Hubie is our 4 year old Newfoundland and he's been sick going on 4 months. Constant coughing, hacking/vomiting and congestion. I thought it was just a very persistent case of kennel cough. We've run several tests and had him on multiple rounds of medication with no relief whatsoever and finally the vet mentioned taking him to a cardiologist.
So after some research, one of my coworkers/friends helped me discover that Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a common hereditary heart disease in this breed. It's basically congestive heart failure. His heart is weak and enlarged and he's retaining fluid causing those symptoms above.
This isn't a solid diagnosis. We have to take him to Boise to see a cardiologist for extensive testing in order to diagnose him so that he can be treated. But all the symptoms fit and now it all makes sense.
Isn't this insane???? Just when I thought things couldn't get any crazier.
I'm feeling pretty emotional about it because he's still healthy enough right now to live a normal life. He still plays and eats well and is still the all too loveable Hubie. So I don't feel right at all about the idea of putting him down (as a few have suggested) but can you imagine the cost of all this testing and then medication for his lifetime? He's a HUGE dog. That's a lot more medication than an average sized dog. And a lot more money.
I was telling FIL about it last night and he said "hey, that's what I have." and I was like I know. Seriously? What are the odds.