Heart-warming Tales

Submit your story of a canine member of your family and his or her battle against heart disease. And of course, please submit your photos!



Stories shared with us

Atticus, 10-year-old Boxer

"It's something every Boxer owner should be aware of today. My Boxer Atticus was a very active 10 year old inside dog and over a year he had mild anxiety attacks (which I was very wrong) until one day his attack basically put him into cardiac arrest and he stopped breathing and no heart beat. I immediately preformed CPR and after 30-45 seconds got him back. After a rush to the vet, blood work, ECG, and a multitude of test he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and put on med's and regular checks. He made it another year and the second attack no amount of CPR could get him back. The point here is if your dog is on this websites list for heart problems get you dog checked early for heart problems!" 
Ryan Simmons, Newberry, MI - speaking about his boxer, Atticus

Ms. Monchi, 11-year old Chihuahua

"Ms. Monchi is my 11 year old Chihuahua who was recently diagnosed with CHF.
She was born with a heart murmur that just recently became worse. She began coughing, and having shortness of breath issues. These were making it harder for
her to do the things she loves; namely: demanding a portion of your food, eating her spoils, barking at the neighbors and going on walks. She was also waking up in the middle of the night short of breath - you could see that she was scared, and so was I. I am happy to report that after a month of being on Vetmedin she is closer to her old self with less coughing, and as demanding as ever!"

Kristy McTeer, Lancaster, PA - speaking about her Chuhuahua Ms. Monchi

"Zion changed my life 13 years on August 10th 1999. This is the day I met my soul mate. A golden puppy in the pound sat there in the first cage I came across. This pup had plenty of interest and I knew it was a shot in the dark as there were 5 applications in front of mine but I went for it anyway. Low and behold I got the call from the pound that I was the choosen one. Mind you I had just moved to a new city, in my first apartment in college and apparently i was going for a good dose of responsiblity. Well Zion Ray Gribaudo and I have shared an amazing journey together for the last 13 years and I wonder daily how I became so lucky. Today was rough because my vet diagonsed Zion with PVC's and "it's not good". I have an open threat at my vet "I walked in with this dog, and I will walk out with dog" I am very hopefully that a cardiologist can shed some more light on the situation on Friday. My goal is create a peaceful, healthy,and loving environment just like the one Zion gives me daily. We are in the beginning and I am praying and counting on a positive treatment plan."

Muffy Gribaudo, Austin, TX - speaking about her dog, Zion.

"I just wanted to simply say thank you for providing the medicine that helped save my Jett (aka Jettikins). I had exhausted myself to the point of frustration taking Jett to the doctor week after week, not understanding why they could not find what was going on with him. After several weeks and lots of testing and needles in his chest to release fluid, in addition to my account being completely depleted of funds, they finally prescribed me Vetmedin. Two days after I gave Jett this medicine he was full of life. My Jettikins means the world to me, he truly is like no other. I am so grateful for the hard work and dedication it took to come up with this medicine. Thank you so much for saving my Jett."

Traci Downey ,Troy, Ohio - speaking about her 11 year-old Black Labrador


"We have seen how new drugs in the market are able to improve the quality of life of our patients. VETMEDIN is such a drug. Our patients with CHF have shown marked improvement in their longevity and quality of life."

Xavier Garcia, DVM, West Palm Beach, FL

Cosmo, English Bull Terrier

"Cosmo, my English Bull Terrier, developed signs of heart failure in February 2009 and was started on VETMEDIN. His energy level and attitude has been great, and his last cardiac evaluation showed his disease to be relatively stable. I truly feel that VETMEDIN is the reason he has done so well."

Karen Andrews, Southfield, MI - speaking about Cosmo, her 9-year-old English Bull Terrier, who was diagnosed with CHF

"A 2-year-old Great Dane presented with CHF and the owner was considering euthanasia. Within 2 days of putting this dog on VETMEDIN, the dog became a "puppy" again! The clinic and the owner were amazed."

Kathryn Kays, DVM, Silver Lake, IN - speaking about a Great Dane in her care, who was diagnosed with CHF


"A 14-year-old female Pug presented for a second opinion following fainting/seizures in January 2010. A grade 5/6 heart murmur was heard and radiographs revealed a severe generalized pulmonary edema. Also, cardiac echocardiogram showed severe left-sided heart failure. She was hospitalized and treated with a cocktail of medications including VETMEDIN. The elderly Pug has been on VETMEDIN for the past 18 months with no episodes of syncope. The owners are very happy and thankful for the medications that have helped their dog live very comfortably."

Karen Metzler, DVM - speaking about a 14-year-old Pug in her care


"Beef, my 8-year-old English Bulldog, developed signs of CHF in October 2010. An ultrasound showed that Beef had right-sided heart failure. It was upsetting because we thought the doctor was going to tell us it was time to put him down. However, she told us that with proper medications (VETMEDIN in particular) we could expect Beef to get considerably better. Beef started taking VETMEDIN and 2 days later was well enough to come home. Within 2 weeks, he was eating full meals and showing more energy and enthusiasm than he had in at least a couple of years."

Sean Anthony Dunston, Alexandria, VA - speaking about his 8-year-old English Bulldog


"Pepper, a 10-year-old Pekingese, presented in severe respiratory distress (secondary to CHF). She was cyanotic and panicked. I knew that her prognosis was very grave and was sure she was not going to make it. We gave her one tablet of VETMEDIN. The next day, Pepper was active, alert, and eating. I couldn't believe it. We have used VETMEDIN on many dogs and have always had good results. Pepper lived another year or so and had a fairly comfortable life."

Katherine Bartlet, DVM, Portales, NM - speaking about a Pekingese once in her care who had CHF

Max, Great Dane

"Max's activity levels have nearly returned to normal, and his endurance and breathing ability have substantially increased. If it were not for the availability of VETMEDIN, Max most likely would not be with us today. He certainly would not have the same quality of life he's had over the last few months."

Holly Barnes, Kauffan, TX - speaking about Max, her 3-year-old Great Dane, who was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy"

"VETMEDIN helps Portia maintain an excellent quality of life, in spite of her heart problems. She's active enough to help me work with other dogs' behavior problems and is still able to hold her own with 2 young dogs and 4 cats at home."

Dr. Patrick Melese, DVM, DACVB, San Diego, CA - speaking about Portia, his 9 1/2-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Sadie, Cocker Spaniel

"For 2 years, Sadie has lived a happy and fulfilled life with the help of VETMEDIN. No one around here had heard of a dog with CHF lasting so long with such a great quality of life. Thank you for letting me have more time with my Sadie!"

Shana Bolduc, Meridien, CT - speaking about Sadie, her Cocker Spaniel, who was diagnosed with CHF

VETMEDIN is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH,   licensed to Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

Important safety information: VETMEDIN should not be given in case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, or any other clinical condition where an augmentation of cardiac output is inappropriate for functional or anatomical reasons. The safety of VETMEDIN has not been established in dogs with asymptomatic heart disease or in heart failure caused by etiologies other than atrioventricular valvular insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy. Use only in dogs with clinical evidence of heart failure. The most common side effects reported in field studies were poor appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, dyspnea, azotemia, weakness, and ataxia. If side effects should occur, pet owners should contact their veterinarian. Please refer to the Full Prescribing Information here.

Heart Health Tips

Maintain proper body weight for your dog. Being overweight makes the heart work harder.

Is Your Dog at Risk of CHF?

Learn more about the risk factors for your dog.