Sep 24, 2014
This evening, a young Indian lady had to rush to Toa Payoh Vets before it closes to get the heart drugs for her 14-year-old dog. She phoned as she might not be in time. I waited for her.
"Is the dog still coughing on heart medication?" I asked.
"Yes, a deeper cough," she replied.
"Did you feed the frusemide (1/2 two times a day) and Fortekor 5 (1/2 per day) as prescribed?"
"Yes," she said.
On further queries, she had more frusemide tablets than Fortekor 5. So, when the latter ran out, she would use frusemide but the dog's coughing worsened.
This case showed that the owner seldom knows about the efficacy and use of heart drugs. They gave the tablet not 12-hourly. They forget to give on certain days. They don't spend much time on complying with medical instructions. So they find that the old dog, while active and eating, starts to cough and cough, waking everybody up at night.
In this case, I advised her to increase the dose of frusemide for 1 week and let me know. She needed to have her dog needed dental check up for his bad breath as the bacterial infection of the mouth can cause infections leading to coughing. I prescribed 12 days of antibiotics and advised dental work at the end of the course. There will be anaesthetic risks but they are minimal on isoflurane gas anaesthesia.
Discussion on the effects of heart drug medication in aged dogs is needed when the owner wants repeat medication. Many owners do not bother.
It is sad that many old dogs do not get dental treatment from Singapore owners.