My dog was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure yesterday and he was put on 50mg lasix twice a day as needed. He is 12 years old and weighs 121 lbs. His Vet said we were starting at the lowest dosage. Tonight he is coughing/gagging a lot, which is why I took him to see the Vet. He will eat enough grass for a cow or two if I let him. I have not seen him drinking as much as I thought he would, nor has he been urinating more than normal. I think initially I was too stunned to think of the questions I should have asked and now it's after hours. First and foremost: How long does it generally take to see results with Lasix? If he's not urinating more, does it mean it's not working? Why is he eating so much grass??? What should I expect as it progresses? And finally, how long do dogs with CHF generally live?
It may take 2 weeks or so before the optimal dose of lasix is found for your dog. So begin with the low dose for a few days and if you do not notice any improvement please ask your vet when it will be time to increase the dose.
Lasix alone may not be sufficient for your dog. Your vet may add additional medications to your dog's heart failure protocol in due time. If you have not had an echocardiogram for your dog and you can afford it, it may be a good idea. A consultation with a veterinary cardiologist is also a good recommendation.
Grass eating in dogs is a way for a dog to self medicate when they have a stomach ache or are nauseous. It helps to make them vomit. Therefore, your dog may be a bit nauseous, or have a gastrointestinal problem that could be related to his current medications, heart trouble, or it could be totally unrelated. Pepcid or other gastrointestinal protectant or anti-nausea medication may help. Otherwise please also mention this to your vet for additional gastrointestinal meds.
Thank you for your reply. He only eats grass when he is having a coughing/gagging episode. If it will change his treatment options, I will definitely consider a cardiologist. He is the last of my pack, and I want to keep him with me as long as possible. Do I need a referral from his regular Vet? I have a lot of faith in this vet, and he's been our vet for 30 years. He won't be insulted if I ask for a referral, will he?
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