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Congestive heart failure in dogs; when is it time to euthenize?
My dog has congestive heart failure.  I believe he is the final stage.  How do I know if he is in pain and if it is time to end his life humanely?
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What does your vet say?  How is your dog acting?  Is there still joy when you walk in the room?  Does he still love his toys?  It is the hardest decision ever to be made, and very personal, but your dog is communicating with you and will let you know if life is too much of burden these days.  I'm so sorry.

Carol
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Carol411's answer was a really good one.  I'm so sorry you have to go through this, it is so hard to decide.  Let us know how he is doing, give him lots of love, and try to stay calm in front of him, he doesn't need to get upset seeing you upset.
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my dog is going threw the same thing, he is coughing allthe time but he still gets his toy and bring them to me , he wants to play but to short of breath, he gets happy when I come in the room, want to go with me if I go anywhere,but he is worn out he dont get much rest because he coughs all the time I love him and cant stand the though of puting him to sleep. I told my husband that he will have to do it.thank you for your support just seeing what you put on hear helps by for now
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1526464 tn?1300183158
I can relate to what you are going through right now. My dog too, had CHF and I tried to put him on the meds (ace inhibitors, diuretics, anti-arrhythmics, inodilators) but he could not tolerate the meds and stopped eating. I then tried force feeding him because I had to get some food into his belly. I knew at that point that the time for putting him to sleep was getting very close. He was having difficulty breathing and when I noticed that his tongue was getting cyanotic, that is when I decided that I did not want my best friend to suffer anymore. It was the hardest and worst decision I had to make two days before my birthday but it had to be done. He was counting on me to take care of his well-being and that includes making the decision to put him to sleep so he does not suffer needlessly. I know you love your boy very much and this WILL be the hardest and most gut-wrenching thing you do, but do it when it is time so that he does not suffer unnecessarily. Watch for signs like the bluing of the tongue which means that he is oxygen-deprived. He should not linger in that state. My heart goes out to you because I have been where you are now. It will not be easy but you will do the right thing for your friend who cannot make the decision for himself. Be at peace with yourself and in knowing that you are alleviating the suffering of another being. You may need to go for grief counseling afterwards so that you can process all that has happened and receive some moral support. Take care.
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Thank you so much. Your answer gave us some indication of what to look for.  Our little dog is no longer responding to medication and has stopped eating.  Our neighbor suggested apple sauce, which he take a bit.  He won't drink water unless I used my hand.  Our vet basically told us it was our decision.  We don't want him to suffer any longer and hopefully he will go in his sleep.  I looked the definition of cyanotic and will keep an eye for that.  Thank you!
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To all that have the compassion to help your companions in the end of their winter of life. Always have your vet give a shot, like the one given before surgeries. They fall asleep, like for surgery so are unaware of the actual euthanasia..this should give you and your companion no fear. Its my Belief that the hardest part when the heart stops to fight any guilt while you cry.....because at that point your companion is free, running and healthy again and will greet you when its your winter. Also the state of the companion at the vets ...don't harp on that in your mind. Most of us hope for dignity the end of our winter, in my opinion our companions do too. Don't allow that memory to over take you repeatedly, your companion deserves his or her dignity. Remember that. Of you do both of your spirits will learn to flourish.
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Thank you!
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Thank you!
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Just this morning I took my baby girl in.  She had been fighting for breath for the past week and coughing non-stop all through the night as her heart pressed against her trachea.  I had counted her breath at 60 per minute, she was trying so hard to stay for me. I finally knew that I was being selfish trying to hold on to her and that she deserved peace after being my ever present, faithful companion for the past 8 years.  I held her as the injection was administered by the
vet, looked into to her eyes and told her over and over how much I loved her. She passed peacefully in my arms, the hardest thing I have ever done. All of you who are struggling with this decision, think about whether you are doing it for yourself or whether you have the best interest of your loving companion. They give so much to us, when it gets hard, we have to be willing to give back to our loving family member.
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While this string is over the last several years, it gives me some comfort to not feel as if I'm goimg through the experience alone. Thank you sincerely.  My English Bulldog, Bocelli (Bobo), was diagnosed with CHF in late May when he presented syncope episodes. The vet gave me his pager number for that weekend as he wasn't sure how things would go. I vowed then to be grateful for every moment he was with me. After all, he wasn't gone yet and I would have the rest of my life to mourn his loss. Luckily my vet is amazing and prescribed the usual cocktail of meds to manage his symptoms. For 4 months, he's been happy and most importantly, comfortable. We've adjusted a couple of the meds since, but otherwise he was doing really well with a very healthy appetite. Until tonight. Bobo didn't want to eat his raw diet or Vetmedin tabs, and hardly wanted the cream cheese ball (which hides the rest of the pills). He later vomited the meds, cream cheese and food that was hardly digested from breakfast. He got sick again, and has been restless overall. I am hoping it's a fluke, but my gut says otherwise. I loathe the decision I face very soon if his little body doesn't give out before he starts to suffer. As much as it pains me, I have given him permission to go when he needs to... Would prefer he goes peacefully in his sleep, but if he sees the sunrise tomorrow, we'll be in touch with the vet. I fear the vet will say what I don't want to hear, but may have to do.  Bobo has taught and given me so much in his ~9.5 years, giving him a quality life and dignity in death are the very least I can return to him.
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Charlene, you seem to have had such success with extending the life of your Sammie.  I cannot get my Millie to eat at all. She is on sub cut drips 800 - 1000 mls daily. She was diagnosed two weeks ago with CKD and ate until three days ago.  She fell on salmon initially which we have plenty of in Tasmania, Australia but won't touch this now either.  I have tried tiny serves of organic chicken and potato but cannot get her to eat. Last night she had a little diahorrea and vomited yellow bile twice.

I had been getting Ipakitine into her sprinkled on food until now.  She has Zantac and homeopathic drops in her water to contol phosphorus levels.  I asked the vet to put Maxolin in her sub cut drip and he has also put Vit B in it for energy. BUT I cannot get her to eat.

She is sleepy but also going up and downstairs, walking in the garden. Very dull eyed. But aware. I have read this thread from its very beginning and have read some horror stories about how ill, black tongued, vomit seizures et al.  I do not want her to go through this but if she will not eat at all she will die.  Please help.

I read some amazing testimonials from Five Leaf Pharmacy in America. What do you guys think about its results?
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Charlene oddly enough my ex is named Charlene aka; Charlie and my Basset 'Charlie' who I've had now for 3yrs was sent to me in a vision by my other Basset Rudy who I'd had to put down at 16yr3mo .... interesting story but .... Charlie is in late stage os CHF ,,, hasn't eaten in 3days .... just went to the3 store bought liver and he ate none .... putting Pedalite in his water so he isn'e dehydrated but getting worse by the day .... waiting on Homeopathic meds and praying he holds on ... any advice on how to get him to eat and what ?? ... ***@****  ... Bobby  
Hope you get this any help ... thanks !!!
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I just lost my 14 yr old chihuaha to CHF 3 weeks ago,  At this point I feel guilty that I put him down, Snoopy was diagnosed with CHF 2 yrs ago The vet. Made it clear if I understood what I was doing just buying him time,, the day came when I noticed the meds weren't helping him anymkre,, excessive drinking water, breathing fast with open mouth, weight loss, and bluish tongue,  I drove my dog at midnight to the vet,,my son was doing CPR on Snoopy on our way,, it has been one of the hardest decisions I have made but I didn't want to see my dog suffer it was very difficult,, he had been with me 14 yrs and when I put him down he looked fine but his heart must have been working 100 times harder to stay alive,, I still hurt alot wondering if I did the right choice but after reading g the comments here I know I did,, it's just hard to let go but  Snoopy is finally resting:( love you and miss you so much Snoopy:(
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My little girl Oreo my Shih-Tzu, was 14 and she too was panting, coughing and gagging in the middle of the night, she had lost weight to bones but she still kept good spirits with me, Her heart was working really hard and finally I said this is a sign and had to do what I didn't want to put her down but had decided the suffering for her had to stop. IT WAS SOOOOO hard for me, I felt guilty too even though it was the right thing to do. Anyway, its not easy but it is the right thing to do for you dog.
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She had CHF and almost died in December but made it through, she was running out of breath and I couldnt take her on long walks, did short ones, but any kind of exersion but her over the top. But her personality was still there that's why I had such a hard time taking her to the Vet. I did discuss it over and over with him when I found she was changing this past 10 days, I recognized that maybe it was time. Good luck to you all, Thank you for making me feel a little better with your lovely notes and letters. - Wendy
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The entire time after her first incident, forgot to leave this note, she was only Lasix as she just couldn't tolerate the heart meds and seriously she was 14.
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Snoopy7730, I cannot believe your comment. Just yesterday, I also had to put my baby Chihuahua, Chico, to sleep. He was 15 years old but will always be my baby, my best friend, my loyal companion. He was with me my whole life since I was 8 years old. I am 23 now, and his loss is unreal. I am a complete train wreck. I haven't been able to leave my room or do anything since his loss. Yesterday I held him in my arms, and watched his last breath as I gently rocked him back and forth. I sat with him for hours even after he fell into the deep sleep. It's so hard to let our mascots go. I couldn't and still cannot imagine my life without him:( I don't understand how CHF can be so evil, sneaky, cruel, and unfair. Chico was perfectly fine (energetic, playful, great appetite, happy...) until 3 days ago when he began to show symptoms. Then over night things took a drastic turn and he almost fainted from being unable to breathe. I was at the animal hospital literally all weekend. I hate that he had to leave me this way, i'm miserable. The only thought that comforts me is knowing that he is an angel in doggie heaven :,,(( I'm looking back at fotos together of us and I just can't cope!!! I miss him so much :(
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I had to put down my adopted mini poodle tomi yesterday. I'm in so much pain. I was never told earlier about my dogs condition until it was too late and he should signs. I only had him for a couple months and I grew so attached! He couldn't breath anymore and didn't want to eat. I just feel guilty about letting him go and not being able to do much with him, but at the same time I didn't want him to suffer and only take medications on his final years. I wanted him to be happy. I felt his last breath on my lap and I screamed and cried when his heart stopped beating. I cry knowing he's not sleeping on my bed anymore or following me around. I loved him so much. Gone but never forgotten Tomi.
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My 10 year old Gretchen chihuahua/dachshund mix died in the front seat of my car on the way to the vet yesterday.  Although I take comfort that I was with her, I'm riddled with guilt.   Less than 2 months ago I had to put Zena down, my 12.5 year old black lab due to cancer.  I had seen the signs of CHF in Gretchen but I wasn't sure as she's always had allergies/coughing and I suppose the more frequent occurrences of the coughing scared me and I was afraid I was going to lose her on the heels of losing Zena.   I didn't want to know...I just wanted her to get better on her own.  It's been 36 hours since Gretchen's passing and I'm having such a difficult time accepting my decisions.  Had I got her into the vet sooner,  would I be sitting here mourning her?  I think the outcome would have been the same as it seems like the meds only prolong the inevitable.  I don't know, but I'm devastated.
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You did as you thought best, we all have after thoughts and doubts about our choices right or wrong. No one has the power to see the future and know which is the best choice,  
yes the Meds might have given you more time, but there are side effects, I am sitting here with my 14 yr old conner, he is now in early kidney failure due to the meds  for his CHF.  wondering if it is time to say goodbye.

Just remember Gretchen as she was in life and in health, she knew she was loved and cared for  She had you with her all the way.

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My 14 year old chihuahua has heart failure at a scale of 4/5. She is coughing in the evenings. She has dental disease  leading to infection to her eyes. She is not eating very much and her weight drops way below average. The Vet said has to put her on heart med to stabilize her heart then might be able to remove her infected teeth. There is a possibility she might not survive during the operation. Her heart medication bill is a continuous treatment. The vet said we have to decide whether to put her to sleep.  It is very hard for us to watch her suffering. It is also very hear to put her to sleep when there is still a possibility she can recover. Can you give us some insights? Thank you.
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16886457 tn?1452141642
I would not put her under anesthesia. She is too sick and may not wake up. Same with my maltese who has late stage chf, cancer and severe periodontal disease. No way would I put her under anesthesia.  Her teeth are falling out on their own. She still loves life, eats, and likes exploring but her cough is getting worse. You will know when it's time.
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Just tonight I was reading the posts and comments about dogs with Congestive heart failure and then we took our female Bassett (a rescue) to her vet for a 2 week followup. She had been diagnosed with CHF, just 13 days ago, she was put on arthritis meds, heart meds, water pill, and an antibiotic. With a "possible diagnosis" of CHF.  Come on people, putting your dog out of their pain and misery, is the best thing you can do for them. I, was trying  to be selfish, thinking of only myself. But then I realized that these animals do not have an actual voice, WE ARE THEIR VOICE.  After loosing our rescued Bischon in June 2015, to rectal cancer, if I have learned one thing, listen and look.and mostly Love your pet every day you have them.
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I just lost my corker spaniel 2 weeks ago due to CHF. She was on medication for 1 year and a half. Although she lost her appetite and I had to force feeding her, she was still happy to see me. Then 3 months ago I notice she became more and more uncomfortable and had hard time sleeping at night. The medications were no longer able to control the fluid building up so fast in her abdomen. I took her to have the fluid drain a few times, up to the point where I had to take her in every week. I know it was time. She was suffering so much but she was a fighter to stay for me.
It hasn't been a day passed by that I don't think about her. She lived 16 years. I still feel regret and not sure if I did the right thing or not. I know it's right for her. But doesn't seem so to me because if I hasn't put her down, she would probably be here by my side now. I wish there is a cure for CHF...
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Today I'm face with the same challenge. My cocker spaniel, Treasure has the same problems. Everytime I decide to go lay her to rest, she wags her tail and me and I change my mind. She has the cough, she has began to retain fluids in her abdomen, even with the meds. When she goes to potty afterwards she gets delusional, dizzy, stares off and sometimes collaps as if she is having a seizure. I rock and hold her until she comes around. For 5 days I slept on the floor with her. Last night she came over layed beside me. I sang hymns, rubbed her softly until her rough breathing calmed down and she fell asleep.  Reading several post I realize that I'm being selfish. We are fighting for each other. I'm not married and have no children, Treasure has been my consistent for 16yrs. My heart is in a million pieces but God will take care of her until we reunite in heaven.....
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Today I'm face with the same challenge. My cocker spaniel, Treasure has the same problems. Everytime I decide to go lay her to rest, she wags her tail and me and I change my mind. She has the cough, she has began to retain fluids in her abdomen, even with the meds. When she goes to potty afterwards she gets delusional, dizzy, stares off and sometimes collaps as if she is having a seizure. I rock and hold her until she comes around. For 5 days I slept on the floor with her. Last night she came over layed beside me. I sang hymns, rubbed her softly until her rough breathing calmed down and she fell asleep.  Reading several post I realize that I'm being selfish. We are fighting for each other. I'm not married and have no children, Treasure has been my consistent for 16yrs. My heart is in a million pieces but God will take care of her until we reunite in heaven.....
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16925379 tn?1452437921
Even thought I'm crying my eyes out as I have a near 15 yr old beagle mix that has been dealing with CHF for the last year.  Jaeger is such a good dog and I know the time is getting close.  I also had to put down my first pup at the age of 14 in 2012.  
Keep me in your thoughts please.  I believe I know the right time.  Just so depressing.
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As I sit and cry I have my baby Addie, a rescue from a puppy mill, dying from CHF.  She is a maltese and has been with us just over 7 years.  The last couple of nights have been so hard.  Breathing so hard and her little heart beating so fast.  I keep praying she will peacefully pass away in her sleep.  Fortunately our vet is a close personally friend.  We are going to see him this afternoon.  If he feels it is time, I am hoping he will drop by our house and let our Addie pass at home.  
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My beloved 11 y/o Papillon Furbaby, Fargo, was diagnosed 2 days ago with end stage CHF and enlarged heart after suddenly having trouble breathing, extreme weakness, and coughing up bloody sputum. I didn't think he was going to make it thru the first night. We were at the vet's office when they opened. My precious, happy boy just lays on his blanket breathing way too fast and very labored. He is on the usual meds including Hydrocodone. As I count his respirations, I am knowing that his time is getting near. I'm so devastated and angry at life that unless things change I will have to help him pass over the Rainbow Bridge with my vet soon. Why so sudden? Why such a cruel disease? I love him enough to be there when that time comes and let the last thing he sees be my eyes and the last thing he hears is my voice telling him how much I love him. I can't let him suffer. I love him too much.
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My precious Beatle, Reba, who is 10, is suffering with CHF.  I give her 3 meds, but none of them relieve the coughing.   Fortunately, she still eats good.   It hurts my heart that the coughing bothers her so much.   It is such a helpless feeling, not to b able to help her.   I know our time together is limited.   I sympathize with all of you who have had to deal with this horrible disease.
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The love of my life dog, 11 y/o Maltese, Bexley had CHF and died 3 weeks ago.  He was eating/drinking fine, walking around, potty normal, up to his silly antics, his body looked well, but he was panting.  I was grooming him in my arms, one hour away from our scheduled Vet appt.   I felt his heart stop and he went limp.  He died instantly.  The Vet said that sudden death is rare, but is best for the dog, yet hard on the owner.  Usually the health deteriorates more.  It is such a shock and there are no goodbyes.  I try to tell myself that he at least left this life in my arms, and that he will not suffer more.  My hope is that he is in Heaven.  I just miss him so.
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Just lost our 9 yr old Maltese/Lhasa Apso mix to CHF very suddenly this week. Diagnosed with a slight heart murmur a year ago, but no recommended treatment and no issues. Two to three weeks ago, he developed a cough, cold symptoms, breathing fast, panting, lethargic, and very thirsty. We didn't think much of it until it wasn't getting better and he stopped eating. I took him to the vet who was keeping him overnight for tests and he passed on less than an hour after I left. It was all so sudden I still can't believe it, but I am relieved he didn't suffer for a long time. Still missing his sweet face - CHF is cruel.
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10821430 tn?1439584483
I am so very sorry,I can feel the pain in your words,the
horrible loss.
Bexley was blessed,while it is never easy to have a be-
loved companion leave us,he was safe,loved,secure and
was able to feel that in your arms as he crossed over and
left this world, for him that was amazing,in the comfort of
your arms,there was no better place for him when he left.
CHF is a tricky thing,I lost my little Yorkie last year and he
gave little warning he was going either,we all need and
hope for extra time to say everything we need to before
they leave,it's just never time for them to leave,we all
need to love them longer.
I am sure Bexley felt loved as he left this world,he is in
heaven and even though he is not there with you in a
visible way,he's never too far from you even now,as long
as he has that place in your heart,he is with you always,
you will see him again one day. He will be that little white
fluff sitting there at the bridge,tail wagging when it is time
for you to cross over.
Again, I am so very sorry about Bexley.
Jan
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This a great thread and I hope it continues on as it has gone on for years!  I care for animals in various end-of-life conditions.  I am currently helping a mom with her nearly 17 y/o chihuahua.  She has stopped most of her heart meds and has not returned to the drastic CHF symptoms (no-one knows why).  But she is getting more quiet and eating and drinking less and less.  Without critical symptoms, it is even harder to "take your dog in."  Maybe Aggie will die at home with her mom who says she is and always will be one of the greatest loves of her life.  Have any of your animals simply faded peacefully?  Do you all recommend more coercing with food or just letting things be?  I am also a vet tech and I know that sometimes when animals' blood sugar drops rapidly they can sometimes have seizures.  Someone had suggested applesauce and that could address that.   Anyone have any thoughts to share?  By the way, her vet says that she does not have to DO anything at this point unless she wants to or unless Aggie is struggling.  Many thanks and much gratitude.
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It is hard for some people who have children to relate to those who don't therefore, I truly understand a persons pain when having to put down their furry kids. I made the decision to put my Akita "Scooby" (of 11 years) down three years ago today, due to stomach cancer, I thought I was strong enough to handle it, I didn't want her in pain anymore, but every day I have that question in my heart if I did the right thing, I want another week, another hour, another min. With her and I feel like I played God in taking her life away, I haven't had one day since without thinking about her, however someone told me dogs live a shorter life because they learn how to love much faster than we do, and that there souls were here to teach us how to love unconditionally and forgive without regret and that If we couldn't learn how to do this in their short lives then we were not willing to open our hearts at all.
For some reason hearing this made me look at all the lessons Scooby taught me and that I did not play God, I was the person she taught me to be, instead of selfishly keeping her here in pain, I loved her enough to let her go in peace. I know I will still cry and I will always miss her, but eventually i will smile because I was truly taught unconditional love by the best - one of the most beautiful creatures on earth - a dog - my Scooby.
Today I am making that painful decision again, I am having to put my 12 year old chihuahua "Peanut" down who has been fighting CHF for four months, oh God it hurts so bad I don't know who is going to go first, I can't breath, my heart is racing, my chest is tight and I feel no peace what so ever, the worst part is I have his daughter who is 4 and who also has a heart murmur but does not show signs yet. I am trying my hardest to remember what I wrote about my Scooby but for some reason it will not sink in. Everyone tells me to keep rescuing furry kids but I don't know if I can take their short little lives ending so quick. My heart goes to each and everyone who has to go through this.
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Jessie is a sweet beagle mix. My husband found her in a garbage bag, tied up and this person no monster thrown her off by a train track. He stopped because he seen the bag moved and thank God he did. She has been with us through two hurricanes and losing our house. Such a strong shoulder she provided for me for ten years and now its my turn to be there for her. She has CHF and Im trying to be strong but it gets to me. I have to leave the room so I dont upset her more. Leave, thats something she would never do so I will have to make that decision for her to go and thats just killing me. I love Jessie so much.
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Jessie is a sweet beagle mix. My husband found her in a garbage bag, tied up and this person no monster thrown her off by a train track. He stopped because he seen the bag moved and thank God he did. She has been with us through two hurricanes and losing our house. Such a strong shoulder she provided for me for ten years and now its my turn to be there for her. She has CHF and Im trying to be strong but it gets to me and I have to leave the room so I dont upset her more. Leave, thats something she would never do so I will have to make that decision for her to go and thats just killing me.
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I am so sorry Denise, I know what you are going through! I am watching my best friend Woody a sweet Irish Terrier go through his end stage Heart failure. He has started coughing a lot! And I too am dreading having to let him go! We rescued Woody after he was kenneled for two years, and have gone through a lot together including me being badly injured when a pit bull off his lead picked a fight with Woody who was on his lead! The Pit bull broke my leg when his body swung around during the fight. I had a serious break and after an operation to rebuild my leg ended, I ended  up with nerve damage and a disease called CRPS! It has been a hard three years as I am now disabled and to be losing my brave protector is just unbearable! I am praying he will pass in his sleep. I am thinking of you and Jessie. We both rescued our furry babies! And perhaps the fact that we gave them so much love and a good life, will help us be strong when the time comes to say goodbye.
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Thank you and yes she had the best time of her life and her bad time was very short in comparison.
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They are doing surgery in France to correct this.  It is at the Bozon clinic.
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I apologize for getting off context, just feel helpless, afraid and alone losing my furry babies.
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No need to apologize desertjayne, being upset over losing our beloved furry babies makes everything else horrible! Like a deep depression! I am so sorry you had to let another baby go! It is so hard! I realize I have to try to be strong and enjoy every minute with Woody. I know I could probably take him to the hospital again for more different Meds but would it make that much difference? And you are so right, I would be keeping him him alive for me! Not for him! And you are right as well that the painful part is only short compared with the years of companionship and fun they bring to us! If you need to talk I am here!
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Thank you Suzanne, it gets a little easier every day, cherrish your time with Woody, I know I am spending more time with the two babies I have left.
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5 year old beagle has had a heart murmur since we rescued him. The past few months he started fainting periodically. Sometimes 3 or fourtimes in one day. A week ago he developed a bad cough. Today we were told his heart was enlarged and he has fluid in his lungs and chest. He also has an abnormal arrhythmia that you can see through his chest.  We were given meds for the fluids and to help his heart pump easier.  I need to know what to expect has his chf progresses. I need to prepare my self, my kids, and my husband.  He is only 5. It's not fair.  
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5 year old beagle has had a heart murmur since we rescued him. The past few months he started fainting periodically. Sometimes 3 or fourtimes in one day. A week ago he developed a bad cough. Today we were told his heart was enlarged and he has fluid in his lungs and chest. He also has an abnormal arrhythmia that you can see through his chest.  We were given meds for the fluids and to help his heart pump easier.  I need to know what to expect has his chf progresses. I need to prepare my self, my kids, and my husband.  He is only 5. It's not fair.  
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As a mother to Uluru (Ru) a 14 1/2 yr old Australian Shepherd who has had CHF for the last 4 yrs and kidney issues on and off ... all I can say is think outside the box when it comes to their health and well being. (keep trying new things)  A home cooked diet and find Holistic meds that truly work miracles.  I recently took her to the vet because she started to lose  weight - What could it be?  Kidney issues again of course. So, we have started a new feeding regiment and a natural kidney support,  So far so good!.   Think outside the box.
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I love your thoughts! I have a 13 yr old aussie with Thyroid issues (4 yrs) and CHF lately.  I give holistic meds and love him alot.  He is a trooper. The cough is horrible, but he still manages to try and get his ball outta the pool everyday. I would give anything to have him jump in that pool one more time, but I think those days are over. I do think outside the box every single day :-)
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I love your thoughts! I have a 13 yr old aussie with Thyroid issues (4 yrs) and CHF lately.  I give holistic meds and love him alot.  He is a trooper. The cough is horrible, but he still manages to try and get his ball outta the pool everyday. I would give anything to have him jump in that pool one more time, but I think those days are over. I do think outside the box every single day :-)
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Mojo my 6 year old chihuahua was diagnosed Jan 2015 with a murmur, then it quickly turned into CHF. He is my world, he is my furson, and little superman (his fav t-shirt is superman). His disease has been getting worse, day by day. Last night my husband and I decided that it was time to not let our son suffer anymore. It's the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life and I've never felt so much guilt. We were torn because he was still so excited to see us everyday after work and loved playing with his favorite toy but couldn't for too long because he would start coughing. He is on all the same meds mentioned above. Tonight the doctor will be at our place at 8:15pm to make him comfortable and then he will be in heaven looking down at his family who loved him so much beyond words. So happy there are others that are going through the same thing my family is.
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My dog was diagnosed with double sided heart failure, last May, 2015. He did great with meds and sometimes a belly drain to get rid of the fluid buildup. He went from almost dead, to normal doggie. Recently.. he was acting odd.. his breathing was becoming.. a little strained.. not horrid like when he was diagnosed, but something wasn't right. I brought him to the vet on Monday of this week, and they decided to drain his belly and xray. The vet showed me the xrays and told me that she had never seen a heart that big inside of a dog. She also told me we couldn't really change any of his meds, seeing that is all pretty much maxxed, and that this could be his last week. When I brought him home, he acted normal again...happy, hungry..curious.. wanted to go out and eat snow, he payed attention. And, now its Saturday, and as of yesterday I have noticed the straining starting again. The heart eventually cannot supply his body with enough oxygen..and his poor heart is so big. So, I am waiting, til Monday.. if we can. I will bring him in and see what the vet says.. but I can't imagine watching him go back into a horrible state and not being able to breath, or whatever else that could happen. I also cannot imagine him being "put to sleep". I've been thru cancer with a dog.. diabetes with another.. one of my dogs had a blood clot at 5 years old that basically instantly killed her. So, I've been through deaths, and mourning.. and I don't know if it ever gets easier I do know the first is always the hardest..but I've never had a dog who looked "ok" put to sleep..sigh. My heart goes out to all who have furry friends with heart issues. Its not easy to know when to say goodbye..but I think no matter what, there should be no guilt, because you did the best you could. I'm gonna go stare and try to keep my mind off this, it helps to disengage here and there.. hope all you folks have a good night.
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My dog was diagnosed with double sided heart failure, last May, 2015. He did great with meds and sometimes a belly drain to get rid of the fluid buildup. He went from almost dead, to normal doggie. Recently.. he was acting odd.. his breathing was becoming.. a little strained.. not horrid like when he was diagnosed, but something wasn't right. I brought him to the vet on Monday of this week, and they decided to drain his belly and xray. The vet showed me the xrays and told me that she had never seen a heart that big inside of a dog. She also told me we couldn't really change any of his meds, seeing that is all pretty much maxxed, and that this could be his last week. When I brought him home, he acted normal again...happy, hungry..curious.. wanted to go out and eat snow, he payed attention. And, now its Saturday, and as of yesterday I have noticed the straining starting again. The heart eventually cannot supply his body with enough oxygen..and his poor heart is so big. So, I am waiting, til Monday.. if we can. I will bring him in and see what the vet says.. but I can't imagine watching him go back into a horrible state and not being able to breath, or whatever else that could happen. I also cannot imagine him being "put to sleep". I've been thru cancer with a dog.. diabetes with another.. one of my dogs had a blood clot at 5 years old that basically instantly killed her. So, I've been through deaths, and mourning.. and I don't know if it ever gets easier I do know the first is always the hardest..but I've never had a dog who looked "ok" put to sleep..sigh. My heart goes out to all who have furry friends with heart issues. Its not easy to know when to say goodbye..but I think no matter what, there should be no guilt, because you did the best you could. I'm gonna go stare and try to keep my mind off this, it helps to disengage here and there.. hope all you folks have a good night.
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We are going through this right now. My daughter adopted/rescued a dog February 2015. We took him in a week after she took him to her apartment as she realized school + new doggie with "potential" heart issue = not enough time. We had the pleasure of working with, loving and helping Andy to become a dog (we are fairly certain  he was a neglected puppy mill dog - the rescue said he came from a "breeder" but no breeder is going to let a dog's dental become so bad it affects his/her heart like it did to Andy). Andy is such a great little guy; he really bonded with our other two shih tzu rescues and happily greeted us at the door whenever we'd come home. I've been going through cancer treatment so I've been working from home a LOT. Listening to him cough has been just heart breaking as it seems to get worse. His tongue is pink and up until yesterday, he had a pretty healthy appetite. My daughter made an appointment for tomorrow for me to take him in to the vet; I want their opinion. We've upped him to 3x a day for the diuretic and he is also on vetmedden and another medicine for his heart. He still has perky ears too. I can only say time will tell at this point. My other two fur babies are pretty concerned. They were not real receptive to him at first but now they have their "pack" and as I've already said, have bonded. They know something is wrong with him and you can just tell they are concerned. Keeping my fingers crossed tomorrow will be a false alarm (as to him getting worse).
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OurJack Russell Terrier Corky just went to Rainbow Bridge on  Tuesday.My heart hurts so very much.He had CHF for three years.He did very well on the meds and being drained.But the times he was "good" were becoming shorter.He was filling up with fluids quicker and starting to struggle to breathe.I could see in his eyes that it was time to go. Our home is sad,out hearts are broken...but he is running and playing and in excellent health again....at Rainbow Bridge.....
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OurJack Russell Terrier Corky just went to Rainbow Bridge on  Tuesday.My heart hurts so very much.He had CHF for three years.He did very well on the meds and being drained.But the times he was good were becoming shorter.He was filling up with fluids quicker and starting to struggle to breathe.I could see in his eyes that it was time to go. Our home is sad,out hearts are broken...but he is running and playing and in excellent health again....at Rainbow Bridge.....
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As I sit here crying as well I have my 12 yo baby Star  laying next to me coughing every 5 mins through tbe night she and I both unable to sleep and I'm wondering if she is in any pain.  She was diagnosed with a heart murmur and 2/6 cardiomealogy in Feb 2016 and until then we had no idea and no signs. They now seem to be coming on heavy. Daily activities are becoming strenuous her breathing is so hightend and her coughing stops her from getting any rest.  I am not sure of what to do at this point but love and support her.  I am being selfish as I want to keep her with me for as long as I can.
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Like most of you, I am sitting here crying as my poor little baby coughs all night. He was diagnosed with CHF 3 years and 4 months ago. Meds have been working. He is on 5 different ones. He has really been great 95% of the time. Now he is suddenly coughing a lot. They upped his meds yet again. He finally is sleeping for a solid hour or so. .. it is 4 am and I have been up with him for about 2 and a half hours now. Not sure if the new dosage of meds is going to work but I am hoping. I am working from home now with a broken foot so at least I am home with him. We have been together through so much. Tragedy, happiness, sadness, joy, Love, etc... he was even the Best dog at our wedding. He was with me through both of my parents deaths,  divorce, marriage, etc . I love him more than I love some humans. I am hoping he/we get through this. I love him dearly and can noteven imagine life without having to pick up wee wee pads every day. Being on water pills he can not help it. I love my little guy. Thanks for listening. As I sit here balling my eyes out, I needed to share with others who understand. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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My vet gave me advice:
Pick 3 things your dog loves to do the most. When he starts to not enjoy or isn't able to do 2/3 then you start thinking what's best for them.

Advice: this med helped my dog with his kidney faliure too. Talk to your vet about it: AZODYL.
Also look up health wellness for dogs. They have these drops you put in their food. I believe called STRONG HEARTS.
I also cooked organic chicken and vegan food with tons of veggies and fruits for him.

Links 3 favortive things were was eating, running/walks, and playing.
He was able to eat till the end, the walks were so slow and he had to stop a lot, he wasn't able to run or barely jog anymore. he played for short time but got super tired right away or coughed a lot afterwards.

I had to put down my shitzu poodle "LINK" mix 5 days ago.
He had a heart mummer at age 7 and I was able to take care of it with extra exercise and healthy food. No fatty foods. He showed no signs of it until he reached 14 years. He started to get sezuires too after running. He would come out of it in 2mins like nothing happened. He only had those once a month.
In December 2015 we started meds and they worked for couple months. Until this month in April 2016 I notice he was getting worse. It's crazy how one day dogs are fine but can go down hill so fast.
Restless in the middle of the night, couldn't stand still kept walking around, coughing so bad he was gagging, staining and if he poop sometimes he would had a mini sezuire or passed out, and his regualr sezuires were getting worse.
We increased his meds but after a while he didn't want them. I stopped shoving it down his throat cause it felt like he was telling "I'm done mom I don't want them" I even put them in food and hide them with chicken, it began to be a struggle. He started to hide in places he never did before or stared at the wall. (I think he was trying to find a place..)

His sezuires got so bad he would take 30mins to come out of it. And when he had sezuires 3 times a week, Started to struggle to breath,  and his cough was so bad. I believed it was time...
We had a vet come home because I wanted his last days to be with us. And I held my hand on his little heart as I felt it's last little beats..

These pass few days I felt such regret because he seem so happy, but I realzied no matter what, dogs will always be happy for us. They don't think o them selfs. I saved him from a very painful death. Sometimes if your lucky they go in their sleep thou. My vets said he's so old and in deep heart faliure he most likely wouldn't survive the removal fuild..
I thought of trying different meds or increased them from the vet, but it came down to "is taking heavy meds and not truly being able to enjoy life while suffering really a life?"

I broke down and screamed a day after he was gone, seeing his little blanket. He was my son. But afterwards when I started to have these message like dreams of him, I saw how healthy and full of life he was. I was sad not hearing him run around the hallway, but not hearing his deep coughing and his screams from his sezuires also gives me peace to know he doesn't have them anymore.
Giving them peace before it gets more super bad l felt like the best gift I could give him. I know he's playing and running again with other little doggies. And I'll see him at the rainbow bridge.
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I am there now. Waiting to see if meds we got today will alleviate him and also bring my boy back. If not I will have to make that heartbreaking decision for his peace. I am so devasted and reading your story I cried for you as well as me. My son is 18 and my furry son is 14. They grew up together although the human has expanded his life that includes friends and activities my furry boy has been the eternal child and been by my side everyday since he was 2 months old. The pain is devastating and I am consumed by it right now but reading your story I know I'm not alone and that other people understand that they are not just pets. I know he is one of the very few great loves of my life.
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Hi Desertjayne, Woody is slowing down and seems to be fading a bit. I feel the time might be coming soon when I will have to let him go. I have had a few more months with him but he is tired and coughing more. How are your babies? This is so hard...
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It has been 3yrs since we lost Gizmo to CHF and he did suffer til I whispered in his ear and told him it's okay you can go. We will always LOVE YOU and you will be in our hearts forever. He passed that night 1/2 hour after telling him it was okay. I do believe he heard us and understood he had good ears and always listen.
So for all you pet lovers we know CHF is terrible and God make a mistake by takening our pets to soon. They become so close to us and live not as long as we do.Today I saw a pup at the Humane Society and he looks just like Gizmo OMG!! were going to visit with him and see if we match up. I do believe Gizmo may have sent him to us?
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I just took my baby Cookie to the vet to have her euthanized!  So heart breaking and devastating.  She was almost 13 and had been suffering from hemolytic anemia.  She was a Shih-Poo.  She had a couple relapses and always came through.  She was on prednisone and atopica.  The vet mentioned a small murmur and I didn't think anything of it and didn't ask for details. I just figured it was her heart rhythm and wouldn't lead to much else.  I was wrong.  A year ago she had a relapse and also tore her cruciate ligament in her rear paw so she had a hard time walking.  She eventually got better and was able to hobble around.  My husband and I noticed her breathing funny but though it was related to her immune disorder.  Three weeks ago she tore her other cruciate ligament so I bought her a little cart to pull her around so she could still have her "walks" and smell all her favorite smells.  Vet recommended keeping up normal routine so she would be happy and comfortable.  Last Thursday her breathing changed and she whined when I picked her up.  This came upon her very quickly within 6 hours.  She went from a happy pup loving her walks, treats, and being around her family to absolutely miserable.  Her breaths went up to 60 per minute and appeared labored.  We thought it was allergies.  Wrong again.  She refused her food and water.  She gave me that look that it was time.  I was selfish and wanted to keep her around but had to do what is best.  I said my goodbyes that night before and took a final video of her breathing (wheezing/whine) so when I questioned if I could do more for her or if I was acting to quickly to remind me that it was time and I did all I could.  Now was time to take care of her so she was not suffering.  Her quality of life was almost non-existent without being able to walk, on daily meds, and sleeping all day.  I know she appreciating having us around and not being alone, but I couldn't guarantee that and felt guilty when I did have to leave her even for a few hours.  I took her to the vet the next morning to discover her murmur was very loud and her body had filled up with fluids from her failing heart.  All along I was treating her for her immune disorder and didn't focus on the murmur because I thought it wasn't that big of a deal.  WRONG!  If the vet mentions murmur, please follow up on that because there are many symptoms and issues that could affect your pet.  Ultimately the heart failure consumed her and I couldn't watch her suffer anymore.  I know she would always be there for me and it was my turn to step up to help her out.  I prayed to God for healing and to meet her on the other side of the rainbow bridge to Heaven.  Her stomach had gotten really big.  We thought it was from eating and not exercising too much, but it was the fluid from her leaky heart.  She also made noises when I picked her up that sounded like puppy noises that I thought were cute at the time.  It was actually the excess fluid in her lungs and crackle noises.  The vet offered to start her on the meds suggested above but couldn't guarantee she would ever recover to being "normal" or  even comfortable.  Then I came to found out there would be repeated xrays, med changes, draining of fluid, possible seizures, and suffocation.  I couldn't do that to my best friend who I considered my second daughter.  I said my goodbyes, sang her favorite songs, had her favorite stuffed toy and she went peacefully in her favorite spot, her dog bed my late mother bought her.  I pray she is up on the sky running with all of our past pets and with my parents and God watching out for her.  I hope she remembers me when we meet up again.  I am just happy knowing she is no longer suffering and she is a happy and pain free dog.  RIP Cookie!  
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Last night we the most precious little boy Hank. He was diagnosed with CHF in December 2015, on medication we were looking at six months, if we were lucky, up to a year. He would have good weeks coupled with a few bad days. It was so sad. Maybe there will be a cure one day - who knows. Rest in peace my little angel
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Have you looked into the Clinic Bozon in France.  My Zoey has Mitral Valve Disease and they can repair her heart with open heart surgery with a 95% success rate.  There are many forms of CHF. They fix MVD.
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As I read these letters I am bawling, I am in that same situation. My baby Maggie, an Italian greyhound 111/2 years old has CHF. She is in the last stages. Meds are not helping anymore. I've been coaxing her to eat with anything, from hamburgers to chicken. It worked well for awhile, now she only eats sometimes. She coughs and gags when she eats and her energy is low.she coughs a honking cough randomly throughout the day, without provocation. I wish she could pass in her sleep. I would feel so guilty sending her to heaven before she was ready. I assure her everyday that's it's okay for her to go. I even add humor and tell her which relatives to stay away from since some weren't fond of dogs. I tell  her who to look for because they'll  take care of her till we meet again. This is one of the hardest decisions I'm having to make. we got her when I remarried and she has been our baby. I would ride my bike with her in a baby sling, she doesn't show signs of being in pain, but as I watch her, I wonder. She follows me EVERYWHERE because she probably feels scared...
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I have read every comment given from each testimony regarding your experience with your beloved pet and their condition with CHF. I have never experienced this hurt before with another pet. My sweet Chase has had CHF for over 2 and a half years. His major discomfort would be that cough that you all mentioned. Up until the last few days, he hasn't been coughing although he has stopped eating and is refusing his meds. The last two doses, I have forced them down, but I too, feel he's telling me in his own way it's nearing time for him to go. It's Saturday and I believe he is getting weaker. If he makes it til Monday, I will take him to our regular vet to confirm the inevitable. I just love him so much and hate to let go. I, too, don't want him to suffer either. It's such a difficult time.
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Look into the Bozon Clinic in France.
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I had to put down my Charlie approximately 6 days ago because of CHF. I am heart broken. He was 15 years old. Although I miss my boy, I know that it was the best thing to do. I still cry on a daily basis, but reading on sites such as this one and knowing that i'm not alone, helps me with the pain. God bless and i hope everything works out for you.
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My dog has had the same thing happening to him and I have make the decision to put my 13 year old Shih Tzu Pablo down.  He has had CHF for the last year and has done well on all the drugs.  I can see a big difference in him, in the last few weeks.  He is maxed on his meds and  also takes a cough medicine pill.  He sleeps a lot and coughs.  I see it more at night, we wake up 2 to 3 times a night and I carry him down to go pee and then he coughs a lot and his breathing is really bad.  Having a hard time breathing.  So I just lay with him on the floor and comfort him until one of us falls asleep.  This has been going on for a while and I just can't  bare to let him go.  He still plays fetch, but only can get his squeaky a couple of times now instead of continuously or until I stop or he starts coughing alot, He eats fine and loves his treats. He loves his walks, but they have drastically gone from long ones to very short ones and me carry him back sometimes.

I fell that I just can't bring myself to let him go.
My daughter just left for college and would have to go get her to let her see him one more time.  She is not far, but I just am procrastinating, maybe something will happen and he will be just fine, but I know deep down that is not going to happen.  I just love the little man, we rescued him 9 years ago and he has been the best dog a family could ever ask for.  

I sense he is scared and he stays by my side and my husband and I have been taking turns staying home with him because I can just tell he is scared to be alone.  Just so hard to make that decision, if I am doing the right thing or I should wait a little longer, but I don't want to see him suffer.

As I seat her typing this, he is in his bed sleeping right next to me. He just seems so peaceful right now, like everything is fine.  The seizures have gotten more frequent in this last month, just this past few days he has had 3, they use to be maybe once a month probably in longer than that.  The seizures seem to make him look like he is drunk and in pain.  

My heart is heavy and is breaking just to think of him not being with us anymore.  
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My 11 yr old KC Cav Spaniel has been on meds for CHF for over a year. The coughing has just started to get worse and he has become uncomfortable at night. He still loves his food, walks and has had a lovely summer. In the early hours of this morning he had a bout of coughing and came to sit beside my bed. I sat on the floor and he curled up against me. He puts his trust in me to do what is best for him and I suddenly had a gut wrenching feeling that its time to let him go, before all he knows is suffering. My Bailey. My baby before I had babies. I have two children 4 and 8. They have not known a world without him. Its now gone 3am and I know I need to tell my husband when he wakes up that its time. My heart is breaking but I also feel acceptance.
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They now fix this in France.  Clinic Bozon.
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They fix dogs with Mitral Valve Disease witch is common in Cavs and Maltese's.
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I;m sorry for all of your losses. My 13 year old yellow lab has declined rapidly the last few weeks. She has CHF and now kidney failure. For the last few days, she won't ;t take take her pills in  the wet food she would enjoy and she barely eats the boiled chicken she used to love. My heart is breaking. I've had her 4 years and she's just the sweetest girl, but I do not want her to suffer. Repay a kindness with a kindness
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I'm sorry for all of your losses. My 13 year old yellow lab has declined rapidly the last few weeks. She has CHF and now kidney failure. For the last few days, she won't take take her pills in  the wet food she would enjoy and she barely eats the boiled chicken she used to love. My heart is breaking. I've had her 4 years and she's just the sweetest girl, but I do not want her to suffer. "Repay a kindness with a kindness.
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My sweet 13 year old shih tzu Stan was diagnosed with CHF last Jan. The enalapril and Lasix drugs helped for awhile, but his coughing started coming back mid-summer. Lately, his coughing and labored breathing got bad, where he was even waking up in the night with these problems. He would still eat his food and go on walks, although he would cough the entire time on the walks. This past week, his coughing got even worse, and the vet concurred that he was suffering. He was put down on Wed morning. My heart is broken. I feel so guilty and am questioning if I acted too quickly.  I just couldn't stand to see my little fur baby suffer any longer. I miss him more than anyone knows. I am devastated.
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I feel the same way as you. My dog was doing great on all the meds and then yesterday am she started hacking and then was very sad. I went to give her the pills early and she wouldn't take them. I then forced her to hoping it would help her feel better soon. She then fainted and then everywent down hill from there. I took her to emergency where her breathing got worse and the doc said she's suffering and suggested I put her down. I woke up feeling so guilty and like I pulled the trigger too soon. I hope to God I made the right decision. It just feels so horrible. The
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The vet is coming to our house in the morning to put our big Leonberger to sleep. He was diagnosed with a murmur in early 2015 while we were living in America. Shortly after we moved to the UK in Nov 2015 we found out it had progressed to congestive heart failure. The meds seemed to work until the end of the summer and then he went downhill quickly. Lost so much weight, lost interest in going for a walk, chasing squirrels, heavy panting, swelling etc. We only have a few more hours with him. Its the right decision to put him to sleep but my heart is breaking. Watching my children cry is heartbreaking too. I love you, Ben, you will always be The Best Dog. Wait for us at the rainbow bridge x
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And now it's our turn. Our Gizmo came into our life when he was six. He started out as a starving puppy in Mexico. He was smuggled into Ca by his former owner- - a young girl. When he was four, his back feet were smashed by a car. When he was six, he was living in a car when my husband saw him and offered a home to him. He is a little prince. A dear sweet soul. And now our little guy is 16, deaf, needs glasses, and has CHF. The meds have helped, but each day and night, the cough gets worse. He still LOVES food, and his personality is intact. Everyday he follows me to my cottage office to help me work. I write murder mysteries and Gizmo is my muse-- although he tends to nap a lot on the job. We know we don't have much longer ... don't know if the hard coughing hurts. Can't bear the thought of making him overstay his time on earth. I have done that before with another dear dog, and I greatly regret my selfishness. Like most here, I hope he passes gently in his sleep, but probably won't be that lucky. I appreciate the info about asking for the drug the vet uses before surgery.
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Our beloved 2 year old Asian Mastiff Ace began slowing down over the last couple of weeks. He'd been off his food for a while but has always been a bad eater, we didn't think anything of it just kept offering him other foods and encouraging him. He had the odd cough. Sadly in his short life he's already been through a lot so we have regular visits to the vets. On New Year's Eve he'd been so lethargic and his breathing was deep and fast, we just knew something was wrong. The vet immediately picked up on an irregular heart beating (atrial fibrillation). An ecg was performed and he was scanned. We were told he is in the late stages of heart failure with fluid in and around his lungs and that he's suffering from a condition called Dilated Cardio Myopathy. The vet called it the silent killer. He's been given 2 weeks to 2 months to live on a cocktail of drugs. We are absolutely reeling and devastated. He's still with us at this moment his breathing had returned to normal but he's a poorly boy and we know it's just a matter of time. He's still going on short walks, eating sporadically, wagging his tail and the vet says he's in no pain but he is getting very skinny, he's out of sorts and is just a shadow of the dog he was. We are struggling to know when the time is right to let him go and be at peace. We do not want him to suffer.
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Our Tisha is 17 years old.  Yesterday, we took to the Pet ER as she had the blue tongue/gums, shivering, could barely walk without fainting and had the worst cough with vomit/bile.  The vet advised she has a murmur and that is leading to her not getting enough oxygen in her blood (leaky heart valves).  Until this time, we had her on a cough medicine and antibiotics.  She came home with improved condition last night but today, she has no appetite and no energy; although, she is drinking water (the diruetic).  We were given 5-day supply of diuretics but she has weak kidneys.  Vet says treat the heart first but we worry the meds will cause kidney failure and with her leaky valves, I don't want her to lapse back into the state she was in Sunday.  She is very tired and is not enjoying life.  I am talking with my wife today and we are taking her to our vet for a follow-up.  We do not want to put her thru the meds as Tisha really hates them and, although not yet suffering, she is very uncomfortable and her days are spent sleeping. She has no zest.  We are praying we make the right decision for her before she has trouble again.  
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Our 10 year old Border Collie was just dx'd with CHF. We're heartbroken. We had just gotten back from vacation last weekend and our housesitter didn't note any issues. Dazy had been coughing very minimally for a month or so, but we never thought a thing of it. She seemed perfectly fine.
Last Tuesday she started coughing in earnest. It was unproductive, nothing coming up, just very dry. Her sides were heaving and she was pacing in distress.
My husband took her to an ER vet and within an hour they were telling my husband we would lose her at any time, but, hey... we'll keep her overnight and do more tests for $3000. They gave her Lasix and oxygen and my husband declined the overnight (of course against their advice).
The next day he took her to our regular vet. He couldn't hear a thing. No murmur, no congestion.
Thursday, she started coughing again. I wondered if it might be allergies. The doctor wanted to see her again, immediately. It turns out the Lasix masked the symptoms the day before. He said, "no one needs to spend $3000 for this diagnosis." He put her on a high blood pressure med, Vasotec, and Lasix. He said we may have a year, possibly two, or as little as six months.
So, she takes these twice a day and I've added 5000iu of Vitamin D because it's good for the heart and dogs can't absorb it through their skin like humans.
She's really perked up, eating well and wanting to play with her Frisbee all the time. We can't know how much time we have with her. My husband read somewhere that activity should be limited. She's a border collie! There is no limit! I told him that while she can romp and play, we need to let her do as much as she can, as long as she can.
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I've had a couple dogs with CHF older large breed dogs I can tell you that while it sounds like your dog is further along then either of ours were when we first caught it (The first dog got a cold and while the rest of our animals got better he didn't so it was caught very early and with the 2nd we knew that coughing was a big sign (burping too)) our dogs kept on their meds have always done awesome. The one that is no longer with us didn't even die because of his heart, he went into liver failure. Our other dog has been on her meds for about 2 years now and is still going strong. It took 2 vet techs to hold her down at her last appointment  (she really hates the vet now that she can't see so good...she is a 17)
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I've had a couple dogs with CHF older large breed dogs I can tell you that while it sounds like your dog is further along then either of ours were when we first caught it (The first dog got a cold and while the rest of our animals got better he didn't so it was caught very early and with the 2nd we knew that coughing was a big sign (burping too)) our dogs kept on their meds have always done awesome. The one that is no longer with us didn't even die because of his heart, he went into liver failure. Our other dog has been on her meds for about 2 years now and is still going strong. It took 2 vet techs to hold her down at her last appointment  (she really hates the vet now that she can't see so good...she's 17)
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How do you get the vitamin D in amd what brand..and did you start feeding her moist dog food since their throat and cough is so bad?Going through the same thing as of last week.
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4 months ago my 15 yrs old chihuahua just diagnosed with stage 5 heart murmur. n he 's on meds since then. at 3am this morning suddenly he's breathing so hard, coughing. now he won't eat, drink can't stand. i don't want him in pain. should i put him down??
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Take yourself out of the equation is the biggest peice of advice I can offer. Is the dog able to do the things they love are they eating and drinking?
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My dog 11 yorki has.chf no energy cough especially when excited. He also has a trachea that is collapsing.  This makes the surgery riskier.  Plus the trachea problem is pretty severe. The vet said it could be a.mpnth or a yr before it collapses.  Then surgery is an option. Keep in mind now he would.be.with pacemaker.amd.older.if.surgery. idk what to do. I don't want him to suffer. 2 surgeries in short span with little dog seems extreme. I'm afraid if I don't I'll feel guilt bc he is suffering or guilty b. I put him down too soon. I do work part time and have kids that I run around with  Recovery might be hard without me there for 5 hrs of.the day. So confused
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Our 9 1/2 year old chihuahua was treated for CHF for the last 9 months with medication to reduce the fluid in his body with the drugs as listed above.  He was diagnosed in July 2016 and the vet told us without meds he would probably have 8 months and with possibly up to 2 years.  He has had on and off periods where he would cough more, labored  breathing, no energy.  The last couple of days he has really gotten worse.  He stopped eating, and his labored breathing was so scary last night that we  did make the decision today to bring him to the vet and give him peace.  My husband and I both drove him there with his little bed and a blanket and cuddled and continually told him how much we loved him and were so proud he was our little boy.  We did stay with him while they administered the drug to end his life.  Today has been spent with on and off periods of tears.  It was time and he let us know.  He was a rescue from an abusive home when we got him, and we will never regret making him a member of our family.  We have another rescue chihuahua at home that is eleven.  He will be lonely I would imagine and confused as he is used to having his little brother.  I guess what I am trying to say is...as hard as it is, when your pets quality of life has been reduced to just laying in his bed all day and coughing and not eating or enjoying life anymore it is time.  Good luck - if you never love anything or anyone, you will not experience this loss, however, you will never experience the unconditional love of a pet either and that is priceless.  Rest in peace Monty, we love you.
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I have a Jack Russell he is called Defer he has been on heart and fluid tablets for 3 weeks now is getting worse.His fluid is building up tired no energy and does not know where he is going.Before this about a week ago he use to bark and wag his tale for a bit and then get tired and rest as if he does not know me he is blind as well.I am now going to the vet to put him to rest as I would not like his organs to shut down and be in pain.Yes we both had happy lives together,in our hearts we know when it is time.My feelings go out to you all god bless.
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We just put our beloved dog Linus down this morning. This thread helped me so I thought I would post our story to share our experience. Linus was 16 and had CHF for 5 years and 2 months. He did so well on his two meds furosemide and pimobenden. He suddenly took a turn for the worse 2 day prior and was markedly ill. Prior to this he was coughing for years but that didn't affect his quality of life. They can live a happy life with a cough as long as it isn't so severe it keeps them from doing their normal activities. He was happy, had a good appetite, but we did notice him slowing down. A couple of days ago he started vomiting, and had labored breathing. Then he wasn't able to walk well and stopped eating, drinking and taking meds. Soon he was stumbling around aimlessly with a dazed look and couldn't rest. He was relieving himself just laying down since he couldn't get up. It was at this point we knew it was time. The vet said that CHF can be a very painful death so we were glad that we were making this decision to spare him the agony. I held him in my arms and he was looking directly at me during the procedure. He just wasn't himself though, so I am not sure how lucid he was. To summarize, while they are still happy, wagging, eating and interested in affection, it is too early. When they are in pain and suffering with struggling to breathe it is definitely time. Hope this helps someone figure out their heartbreaking decision. There will never be another like our sweet Chihweenie Linus.
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My 13 1/2 yrs old terra-poo was diagnosed with CHF 6months ago. She is on 3 meds twice a day.  They seemed to help until recently she is coughing every time she gets up.  She seems weak and can't do the stairs to go outside.  She staggers and collapses when she e Exerts herself too much. Her eating has slowed down.  I sit here reading all your posts and trying to convince myself it is time to let her go.  I love her so much had her since she was 6 mos old. Rescue from PR. I can't help thinking I m being selfish trying to keep her with me.  Thinking everyday I come home from work she will have passed in the day, but she is still by the door when I open it to greet me. Such a sweet girl loves her momma. No matter how bad she feels she wags that tail when I talk to her. God please give me the courage to say it is time for her to cross the rainbow bridge.   It is such a hard decision.  Please give me advise
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I hope that you have made the decision for your terra-poo. Since we love our fur babies as if they were little people it's so difficult to make that final decision even if in our hearts we know it's time.

A month ago, we had 4 great babies of our own; A Chihuahua (Prissy) whose been with me from birth and 3 rescues (two Chihuahuas and a Maltese). Then we discovered one of the Chi had CHF where she had a perfect checkup just a month before. Her name is Ellie and she's 11. Ellie's CHF came on so quickly that we didn't know if she would make it a month as it presented as a 5 of 6 murmur immediately and she began fading fast. The Maltese (Pyper, 15) and Ellie have been with me for 10 yrs now.  The other Chi (Cricket, age 8) came to me 6 yrs ago.

A week after we got the news, Prissy had an incident in the middle of the night with a single long scream. I couldn't wake her up and thought she was dead. Took her to the emergency vet and they could only find an intestinal issue that was treated. I took her from there to her regular vet the next day and she said she could hear a grade 3 murmur where there hadn't been one on her checkup either but she had no fluid in her lungs. The vet didn't want to treat until more could be found out as it was odd not to have any fluid unless it was some other type of heart failure beginning to show signs. Took her home to watch her closely and a few nights later she was beginning to breath heavily (85 per minute) and her little heart was struggling. Took her again to our vet who thought that the cords holding one side of the Mitral valve had torn, though it couldn't be verified without a ultrasound from a cardiologist.

Prissy had other medical issues and she was exhausted but still tried to stay for me though she didn't want me out of her site. We had a few hours of pure love at home before returning to do what had to be done. Though she "technically" was not in pain, it was still suffering she was enduring for me. By the time we got back to the vet's, Prissy was having difficulty standing on her own. The vet gave her a shot that would put her to sleep as if she were going to have surgery. Before it kicked in, she looked at me as if to say it was alright and laid her head against my cheek. She went to sleep in my arms and the vet gave her the final shot after we left the room. I have never loved a dog more than this one. She was my partner in everything for 16 1/2 yrs. I was devastated and wanted to go with her.

One week later, Pyper had a massive stroke and couldn't stop screaming, her body in contortions. We had to let her rest as well but it was easier to come to that decision as nothing controlled her pain. I was still scared to death that Ellie would soon follow. I don't think I could have made it had she passed as well. She has her own cardiologist and is now on meds that has given her her energy, playfulness and ultimately her life back. We don't know how long we have with her but we'll make the best of the time she has, however long that may be.

When the time comes that her quality of life is gone, we'll do for her what is best and not let her suffer. We can't control the fact that our loved babies will one day have to leave us but we often can control whether or not they suffer needlessly. Our final gift to them needs to be preventing as much suffering as we can when that's all that's left for them. Our love for them will last forever.
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My cocker spaniel Jasper is in the end stages of CHF.  We adopted him just after Thanksgiving 2015, he was around 11 years old.  I think he was a tad older at the time, but no matter.  About 4 or 5 months later in the spring of 2016, he was diagnosed with a murmer and CHF.  He's been on Enalipril and Lasik ever since.  Hot humid weather makes him really suffer, as it's difficult for him to breathe.  He is still eating and drinking, albeit he is not quite as enthusiastic about his food as he was even just a couple weeks ago.  His belly is so distended, and it seems he's not urinating as much as he normally does.   It's hard for him to get around, we have to help him up the stairs and sometimes down the stairs.  I came here looking for answers of when is the right time with this disease, as I've not had a dog with CHF before (one of my other Cockers had kidney failure, and it was obvious when the end was near).  I'm thinking that it is soon time to end his suffering.  I've been down this path too many times with my beloved pets, but it doesn't make it easier!
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Such a hard decision involving our little friends....every time a dog must be put down or dies suddenly its truly heart wrenching and I've been thru 4 of them..still crying as i write about this one..

Our Lhasa poo almost 13 had been coughing with CHF for 18 months. 40mg of lasix, 10/20 mg of theophylline daily at the end ($100/mth). Extra urination and lots of stains on the rugs but he seemed happy, not much activity but eating and drinking fine. but coughing constantly, at the end he was coughing 80% of the time, had some muscle wasting and weight loss (from 30 to 20 lbs) so he was very bony and noticing diarrhea almost always.
He had to lay perfectly flat on the floor to avoid coughing and lots of times he wouldn't get up to go out even in the morning (of course I had to help him because otherwise he would go on the rug when I wasn't around)

so family was advising us to put him to sleep for 3 months because of how uncomfortable he looked and sounded. Maybe we could have strung it out a couple more months not sure....we have a trip planned in 3 weeks and we did not want to kennel him like this.  we also were worried about him choking to death alone.

Bottom line we have been talking about this for 2 months and we made the decision to put him down last Saturday, i was crying all the way and almost turned around. Although we feel the deep void he left, we take comfort in knowing he is not in pain or uncomfortable now. Best of luck to everyone dealing with this.



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