months of this awesomeness worth another few thousand? At the end of that, another few thousand for another 5 or fewer?

I hate that the reality is money, but I have to be honest, when the fluid is drained he is perfect, strong, energetic, clear-headed, and swift. It's solely about the money. And this awesome dog's life might need to be forfeited because of it. But, there are 4 human children, 2 adults, goats, chickens, ducks, and 2 more dogs that are supported off of this finite funding.

It's brutal.

But, the vets are not making this stuff up, or tricking anyone into forced, emergency euthenasia.

This has just happened to my dog (2 days ago). I desperately wanted to find a solution. However, when they explained the likelihood of a tumour and we considered the discomfort he could be in to keep having serious interventions, with the high likelihood of a return of the fluid, we took the painful decision to have him put down. It all happened so quickly and he was fine in the morning but couldn’t walk and was breathing so heavily by the afternoon. I’m still in shock but believe it was the right thing to do for him, however devastating for us.

Why we do this to ourselves, knowing the pain that is inevitably to come, is beyond me. All I can say is that once some time has passed, I will remember with great love the wonderful life we shared, with him as an integral part of it. Hopefully to go on and adopt another dog when I have come to terms with this more and can face thinking about it.

Hi dutches. This happened to my dog today and I’m wondering the same thing. This was an acute onset after determining the fluid was blood, they said he had cancer. They drained the fluid and said he may recover but that it would happen again and gave him a shirt time to live. I decided to take my chances and was going to have him monitored to make sure fluid didn’t build back up and then bring him home. They called me 5 minutes after I left saying the fluid was now in his abdomen and surgery was needed immediately which most people don’t do OR it was recommended that he be put down. It happened so fast and now my spunky energetic beagle bulldog of 10 years is gone. I’m left wondering wtf just happened but I do know that the onset was bad today and I wouldn’t want him to have to be in pain ultimately to have to do this in a month or two. But I’m just trying not to process it all bc it happened in a matter of 2 hours. I felt glad that he wasn’t in pain and glad that I was with him when he passed but now I’m just wishing I had more time.

I’m so sorry. That’s ridiculous that they would charge you that much to remove fluid

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Scruffles
Maltese
12 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Labored breathing, pain, weakness,

Our beloved Maltese went to the new vet for a routine allergy shot of cytopoint. Within 6 hours of getting the shot, he had lots of inflammation and threw up yellow phlegm as well as went diarrhea three or four times in a row. This was followed by intense labored breathing and he paced at night and cried in discomfort. so I brought him back to the new veterinarian and she thought he had an infection. I told her he was bloated so she gave him antibiotics and gas medicine for his stomach. Four days after that he showed no signs of improvement and his breathing was still very labored. So I took him to another veterinarian who immediately took an x-ray and found him to have fluid around the heart which was impinging into his lungs and esophagus. I was referred to a specialist who gave him an ultrasound and an echocardiogram which he said showed a mass within the right ventricle at the AV junction. It measured 17 x 19 mm and was hypo Echoic. There was a large amount of pericardial effusion and tamponade also a mild amount of plural effusion. He told me the prognosis was grave and he might only live 1 to 3 months with intermittent removal of fluid. We Took him to yet another veterinarian for her opinion and were told that she would euthanize it if it was her dog as the pain would worsen and he would surely die.
So two weeks from the initial acute pericardial effusion, our dog was euthanized. My question is, shouldnt The specialist who did the ultrasound have given us options regarding having a biopsy or removal? We were told that a pericardiocentesis could be done however the dog would still surely die within 1-3 months. My question is as follows: was the location of the mass in an area that was not operable? Or might the tumor have been biopsied? I can’t sleep at night because I feel like he wasn’t given a fighting chance... We feel terrible

Scruffles owner:

I shared our experience on a post similar to yours. I hope this helps in some way.

It's January 18, 2020, 3:11 p.m. on a grey and chilly winter afternoon. My middle-aged boy lies on the floor to my left while I lay on the couch writing this, watching my two older kiddos (6 and 8) playing XBox, and trying to figure out my next move. Let's back up a bit. Approximately 10 days after my "pup" turned 9 yrs old, in August of 2019, he declined with dizzying rapidity. Perfectly fine, strong, energetic and racing my UTV at over 25 mph, he suddenly began laboring in his breathing, swelling in the belly, whining with certain movements, refusing to eat, and "drooping" in every way. His breed is a working breed with low "inbreeding" and has an average life of 15 years. I was baffled. As with Dutchess and the others, we raced off to the vet when he became nearly unresponsive in his normal ways. We were told he was critical and the vet feared fluid around the heart and were sent to the Vet-ER. There, a thoracic x-ray was performed and fluid, an enlarged heart, concerning "lumps" on the splean and heart were noted. He also had some preliminary blood work done that provided some tell-tale cancer "markers" that I cannot, now recall. We were told he was terminal and that procedures could delay the inevitable, but that was all. The ER vet recommended putting him down. It's hard to described how stunned and emotional I was with my 4 kids (8,6,4, and 3, at that time) in the tiny exam room. We were not "prepared" for this, in any sense of the word. So, we drove off to the Vet-Cardio-ER and had an echo performed. It was about 10 minutes from arriving at the front desk to sitting in another exam room with the same information, now "confirmed" to the best of their expert opinion. My boy likely suffered from a metastasized cancer effecting heart, splean, who-knows-what else, a tumor in the heart likely caused the sac to fill (pleural effusion, I think it was), and then leaked out of the sac into the abdomen leading to the abdominal distension and finalizing the symptoms related to discomfort (loss of appetite, lethargy, whining, labored breathing). The filled sac put pressure on his heart, and if we didn't drain asap, he was not expected to make it. Putting him down was a very understandable choice, she assured. We ordered the drain and he was treated immediately. She left the abdomen alone, assuring us that the fluid would reabsorb. We were told to come back in about a week for further testing and to consider further surgical approaches, if hopeful. We were given a 6 month prognosis even with continuation of all-best efforts. His recovery was beautiful and within the week he was about his normal self again. Our bill, around $4,000.00 for the three vet locations combined. We had lots of somber, serious talks about what was reasonable for the family moving forward. We cancelled the follow-up vet visit which would have included another echo and bloodwork, and began to look toward a longer term solution. Our boy lives on the farm with us and is a herder who had even directly saved our eldest when she was a toddler running toward the road chased (very ineffectively) by my 9 month pregnant wife at the time while I was at the office. Our boy read the situation, ran around the front of our runaway and knocked her down. He has worked well for us, and protects the home at approximately 80 lbs of loving, loyal, devoted muscle. There's a lot of emotion involved here (I actually purchased him as a pup 3 months before our eldest girl was born and raised them together), BUT there is a lot of work to still be done in all the areas that he's worked with us. So, we found a brilliant breeder, and bought another male Beauceron pup for our dying boy to "rear". Our new pup was born on my wife's birthday, the very night we visited the breeder and met the pregnant dam. The plan has been phenomenal, so gratifying. The two boys love each other. Our older boy (dog) has been himself completely all this time. He really has influenced the socialization and training of our now 4.5 month old boy (who is brilliant, beautiful, and hardworking). And now, our older boy lays by my side in day two of a tragically familiar struggle of distended belly, reduced activity, labored breathing, smelly emissions, and long and "knowing" gazes at me. It's been 5 months. We had the talk last night. My wife is at work now, saving actual human lives (she is a surgeon, and on-call at the moment). I don't know what we'll do, I just cannot accept that I'll put this amazing middle-aged pup down. Is another 5 months of this awesomeness worth another few thousand? At the end of that, another few thousand for another 5 or fewer? I hate that the reality is money, but I have to be honest, when the fluid is drained he is perfect, strong, energetic, clear-headed, and swift. It's solely about the money. And this awesome dog's life might need to be forfeited because of it. But, there are 4 human children, 2 adults, goats, chickens, ducks, and 2 more dogs that are supported off of this finite funding. It's brutal. But, the vets are not making this stuff up, or tricking anyone into forced, emergency euthenasia.

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/condition/fluid-buildup-in-the-sac-surrounding-the-heart

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Barkley
Saint Bernard
6 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Low Energy
Fluid on lungs and around heart
Temp ranging from 101 to 105
Was previously coughing, sneezing, gag
Has appetite back and drinking

Medication Used

Clavamox antibiotic- oral
diuretic
Prednisone 20mg
Doxycycline

Barkley became very lethargic 5 days ago and didn't eat or drink for 2 days. Vet kept him for observation and did blood work. Lungs were raspy but blood work was all pretty boring. Chest xray revealed fluid on lungs and around heart. They also revealed atleast one mass in neck/throat area. He was coughing,sneezing,gagging and drooling up until 2 days ago. Vet wanted me to euthanize him on Monday. He had a lasix shot and continued prednisone and antibiotics. He regained appetite and felt a little better for two days. Temp is normal now on antibiotics and prednisone only but breathing has started to get heavy and fast again I'm guessing due to fluid building up again. We're waiting for referral to diagnostics. Are we fighting a losing battle? Are his meds what he should be on while waiting? Prednisone vs anti inflammatory?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Without examining Barkley myself it is difficult to weigh in to say whether it is worth visiting a Specialist or not, however in the meantime you should continue with the current course of treatment prescribed by your Veterinarian until you see the Specialist; it isn’t good to keep changing treatment leading up to a Specialist appointment. Prednisone is used to treat inflammatory conditions due to its properties so there would be no issue there, for now wait for the Specialist appointment and see what they have to say; if there is a worsening of symptoms you should return to your Veterinarian for an examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tigger
Boxer
12 Years
Critical condition
1 found helpful
Critical condition

Tigger was seen yesterday and diagnosed with right side arithmic cardiomiopothy. However, an X-ray of his heart didn't show much - could only see the fluid surrounding it. He's on 4 medications now with Solix also prescribed but not get filled.

Is it possible to reduce the fluid and make him more comfortable with these meds? Our vet seemed very concerned with any surgical option.

In addition to the fluid around his heart, he also has fluid in his stomach area.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy is a predisposed genetic heart disease in boxers; medical therapy for pericardial effusion (fluid in the pericardial sac) is rarely effective, with surgical aspiration being the management of choice along with management of the underlying condition. Supportive care and supplementation is the management method of choice; antiarrhythmics and omega-3 fatty acids are generally indicated in this condition. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.ufaw.org.uk/dogs/boxer-arrhythmogenic-right-ventricular-cardiomyopathy http://discoveryspace.upei.ca/cidd/disorder/arrhythmogenic-right-ventricular-cardiomyopathy-arvc-boxer-cardiomyopathy

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Kane
Golden Retriever
8 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic
sad

Hi Doc
Kane presented to the emergency service for lethargy and inappetence. He was seen by our primary veterinarian first, where radiographs revealed suspected fluid in the chest, abdomena and around the heart. Blood work performed noted mild elevation in the white blood cell count, and mild elevation in one of the liver enzymes. Kane was then taken to Medvet and a physical examination fluid in the abdomen, thorax, and pericardium were noted. The fluid in the abdomen was noted to be clear, while fluid in the pericardium was noted to be hemorrhagic.

After discussing diagnostics, such as clotting times, echocardiogram and hospitalization for monitoring and supportive care. We have unfortunately declined these options because of financial concern.

Prior to discharge we had a percardiocentesis done and Kane had 290 ml of hemorrhagic fluid pulled from his pericardial sac. His heart rate improved dramatically

They want us to bring Kane back in for a cardiology test... what do you think we should do!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

Whilst I understand your financial situation, I would recommend visiting a Cardiologist as the fluid accumulation in the pericardial sac needs to be effectively managed or treated; fluid has been removed but will likely return, the danger is that fluid or blood accumulating in the pericardial sac will reduce the space the heart has to expand and will stop the heart filling with blood which will reduce overall cardiac output. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Athena
Alaskan Husky
8 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy

Is a partial pericardiectomy a viable option for a dog who suddenly has pericardial effusion which is likely due to an AV groove cardiac mass? No signs or symptoms other than the effusion which had to be drained a second time 11 days after the first.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
A partial pericardiectomy is a viable option for pericardial effusion especially if it is recurring often, during the surgery your Veterinarian may also be able to take a biopsy sample from the mass to confirm the diagnosis. You should discuss with your Veterinarian and consultation with a Specialist may also be useful. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Harley
Flat-Coated Retriever Mix
10 Years
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Medication Used

none

My 70lb retriever mix went to ER on Sunday. Pericardial effusion, and idiopathic effusion. No masses found. The sac was drained. All tests came back negative for cancer, however blood was found in the fluid. No abdominal ultrasounds or x-rays were done. He's home now and recovering. Follow up with vet 2 days later: did tri-view chest x-rays, which showed some fluid on the left front of his heart. The ER notes don't mention that they didn't retrieve all the fluid at that time. Vitals are still good, however, he is not energetic & has difficulty getting his back lets to want to work. Meaning getting up from a laying position is difficult. He walks ok, once he's standing. This is new since the ER. There is normal evacuation and voiding, though, just no stamina and increased difficulty in getting up. He was a very "peppy" dog only a few hours before the "attack", so, this is dis-heartening.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
The most common cause of pericardial effusion is due to cancer, but if no masses were detected then possible causes may include infections or inflammation; physical drainage or identification and treatment of the underlying cause are common methods of management. However, in idiopathic cases where a cause cannot be determined a pericardial window may be performed to allow drainage of fluid into the thoracic cavity. I cannot comment or think of a reason why Harley is having trouble getting up, but should be evaluated again by your Veterinarian to monitor progress. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I'm feeling like a nervous, first-time mom ! At age 10, before this event, he was in very good health (well, APPEARED and acted in very good health), would the window be a viable thing to do? I realize with older people, sedation, trauma, etc, cause a slow recuperation. Am I just "rushing" his recovery time?

Oh, and the echo-cardiogram at the ER was good. Blood counts good, glucose, etc, good.

Thank you. Could there have been damage to the heart from this event? In the diagnosis from ER (he stayed one night there), tamponade (?) was a word that was used. All ultra sounds, fluid evaluation, and x-ray showed no obvious cancer. Once he gets himself up, he's good to walk. He wants to get excited about play with a ball, but, has energy to get to it & then fast walk once around the sofa, then lays down again (keeping the ball, lol). If he lays down for any length of time, getting up is especially slow. All new. Would an abdominal x-ray be worthwhile? That would then mean that his entire body would have been imaged. I am leaning toward the window idea. My vet is talking to a surgeon about it. If he's cancer-free, I'm hoping that would help his heart function immensely and also get the rest of him "moving" again. By the way, appetite still very good and digestion good - void & evacuation good.

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Fifi
Shih Tzu
16 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Tired, slow, crying/whimpering...

My dog was 16, almost 17 when I had her put down due to fluid build up. She was on 3 diff pills and one was lasix and forgot the other two names. One started with a V and came in an orange box. She was on these pills for about 10 months and was getting worse.... I didn't have the money to get the fluid drained more than a couple times. She had went to ER bc she passed out etc and that's how I found out about her fluid around her heart. I did everything I could to help her, but her quality of life seemed to be going. I do wonder if I were wealthy and could have the fluids drained often if she would have lived longer and been happier. Today is the day she passed two years ago and I her guilt about putting her down... The vet said the mess she was on were serious and it's like puttin a bannaid on something just to keep her going. The vet that put her down said she looked like she wasn't happy and friends too!!! I'm wondering if the mess was messing up here organs and I did the right thing or if I just could have her fluid drained more often would she have had a good enough quality of life to kee her going and not put her down. Did I do the right thing! ? I didn't want it to be too late or too early 💔

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
I think that you did the right thing. When dogs in heart failure get to the point where they have to have fluid drained from their chest, they are starting to suffer, and that fluid can't be removed forever. At some point they can't breath, and they can lose enough fluid that way to affect the rest of their body. It seems that you did a kind thing for Fifi by letting her go, and finances would not have made a difference in her situation.

My beloved 10 year old silky terrier has overcome disc issues and diabetes and was always a fighter. Yesterday he wouldn't eat at all and just laid in his bed for 7 straight hours just going outside for a few steps to relieve himself. I thought he just had a stomach ache again but my vet was doing an ultrasound and found a lot of fluid around the heart which she said was a tumor. I asked if it was time to let him go and she said yes. I am of course heartbroken but they have done a great job of keeping him alive and healthy the last few years. She said she couldn't even hear his heart beat because of the buildup. I guess I want to make myself feel better that she made the right decision to put him down?

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Misty
Jack Russell Terrier
12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic
Laboured breathing , lethargic

My jack russell had problems breathing, very lethargic,sick and not drinking. Vet diagnosed an irregular heart beat and a build up of fluid at the bottom of the heart and lungs. She is 1w years old and on a low dose ofnsteroids in the summer for being allergic to almost everything.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
I'm sorry to hear that this is happening to Misty. She may need to see a cardiologist to determine what is going on with her heart, and if there is any treatment available for her. I hope that she is okay.

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Rizzo
German Shepherd
8 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Fluid around Heart

Rizzo was diagnosed with fluid around the heart when we took her in for continual vomiting. She was prescribed anti-nausea medication and we were told that she "could" have cancer. We took it upon ourselves (after looking online for causes) to have another vet run a stool sample.....took over a week to come back normal. I don't know what to do because she was 94 pounds and has lost at least 20 pounds in 3 weeks. She cant keep anything down....even the pills. HELP DOC!!!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without seeing Rizzo, I am unfortunately unable to offer much assistance in what might be going on with her. I'm not sure what your original veterinarian saw that made them think that she might have cancer, or where they thought that caner might be. Fluid around the heart is not normal, and needs to be treated. If she is losing weight that quickly, and continues to vomit, she needs to have treatment, I agree with you. It would be a good idea to either have a recheck with one of the veterinarians that you have seen, or ask for a referral to a specialist if you don't feel that her health concerns are being addressed completely. Whether the heart condition is causing her weight loss, or it is related to another cause, you need to find out what is going on with her. I hope that she is okay.

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Merlin
Boston bulldog
11
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Fluid buildup in sac around heart

Medication Used

lasix twice daily

Merlin our 11 yr old Boston Bulldog has been diagnosed with fluid around his heart. His vet also found an abscessed tooth. All his blood work came back normal, but x-rays showed the fluid build up. He is on antibiotics and Lasix right now, and I notice the Lasix has greatly improved his breathing and comfort level. Do to financial resources we have not been able to get the ekg or sonogram done yet. Could the abscess be the problem, and one cleared of the infection, could the fluid build up resolve itself?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

Most commonly, pericardial effusion (fluid around the heart) is caused by cancer or has an unknown etiology; the likelihood of the pericardial effusion and a tooth abscess being related is quite small (but not impossible). In the absence of cancer, pericardial effusion occurs for an unknown reason (second most common cause); symptomatic treatment is therefore the best cause of action. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

We had a dog with cancer before, and the vet said she could tell by the white blood count. Merlin shows none of the symptoms our other dog had. Your response is very disheartening

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casper
Golden Retriever
8 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

restless and not very active

Medication Used

mexiletine hydrochloride 50 mg

hello i have a8 year old golden retriever and he was diagonsed with rapid heart beats of 200 beats per minute and had fluid formation around heart which was taken out on last sunday and he has been on a medicine mexiletine hydrochloride 50 mg capsules a day since monday and he has improved as today his heart beats was 140 per mnt and there was no fluid formation .my question is will the fluid come back and is the medicine safe for him .his appetite is normal but he is only weak and not very active .

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

There is always a possibility that there will be a recurrence of a pericardial effusion, the underlying cause would need to be identified and treated or managed. Mexiletine, like all medicines, has side effects but their side effects are usually outweighed by their benefits. Possible side effects include vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of balance, trembling and seizures have been reported in humans. If you have concerns regarding treatment or the suitability, speak with the prescribing Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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