Successful Treatment Of DCM Dilated Cardiomyopathy –

Roxie enjoying early winter

Dog DCM Dilated Cardiomyopathy Treatment Success

My Lhasa Apso Roxie just had another follow up ultrasound of her heart and this will be her third one since she gets checked every six months since it was revealed from her first one a year ago that her heart’s contractility was slightly weaker than normal. She became a heart patient a year ago after vet cardiologist highly recommended that Roxie’s heart be checked after we lost her brother Chester to DCM or dilated cardiomyopathy.

Roxie’s diet had been the same as Chester with the Acana brand dog food which turned out to be the most commonly cited brand in the FDA investigation alert regarding grain free diets. She was switched off Acana the same time her brother was switched when he was first diagnosed with DCM. Roxie started treatment with Vetmedin and taurine supplement right after the results of her first heart ultrasound.

Her follow up ultrasound after the first six months of treatment showed improvement of her heart function to near normal limits. Now six months later with this latest ultrasound, our vet cardiologist revealed that Roxie’s heart had completely reverted back to normal!

This turned out to be perhaps a rare case of successful treatment of DCM but we don’t know if the major reason of this success was due to the Vetmedin, taurine or the switching from Acana to now Royal Canin Aging diet. The vet cardiologist did not expect the Vetmedin to bring such improvement levels so it was likely a combination of the other factors.

I was given the option to take Roxie off her meds but we don’t know what would happen. I certainly don’t want her heart to go back to below normal function and the vet cardiologist said that there’s no harm in keeping my Lhasa Apso dog on her current meds so I opted to do just that. I get written prescriptions for the Vetmedin so I could source the medication at lower costs from an online pet pharmacy and taurine is very inexpensive.

So needless to say, I’m quite delighted with this successful treatment for Roxie and she continues to do her two hour hikes with our small dogs group each weekend without any problems.

Of course I still wish the FDA warning would have come out earlier. Even if we got any alerts that the legumes in grain free diets causing DCM in some dogs say a few years ago, we might have switched both of my Lhasa Apso dogs off Acana and maybe my boy Chester could have been saved. I’m still angry about this even after a year losing Chester.

But at least I still have Roxie who is still relatively healthy but there’s still the reality that she’s now 14 1/2 years old and won’t be with me forever. So I must prepare the best I can and keep her as healthy and happy as much as possible. It’s all about giving our aging dogs the most love we can while we still have them in our lives.


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