Hi my 12 year old beautiful jack Russell has recently had a heart attack and now suffers from fluid on the lungs. I have him on all the medication but he still has a dry cough. He has the same temperament and still loves his food and is active. But because of the fluid my vet said to consider his quality of life? I wanted to know if fluid on the lungs is painful for dogs? I feel terrible thinking he is living in pain silently - but he seems so happy and lively still! What do I do?? Advice/ suggestions please?
Pulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs, is to be expected after a cardiac episode. Did the vet do thoracocentesis to remove the fluid and it returned? Or is this the fluid as it is from the event? Is he taking furosemide to help with the fluid? What meds does the vet have him on?
Basically, you want to evaluate him the way you would with any other disease. HE will tell you how he feels based on how he acts. I would be very careful not to let him get overexerted, I would limit his running to some low-key ball-playing or short-range fetching (say, 20 or 30 feet), but as long as he is eating and not showing any signs of having difficulty breathing, let him be himself. If he was in pain he would show it. He wouldn't eat, or he wouldn't eat well, he wouldn't be able to get comfortable when he tried to lay down to go to sleep, he would LOOK like he was in pain.
I don't know why the vet said what he said about his quality of life re: the fluid, unless he means that you need to monitor him carefully to watch for signs of discomfort or a recurring episode. I would question him about it, and if the answer that he gives you is not what you would like to hear, or if his attitude is not one of wanting to be reassuring or helpful, then you are totally within your rights to find a new vet to treat your dog. In fact, in my opinion, it wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion anyway, just to see what another vet thinks. Sometimes another vet might have had luck with a different type of medication or treatment that could end up making a big difference in how things go.
For now, however, take him at face value. YOU know your dog. If he APPEARS to be in pain, then chances are he is. But don't let your imagination run wild. Right now, learning how to live with a dog with CHF is new and scary and it's natural that you want to be sure to do everything exactly right and not let your little one suffer. But as time goes on you and your dog will adjust and you'll become adept at noticing subtle little changes that tell you that something might not be quite right that day and you'll deal with them when and if they come along. Don't drive yourself crazy, enjoy your dog and just make sure you scale back his activities according to what his "new" body will allow him to do. Please post back occasionally and let us know how he is doing.
I have a question relating to what your dog is experiencing, Kiki. My dog is having fluid build up around his heart/lungs. He's 11 1/2 yrs old. Do you live in a hot, humid area or cooler, dry area? I'm wondering if that is having a bad effect on my dog...the heat and humidity...he's an outside dog. I just want him to be as comfortable as possible.
Hey, I also found out at the Vet's yesterday that my dog' lungs sounded clear but he had a huge build up of fluid in his abdomen. The vet said that is where the fluid goes when dealing with the left side of the heart. I suppose that means when dealing with the right side of the heart, it accumulates around the heart and lungs. I hope your dog is doing better.
So for 9 days, my dog is acting normal in every way. No coughing, he has energy, seems to feel really good. The Vet did say the fluid accumulation would come back. I hope that's not the cast. Feeding him wet food because it's easier for him to eat. Still on all 4 meds. Thinking a lower sodium diet might be healthier for him. Anyone know of any low-sodium options?
Thank you so much this info has been very helpful , my 10yr old Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix just was diagnosed with congenital heart murmur , had small amount of fluid build up , after anti-inflammatory shot at vet office he is doing 100% better, only been on meds for 2 days but praying they continue to work and I have many more years with him
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