Dogs Community
Dog with Congestive Heart Failure
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding your pet dogs!

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Dog with Congestive Heart Failure

Hi,

I would like to hear from those who have dogs with congestive heart failure. My 12 year old was just diagnosed with it the other day. I would like to know what to expect and what to be on the look out for. Currently he is on 50mg. Lasix, which I understand is a very low starting dose and he weighs 121 lbs. I'm not seeing much improvement. Still coughing/gagging and fatigued. I see no increase in urine output so I'm worried that it's not getting the fluid off his lungs. Also, his appetite has tanked. Does lasix effect their appetite?

This is weighing very heavy on me. He's my last dog of a pack of three. The other two were 15 and 16 when they left me within a few months of each other. It tore me up, but I knew I still had Boomer and he was a comfort to me. I know losing him is going to be much, much worse because suddenly my home will really be empty when he goes. I have read that once diagnosed they generally last 6 months to a year. Is that true???

Hope to hear from you. Thanks.
Related Discussions
37 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Hello & welcome......I'm sorry about your losses.....Makes me sad for you....

My dear "Baby Chance" (Pictured) lived 3 yrs. after he was diagnosed with CHF.....He was on Lasix along with 2 Heart Medications.....

If I had it to do over, I would have found him a canine Cardiologist in the city 60 miles from here....I live in a Rural area....If it ever happens again, I won't hesitate, as an ECG or EKG is vital to determine what kind of heart disease your dealing with & get the medications correct.....I do wish I had it to do over, but I try not to think about it.  ;(

I remember it taking about 3 days till I noticed a change in the coughing.....Water consumption/peeing was a huge part of the picture, also....

If Boomer has been on his meds for awhile & still has fluid on his lungs, you either need to go back to the Vet or ask for a referral to a Cardiologist or get a second opinion!

I'm sorry I can't be of more help...I'm hoping someone else will come by w/information for you.....Please, keep us updated on Boomer......Karla

P. S.  In my Chance's case, lack of appetite was NEVER part of the disease or the meds.....

Blank
670955_tn?1226601500
Well, I could deal with 3 years!  I've been crying all week thinking our time was limited, although I know every case is different. Depending on the age of the dog, three years is good! Of course we always want more time with them, but one of the crazy things about loving dogs is that we go into it knowing they are going to die before us but we do it anyway. In the long run, it's worth the heart break.

Today, which is the third day on Lasix, he does seem somewhat better, actually.

As for the cardiologist, I'd go that route without hesitation but from what I've read (and you all can correct me if I'm wrong!) it doesn't seem to change the treatment. Although, I do wonder why lasix is the only thing he has been put on. Is that because it's early stage? The vet did say he wasn't able to hear any heart murmurs, but once the fluid in his lungs clears, he would probably be able to. But I think I'll ask the Vet about a cardiologist next visit.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Our Jack Russel Terrier had the cough and the rapid breathing so we brought him to the vet on May 2, 2011. They immediately put him on oxygen and took x-rays. The prognosis was not good. We left Jack with the Vet and went home as they waited for the person to do an Echo Cardiogram. That was at 9:30 AM my Jack died in the Vets arms at 2:45 that afternoon. We miss him very much, he as 1o. There was no way to know, he went so  fast. I wish I had time to hug him one more time while he was alive.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I stumbled onto this forum while searching for informaton on congestive heart failure. Our 13 yr old mini-dachshund, Jasper,  was diagnosed with CHF on May 12th, 2011.  Last year, he had surgery to remove a stone from his bladder and has at least one stone in his kidneys and was on Hill's U/D dog food.   Now with the congestive heart failure, he is taking Furosimide. Benazepril, and Vetmedin.    Although there was some concern that he was refusing to eat Hill's U/D any longer, our vet believed that getting him to eat was the most important thing. For the past month I have been boiling chickens and cooking brown rice in the chicken stock.  If he starts to show lack of interest in his chicken and rice, I will try hamburger.   He absolutely will not take his medicine unless it is crushed and mixed with his food.

As much as I do not want to face the day that we will be without Jasper, my main concern is that he does not suffer and has a good quality life no matter how short the rest of his time.   I already see the loss of weight and energy and will not allow him to starve to death.  When asked "do you want to go for a walk", Jasper stills wags his tail and heads for the front door.  The walk may not include chasing squirrels and rabbits but it is still something he enjoys.  I pray for many of those walks to come.  I also pray that I will have the courage to let him go when the time has come.

We have excellent vets and the entire staff have been terrific with Jasper.  I am interested in adding Tums to his medicine mix if that might help with the kidney disease so will be asking for their guidance.  Thanks so much for being "out there" as I know I will be following this forum for all the information and understanding that is here.
Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Hi Jasper's mom & welcome.....Tums are used with Kidney Failure....It binds to Phosphorus to flush it from the failing Kidneys.....This process helps w/nausea....To my knowledge, it will do nothing for stone formation.....However, your dog would benefit greatly from it as a Calcium source which is vital for homecooking....Adding fresh, cooked veggies to your homecooking would provide even more Nutrition & moisture to help keep his Kidneys/Bladder flushed.....Does he like any particular Veggies? How about cooked Sweet Potatoes instead of rice? Anything wet is good for the Kidneys...Not dry!

I've attached an article below (Part 1) that may help you with the stones. Part 2 will be in another message.....

Attack Of The Killer Grains

In this week's article, I wanted to write about Bladder Stones--Struvite & Oxalate Crystals.  To understand why pet's have such problems, one needs to know the history of their diet and the problems it has created.  Because of the complexity of this subject, it will be broken down into several articles.  This week, the history and different crystals, next week, how to prevent them through diet and alternative treatments.

History Of The Creation Of Pet Foods:

During the depression, consumers were seeking less expensive ways to feed their pets.  Less raw was fed and more grains and cereals were introduced into our pet's diet. Initially dry dog foods either came in a form of a biscuit or a pellet. In the 1950's Purina invented the extrusion process. They created a kibble that was larger in size, but lighter in weight giving the appearance that you were getting more for less (the start of the deception they give their consumers). The sales of processed foods opened the doors for mill operators and dealers. It gave them a good source to sell their by-products in the pet industry. Slaughterhouses were also available to sell non-human grade, diseased meats, unusable parts, and meat by-products to pet food manufacturers. This created a market for products that previously had been discarded.

Keep in mind that grains such as corn, wheat and even rice provide low-cost calories, their high carbohydrate content contributes to obesity, diabetes, kidney stones/struvite crystals, behavior problems, allergies, skin/coat problems and a host of other health problems in cats and dogs.

There is a myth that high protein foods are bad for pets and cause kidney problems.  First it is important that you give your pet a high quality protein.  High quality protein is digestible and produces fewer nitrogen by-products.  Protein that is given as a fresh meat or canned has a high percent of water that helps to flush it through the kidneys.
  
Therefore the problem with crystals starts with a grain-based diet.  Foods made with grains (corn, wheat, rice etc) can cause alkaline urine in dogs and cats. Magnesium reacts with alkaline urine to cause crystals. Most "prescription/dissolution/preventative" clinic diets take out the magnesium to prevent this reaction, even though magnesium is essential, especially for the nervous system. Reducing magnesium may cause a host of other negative health issues. "In fact, reducing the magnesium levels in cat food can cause increased excretion of calcium from the kidneys, leading to the formation of calcium oxalate stones in the bladder".(1)

Two Different Types of Crystals:  

Struvites:  Also called 'triple phosphate'(magnesium ammonium phosphate) are the most commonly seen with urinary tract infections and most frequently seen in females. These type of crystals are seen in young dogs (under a year) or in middle aged or older dogs. Struvites are almost always accompanied by bacteria that create a high alkaline pH. In cats, struvite stones form in the absence of a bladder infection.  Struvite Crystals are most common and the symptoms include frequent urination, straining to urinate and blood in the urine.  

Calcium Oxalate:
Calcium Oxalate crystals tend to affect more males than females. The pH in dogs with these types of crystals is usually acidic or neutral. It is thought that some dogs that are more prone to these types of stones have an inherited weakness that prevents them from forming nephrocalein, which prevents calcium oxalate stone formation. While these stones are mostly treated by surgically removing them, there has been some success with reducing the oxalate rich foods in the diet and working to alkalize the urine pH.  

Kristina


1.  Messonnier, Shawn DVM, Natural Health Bible, pg. 41

Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Here's part 2:    Hope some of this helps........Good luck and let us know how it's going......Karla

Attack Of The Killer Grains Part II

In our last article we talked about how grains contribute to Struvite crystals in cats and dogs. Struvite crystals are common in normal urine and can cause infections in dogs. When the crystals are present in large amounts, they can form stones. Struvite crystals are almost always accompanied by bacteria that create a high alkaline pH.  

A pet fed a diet consisting of a high percent of grains or starch creates the high alkaline in the urine.  Magnesium reacts with alkaline urine to cause crystals. Pets with Struvite crystals (or to avoid struvite crystals) should be fed a high protein diet which is acidic.  A raw diet is preferred over a cooked diet.

There is a strong chance that pets that have Calcium Oxalate stones may have to have them surgically removed as they will not dissolve.  If your dog is prone to Oxalate crystals, eating alkalizing foods like apples, bananas, cabbage, broccoli, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, millet, honey, alfalfa, non-distilled vinegar (organic apple cider vinegar), squash and most fruit and most vegetables can alkalize the urine pH.  

When cats are treated for struvite crystals, a prescription diet may be given by your Veterinarian which reduces are eliminates magnesium.  As per Dr. Messonnier, DVM, reducing magnesium levels in cat food can cause increased excretion of calcium from the kidneys, leading to the formation of calcium oxalate stones in the bladder.

If your dog is prone to urinary track infections (which may be caused by the bacteria E. coli), there is a substance in cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and blueberries (Vaccinium myrtilus) that has been shown to prevent the adhesion of E. collie to the bladder wall and Urethra.  If the bacteria are unable to attach, they are washed out of the urinary tract during urination and an infection cannot develop.

Increasing water is beneficial for your pets.  The best way to get this is a fresh meat/vegetable diet or canned food added to their diet.  A fresh food or canned food diet contain up to 78% moisture.  

We must all rethink the way we feed our pets.  Like I said in the last article, dry, processed food was made during the depression to give people a low cost alternative to feeding their pets.  Over time, we have adapted (not our pets) to feeding a diet that doesn't provide a balance of meat to carbs and does not provide enough moisture in their diet.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for your reply.  I appreciate your articles on  kidney stones and wish I had been more proactive after his surgery so that Jasper could have had a better diet.  I will steam some sweet potatoes and mix a little organic honey in to see how he likes them.  I don't think he will miss the rice at all as he has started to pick around it.  

Jasper has never been fed anything other than Hill's Science Diet so I find myself wondering if this food could have caused him to have stones and now heart disease or if it is all genetic.   Of course he always had a healthy appetite and loved treats on occassion. Maybe my parents had it right years ago when the dogs were fed leftovers after dinner.  

Jasper could not make it out the doggie door before having a very loose stool yesterday morning.  Is this indicative of CHF or something else that I need to be aware of?  It is unusual for him to potty in the house.

He has caught on to the medicine in his food and is refusing to eat very much this morning.  That really concerns me since not only will he not get his medicine, he is not getting the nutrition he needs.  I don't want to upset him by forcing pills on down his throat so will be searching for some other way to get him to take the meds.  His water intake has been between 12 and 16 ounces daily and I will continue to watch that.  I am going to get some ground beef or some beef that I can grind at home to tempt his appetite.  

Can you advise me on how much Tums to give him?  I have extra-strength Tums on hand but will buy regular strength for him.  If it helps to calculate, Jasper weighed about 16 lbs when he was weighed by the vet last week but some of it could have been the fluid.  I can also call his vet tomorrow to ask.

Thanks again for your help!
Faye
Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Hi Faye....The loose stool may be a reaction (Side effect) of one of the medications...Or the digestive system getting use to the whole foods instead of processed....You can add Canned Pumpkin (NOT pie filling) to his meals daily....About 1tsp. twice a day will help with the loose stools....
Calcium would be 450mg. daily for 10-15 lbs. You can break the tums in pieces to get the right amount...These Tums should also help with Nausea if that's what is causing him not to eat...Again, it may be the side effect of one (Or more) of the meds.

For your beef, get some lean Stew Meat....Brown first & then boil till tender....You can add some veggies (Green beans, or any kind of squash, or carrots, peas, broccoli, etc. & sweet potato to the same pot while it cooks...Like a stew! This way everything has been cooked in the beef broth and more likely to get eaten!

For pill giving: Coat them in peanut butter or cheese & see if that helps...You can also try Pill Pockets...Can be purchased at any pet store.

Cantaloupe or Bananas would be good for him, too....They are full of potassium which his Lasix  will rob from him....Offer him a bite the next time you have one....He might like fruit!

I have one more suggestion: I want you to go to "Ziwi-Peak" homepage...It's a wonderful food made in New Zealand. Here's what to do....Go to their homepage, then go to their U.S. link.  There will be a message box or a way to send an inquirey....Inquire about their food and ask if they have samples....Be sure to put your name and address in the note! They will send you 3 samples of their food and a bag of treats....It will take two weeks to receive it, so do it when you can.....This may be a food your Jasper will like!!! It won't hurt to try, it's free! ;)

I gotta get to bed, it's 2 AM.....Let me know what you think and how Mr. Jasper is doing.....Take Care, Karla



Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Something else: You might try a bowl of cooked oats (Oatmeal)...This would help his tummy....I add honey and cinnamon.....I also add Goatsmilk (Canned) if I have a dog that needs some extra weight & Calories...Very nutritious & yummy!!!  I eat a bowl w/them....Karla
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Karla,

I am so encouraged as this afternoon when we returned from work, Jasper met us at the door with tail waggin' eagerness as if he was the puppy he once was.  'Chased the big bad dog next door away with his gruff barking so he was a happy guy'.  He is off on a short walk with my husband tonight.  No problems with his potty trips today either so that was a good sign.  I am thankful for just this one day.

I talked with one of Jasper's vets about Tums and he agreed that the Tums may help coat his stomach and make his appetite better.  He was not concerned about the calcium level as it was good when last checked on the 16th of June. I bought children's Tums yesterday and was told to give him 1/4 tablet about an hour before I fed him in the morning and evening.  At Jasper's next appt in mid-July, they will decide about adding pet vitamins to his meds.

Jasper loved the sweet potatoes that I added to some ground beef last night and today.  I also added in a little of his chicken and a few green beans so he could get accustomed to eating them.  He was so eager to eat he did not notice that I had again slipped his meds in the food.   I tried to give him some watermelon that I was eating and he was not interested.  Fruits have never been a favorite snack for him but I will keep trying, already had a cantaloupe.  :)  It is unusual to worry about him losing weight as he has always had the opposite problem.  

Thanks so much for your good ideas.  I feel so much better about Jasper's future and how I can make life easier for him.   I will keep you up to date on Jasper and hopefully I will have many good days remaining to tell you about.  I truly appreciate your time and interest.

Faye
Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Hello Faye...Well, I'm delighted with yours & Jasper's Good Day...Don't despair, once you get his meds. adjusted to fit & he gets use to them, he will be a different dog! Dogs can live many years w/ CHF.....

Glad he liked the sweet potatoes....I thought he might...Want to add that when you get to the Vitamin giving, the Holistic Vet on this forum recommends Children's Flintstone...My Holistic Vet recommends Human Centrum Silver....Jasper would need 1/4 of one daily....

I'm adding a really fabulous recipe from one of my dog cook books...This one has never failed me, yet.....They're easy to make and can be frozen for future servings....Nice to have something in the freezer when your in a hurry....Here it is:

HUNGRY MONGREL TURKEY BURGERS

1 1/2 pounds ground Turkey
2 Egg Yolks
2 T. Parsley Flakes
1 T. Minced Garlic
1/4 t. Thyme
1/2 C. Dry Bread Crumbs
1/2 C. Cooked Rice

Mix all ingredients in a bowl...Shape into patties and broil in oven about 15 to 20 minutes until Burgers are no longer Pink in the middle. Turn over after one side is well browned. Cool & serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator or freeze.

OK, that's it and I'm done.....Good luck & please come back with updates.....I'll be thinking about you both......Karla
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Karla,

This sounds like a great recipe and I will try it soon.  Jasper had another good day, eating well and seeming to feel so much better.  I cooked stew beef in my pressure cooker last night as I was in a hurry to get it tender.  I also cooked several chicken breasts in the pressure cooker after I finished with the beef.  This will be helpful on the days that I have less time to cook and will give him some variety.    

I hope I am not valuable time for Jasper by waiting until the vet okays giving vitamins to him on our mid-July appt.  I believe Jasper would eagerly eat Flintstone vitamins where as the Pettabs will seem like another medicine to him.  I am going in to pick up more vetmedin tomorrow so will talk to the vet about going ahead with them.

Thanks again Karla for all your good advice.    Since Jasper was diagnosed,  I am reliving the last few months of my mother's life and wondering why I could not have done more for her or found a doctor who would.  She also had CHF but I feel that I am giving and getting better care for Jasper than was given to her. I depended too much on other people rather than being involved.  You seem to be such a kind hearted person, I wanted to share that with you.

Faye
Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Hi Faye.... Your NOT wasting valuable time without Vitamins.....The whole, fresh foods have plenty of Vitamins/Minerals....He can eat homecooking for months & months and still be OK....Just not longterm!  Trust me, it's much healthier than Science Diet...Actually, there's no comparison!  
That statement is nothing against you personally...Your not suppose to know as we believe our Vets know more about what our dogs need....When it comes to nutrition, they DO NOT!

My mom also died of CHF...I relive it, often.....I WAS her primary caretaker for years & years and went to great lengths to provide everything she needed....I too, always beat myself up thinking that I could have done more or done it better.....It's almost a No win situation!  I tell myself I made the best decisions I could at the time.....However, I still wonder....I suppose this is a common side effect of GRIEF!

Hope you and Jasper are having a great day.....I've just come in from mowing the lawn and I feel fortunate that I survived!  :)  It's extremely HOT here in Oklahoma & I'm tired of it...

Take care & let me know if I can help you w/anything else, will be glad to......Karla

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
HI Karla,

I appreciate all you are telling me.  The vet was not available when I stopped in to refill Jasper's medicine do I could not talk to one of them about the vitamins.  I decided to go ahead with a the Flintstone's vitamin and gave him one this morning.  I worry sometimes that because my vets are of Kansas State University grads and did a lot of work with Science Diet, they don't want to deviate from it.  At least that is true of the younger male Vet.  The female vet has the same attitude that I have of it is more important to get Jasper to eat and for get Science Diet if he doesn't want it.

Jasper is continuing to do very well although he is quite the con artist trying to convince me to give him a treat.  I am a pushover but try to limit his "treat" to another piece of chicken, etc.  I don't mind that he is not the little tub that he once was but don't want to see him turn to skin and bones.

You are so wise in that what we both have gone through is part of the grief process.  Because I lived 1000 miles away, I was unable to be with my mom as much as I would have liked to be.   My sisters and brother had all the responsibility on them.  I remember their exhaustion and that some of the decisions made were made out of sheer frustration.  We all miss her terribly as I still reach for the telephone to make that daily phone call to check on her.

Take care in this heat.    We have had several days of 100+ degree days here in Kansas and I am looking forward to a cool down. Thank goodness we live out in the country so if the grass gets tall there is  no one to see it!

Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July celebration.
Faye
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Karla,
I wanted to check back in with you and let you know how things are going.  Jasper is doing okay.  Not always eager to eat his food/medicine but evenually he takes it.  I have to vary his food quite abit or he gets bored with it.   One of my major challenges right now is getting the Vetmedin in him.    I have to mix it with just a little food and then ignore him. After a little bit he will eat his food.  I bought liquid suspinsion lasix and benazapril from the vet and it was terribly expensive.  If she had not special ordered it for me, I would have refused to take it.  She has since given me prescriptions and I purchased both the meds in tablet form from Wal-mart.  Wish I had know that I could do that about 2 months ago.  Maybe that information will help someone else who is dealing with a pet with CHF.
Take care
Faye
Blank
Avatar_n_tn

The vet said anytime that we were ready was the time to let Jasper go. She worried that he would go into respiratory distress and then it would be harder on him and us.  So after a weekend pampering him and loving him as much as we could, we decided that today was the day.  The medicine was no longer helping relieve the fluild buildup and he looked very uncomfortable.  This morning the depression was very evident, he did not want to eat, and was not interested in going outside.  It was a very hard decision to make but I did not want to let him suffer because I was too selfish and wanted to keep him with me.

We will bury him out where I can see his grave along with other animals we have lost over the years.

Thanks for all your help the past couple of months.
Faye
Blank
462827_tn?1333172552
Faye...I sent you a Private Message to your profile page....Let me know if you get it or not.....Sincerely, Karla
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Look into the cardiac drug "Vetmedin".  It is now the first line medicine for CHF in dogs...
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am deeply sorry to hear about Jasper.. Dont mean to bother you but I am currently having the same situation with my Gaby:(  I am curious if Jasper experienced extreme pain when you touched him?  I am concerned there maybe other problems other than just the CHF. I was also wondering what else to expect when time gets closer when I wont wake up to kisses in the morning from my baby.. But I would like to thank both of you guys because this has been alot of help for me...
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Just lost my beautiful white Boxer with CHF.  He started last fall with the coughing and throwing up white stuff.  I took him to local vet twice because I did not know what was wrong and evidentially they did not know either.  I ended up taking him last December to Auburn University Animal Clinic and that was when we got the dreaded diagnosis.  He was put on several meds and did OK until summer.   His prognosis in April was he would last 3-6 months and he made it five.  I had to have him put to sleep and I am still crying over Rocky.  He was deaf, but was the best and smartest dog I have ever owned.  I miss him like crazy.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am so sorry for your diagnosis, ann. Our 16-year-old miniature dachshund, Sadie, was diagnosed over a year ago with CHF. However, she has worsened dramatically this week. Her respirations have gone as high as 60-72/min. while sleeping and her heart rate 144-240/min. She is exhausted all the time, doesn't do much except for walk outside to do her duties, and to the food & water bowls to eat then back to bed. I took her to the vet yesterday and we are continuing her Enalapril plus she put Sadie  on Lasix and started her on Vetmedin. She is down to 7.0#. At her peak she weight 9.5# and in Feb. she weighed 8.2#. I was quite shocked when the vet gave Sadie a 50 mg injection of Lasix at the office. That seemed like a massive amount for her size. She scared us on the way home with an episode of aggravated shortness of breath and gagging, but that resolved. Her Xrays showed that her heart is more than double the size that it should be, and expected to see the fluid in her lungs. But what really floored us is that her liver is also enlarged quite a bit.

Our vet says we should be seeing a dramatic difference in her behaviors within the next few days. Today her resp. rate is still 60/min, but much less labored than yesterday. Her heart rate is at or below 144. She is still exhausted but has a slight appearance of feeling better, if you know what I mean by that. I do not want her to suffer, and wonder if I am keeping her hanging on for myself rather than for her good. I pray it will be obvious when it is time to have her put down. I am not looking forward to that day.
Blank
670955_tn?1226601500
Well, once again I went searching for information on what to expect and came across this old thread I started when Boomer was first diagnosed.

He was started on Vetmedin shortly after when everything else wasn't working. He has done well for a year and six months but I fear we are now at the end of the road. He has had a very bad weekend, beginning with throwing up his dinner Friday night, which is the last thing he ate. He is very weak now and refuses to eat. Not sure what tomorrow will bring. My only wish is that he will go to sleep and not wake up. I can't handle making that choice for him right now. It has been a brutal year.

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I just lost my beautiful little girl Kitsey to CHF, she was 16 yrs old. She was diagnosed  last March, I was told that the usual life span is max of 1yr....she lasted 9 months. She was on 4 pills 2x per day...she did great until Oct 6...her breathing became very labored...I rushed her to the  hospital...she was put in oxygen for 3 nights...they warned me she may not make it through the night, but she made it through like a trooper(mind you, she's only 7lbs)

All was good until Oct 31...it happened again....back in oxygen for 3 nights. then again Nov 17....then again Dec 3....each time she got weaker....the last episode, the Cardiologist told me that she had about 2 hrs to live....her lungs were filling up with fluid, and she was essentially drowning.  I was a complete mess...I didn't want her to suffer, so I agreed to have her put to sleep.
  I am so sad, I can hardly stop crying,,,,I have never felt pain like this before......I still question myself....did I do everything right?  Could I have done more?  I hope to find some peace with this.
Blank
670955_tn?1226601500
I'm so sorry to hear about your darling Kitsey. Please know you did everything you could.  I know how you're feeling. I lost my Boomie Nov. 13th. He went down fast and I chose to euthanize. I was grateful for the 16 extra months meds gave me with him but of course its never enough. The holidays completely passed by without me noticing. It will get better. Allow yourself to grieve. Hugs.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi all,
I'm so excited I found this community :).  Our dog Boogie was diagnosed yesterday with CHF.  I worry a tad because he's still fairly young, he's not turned 5 yet.  I'm guessing this might've stemmed from a previous heart condition that we were unaware of.  He's always been healthy, so very healthy and so active.  He's is an outside dog (He's a 110 lb German Shepard with a strong "aversion" toward our inside kitty  LOL or he'd be my inside buddy) so he's got the run of our fairly large fenced backyard.  So this kinda came as a shock.  We do walk him (probably not as much as we should) but we get out there and throw the ball with him and our little Schnauzer Marley loves to chase him all over the backyard (hehehe).
We just noticed his symptoms Sunday evening.  He was a whole lot less active (it felt like all of a sudden) and his stomach looked very tight, more so than normal.  So of course curiosity and the vet being closed on Sunday got the better of me and I looked online (the worst thing to do sometimes).  I thought he had an almost always fatal condition Gastric Bloat.  I was terrified that we were fixing to have to put him to sleep.  But gratefully it wasn't that, but I know this is quite a severe condition as well.  I'm just concerned about his activities.  Just this last fall, I was walking in our neighborhood every day, for about 1-2 miles each time and took him with me.  He acted as though he loved it.  And when I would walk out back with his leash, he would run up to me and just sit there until i put it on him :)  so I took that as he was loving it.  I wanted to start doing that again with the weather getting nicer, but I'm afraid now that it'll do more damage.  I know at first I wouldn't be able to walk him probably very far at all, but I just wondered if I should even walk him at all...  I really want to prolong his life as long as possible, b/c he's still so very young and he's my son's little play buddy and it would devastate him if anything were to happen to him.      
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My 9 year old pound pup chi Ellie was diagnosed on 2nd novemeber 2012 It was a very sad day, but we are now in June 2013 and she is doing very well on her meds
1 x enalapril 2.5 mg, furosemide 12.5 mg and she was on 1 x Temaril p twice a day...she is now down to 1 x half a Temaril p everyother day and they have added Vet medin 1.25 mg about a month ago...she had her bloods tested last week and her eletra lights are normal and they were very pleased with her...told me 6 weeks before another blood test then about 6 to 8 months after that. Although she does not like exercise that much now she is doing well. One of the best things I have founf to get her meds down is crush them and put in suringe with a tiny funnel add water shake till disolved then put in to mouth and this makes sure she has her meds with no lost tablets...I really think this has helped as she is now in to her 8 month after diagnoised and she is doing better now than before...I know I have to prepare for the end but I am optomistice I will have her a lot longer than I first thought...I have read alot about CHF and dogs on meds can live between 6months to 7 years if medication is admisered propley.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My name is Debbie.  My little pomeranian was diagnosed with CHF on June 4th of this year.  The vet said that she was between a 2-3 on the scale of 1-5. She is taking 2.5mg of Enalapril, 12.5mg of Furosemide, and 2.5mg of Vetmedin daily. Plus a supplement called Total Heart.  In June her heart was swelled to 2.6. In July it was down to 1.6.  It is suppose to be between 1.2 - 1.4.  She hasn't been choking as much as she was in the beginning but in the last day she has started choking again a lot.  My baby just turned 10 and I am no where ready to lose her.  I hope that I have to force her to take her meds for at least a year.  Yes I did say force her, she is a very picky eater and peanut butter doesn't work with her.  I crush the pills and put them in soft food and make her eat it.
Blank
6332104_tn?1380400191
We just found out yesterday that our 11 year old rat terrior has a very large heart murmur (CHF). They have started him on 5mg of Enalapril 2x a day and Vetmedin 5mg 2x a day. He started this medicine this morning and hasn't moved, eaten, barely drinking any water and has only been out once today to do his business. Not himself at all, he has slepted all day, breathing heavy and just kinda of out of it. They did blood work on him yesterday also and luckily his kidneys and liver are good so far. Can someone please tell me what I need to be expecting. I'm scared to death, and been a basket case since yesterday. I worried giving him these meds or making him more miserable than what he was. Mini Me hates taking pills and the peanut butter and cheese trick doesn't work with him at all. I feel awful that he is having to go through all this and that mommy can't take away his pain. Please help with any info that may help us. Thanks in advance Patti and Mini Me.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi Patti and Mini Me,

I am so sorry to hear :(  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

I am in a similar situation.  My little 15 year old, mini dachshund, Mylo was diagnosed with CHF back in January.  He was fine that day but later in the evening started having rapid breathing.  So fast to the point, I could not even count the breaths per minute.  I rushed him to the vet.  The vet did not think he was going to make it.  The vet kept him and actually took him home with him for 5 nights.  He told me he would call only if something happened.  :(   Needless to say, I did not sleep the whole time dreading a telephone call.

I finally was able to bring him home.  He was happy to be home but ate very little.  That night he did the same as your dog and laid in his bed not wanting to eat, drink or move.  I carried him outside to go to the bathroom and he was very unstable and falling over.

The next day the same thing.  I could see it is in eyes that he had that "help me" look.  I could not let him just lay there so I decided to take the matters into my own hands.

I started off by mixing his Hill's critical care food with the Hill's W/D food with Pedialyte in a blender.  I then began syringe feeding him twice a day.  He would also not take his pills and I had to physically put them down his throat.  I learned the proper way and it does not hurt him.  I had to do this because like your dog, he would not take it in any type of treat, food, etc. He began to regain his strength and his appetite did come back!

Mylo is on the same meds as your dog except he takes Lasix and Denamarin (for his liver since his enzymes were a little elevated).  I also have him on glucosamine for his back.  

He was having those breathing/rapid heartbeat episodes frequently.  Scary as all hell.  They would finally subside after HOURS. I would go outside and cry uncontrollably because I was afraid that he wasn't going to make it.  His respiratory rate was off the charts and I could not even count his heart beats per minute.  I rushed him to the vet too many times to count  He even got to the point of coughing every so often and then even that became more frequent.

Well it has been almost 9 months since his diagnosis.  He is still on all his meds and I still syringe feed him the Hill's food mixed with the Pedialyte in a blender to this day.  He has an amazing appetite but now I do not feed him anything but organic chicken that I cook every day for him.  I feed him in small portions.  The weird part is, he has not had a rapid breathing/heart racing episode in a while (almost 2 months I would say).  He did have some problems with his back (that is another nightmare altogether).

He truly is my little miracle.  I am beginning to think that diet was playing a big part in his breathing/rapid heartbeat episodes.  I am just stumped.  Whatever caused these episodes to stop is beyond me.  Who am I to question?  I am just happy that he is feeling much better.  I know there is no cure and he doesn't bounce like a madman like he used to.  However, he does trollop around, barks for his food and even wags his tail like crazy again.  These things he didn't do for the longest time.  I am so blessed and thankful each and every day.

I know each dog is different but I wanted to share what I have been doing in hopes that maybe it might help.  

You and Mini Me will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Please respond and let me know how it is going.

Hugs to you and Mini Me!

I know when it first happens Patti, I was scared beyond belief.  I love my Mylo like a child.  
Blank
8581897_tn?1398809146
Hi my name is Laura and my Little Angeles name is Brandy she now has Contesting failure and been placed on 44 different medications Furosemide Vetmedin Enalprill Primor and Told NO MORE PUPPY FOOD & I need to cook for her which I do not mind I Will DO ANYTHING TO SAVE MY BABY I Am cooking chicken CARROTS rice and Apple's THIS time I tried to add Apple to see if she would like them Brandy also has a Heart Murmur so all of this is Very troublesome to my Heart , I worried so much about her and what I can do to help her feel better I am wondering what other foods I can cook for her without sodium CAN PUPPYS HAVE PORK ?  What type of vegetables and meats can I make for her and is it normal for her to be unaware of loading her pee while sleeping or just sitting even when she barks pee dripples out & down her legs PLEASE HELP .........
Blank
6745866_tn?1399755038
Hello All. I have a 12 year old Malti-poo, Charlie. He started with a level 2 heart murmer. Vet wasn't worried about it. So I wasn't. She had said it was super common and he was otherwise in complete health.  
(November-December 2013)Couple years later went back to Vet , we're at a level 4. Starts him on Fortekor. 2 months go by and he's worse . X- Rays showed his enlarged heart. month later another X-Ray confirmed. Another month later ( could actually be less than month .. more like 2-3 weeks) another X-Ray to see if he had fluid build up. which he did. He then got taken off fortekor and placed on Furosemide (for the fluids)  2x a day 1/4 pills. And stronger heart pills.Vetmedin (for his heart) 2x a day 1 capsule . Now, I know this sounds bad , but I had paid out over 1000.00 on X-Rays and these constant check-ups and I just didn't have anymore money for X-Rays so I never got a follow up to see if the fluid was gone. However my Vets said regaurdless Charlie has to be on Furosemide indeffinately. He is happier now and I let him live everyday like he wants to, again I know this is bad. But, I don't have a whole lot of time left with him, and  I figure what they hey! If he's happy I'm happy. I read some posts saying loss of appitite. My Charlie thus far eats fine sometimes he forgets and needs a little food game to get in the mood, but so far he eats okay and drinks a lot more than before the Furosemide. He  chokes after drinking , but not nearly as bad before Furosemide and Vetmedin. He's learned to drink slower and not be a hyper after.  Though this whole thing has been extremely hard for me. I'm finding as the months go by it's easier to accept  the fact that he is sick. I've learned to do things differently, appreciate him more, spoil him more just love him more. ( If you met my Charlie you'd know he's the devil.lol) However because of his Heart Failure it's made me realize, that I'm not going to have him forever. Which had NEVER occured to me . So I'm still optimistic that he has months with me. And he doesn't seem to be in a rush to leave either.
Blank
10079043_tn?1407683994
Found out my little dog had chf in april and she is on vetmedin and frumiside ( water tablet) she is coping well thankfully apart from the peeing. Have noticed everytime she drinks from her bowl her gagging cough starts, now give her bottled water instead of tap and it seemed to help but still a little cough after each drink. Any advice please.x
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I have a five year old boxer that just got diagnosed today, he is on lasix tabs 50mg and vetmedin 5.0, vet said his heart and liver is inlarged and fluid on his lungs, wants to see him in 10 days to recheck everything. He has no energy, no appitite, and is not himself at all, it came on soo quick it was unreal. How long before the medicine starts working and there should be a change? This is pure heartbreak, Soo sorry for everyone going through this.
Blank
10304467_tn?1409166597
Hello everyone;

Like all of you I made my way here after my little boy Buddy was dx'd with a grade 2 heart murmur yesterday.  For a few months he was restless at night, apparently unable to get comfortable or lay fully on his side.  Other than that he's been healthy.

The x-rays showed very minimal heart enlargment, which is good news.  I'm awaiting blood test results to determine what to do next.

After spending two days researching CHF, here's some that you might find beneficial:

1. Omega 3 capsules are a godsend.  I started taking them myself when I was getting off an antidepressant which caused huge side effects, and I call it the miracle drug.  I started Buddy on doggie Omega 3 three days ago, and I already notice that he's starting to rest more and lay on his side.  I would HIGHLY recommend Omega 3 for dogs.

2.  I also ordered Cardio Strength from Vetriscience, which has rec'd rave reviews from other vets and pet parents.  Among other things, it contains Taurine and co-enzyme Q-10, which is key for heart health.  

3.  A low-sodium diet is recommended.  

4. You may want to ask your vet to give your dog a ProDnp blood test.  This test measures the degree of heart disease.  I'm not sure it's useful with pets with full blown CHF, but for those who are uncertain it's less expensive than an EKG.  
Blank
10304467_tn?1409166597
Sounds like my dog Buddy.  He's just been dx'd a grade 2 heart murmur and the primary symptom is restlessness at night.  I made another post with some info you might find helpful.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I just had this same experience with my little 10 yr old Maltese.  Started with a cough in the middle of the night.  Went to vet first thing in the morning.  Did xrays but nothing showed up.  A few hours later her breathing got worse so I took her back.  Within hours of showing any signs she had to immediately be put down due to her lungs and chest filling up with blood from her heart.  I had no idea that I wouldnt bring her home from the vet.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I just had this same experience with my little 10 yr old Maltese.  Started with a cough in the middle of the night.  Went to vet first thing in the morning.  Did xrays but nothing showed up.  A few hours later her breathing got worse so I took her back.  Within hours of showing any signs she had to immediately be put down due to her lungs and chest filling up with blood from her heart.  I had no idea that I wouldnt bring her home from the vet.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Dogs Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Dogs Answerers
675347_tn?1365464245
Blank
ginger899
United Kingdom
974371_tn?1364538460
Blank
Margot49
Central Valley, CA
462827_tn?1333172552
Blank
Misfits4Me
OK
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
lindapalm
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
1916673_tn?1417697282
Blank
tonyb286
Blackpool, United Kingdom