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Old 02-10-2013, 05:27 PM
Location: Northern CO
80 posts, read 120,379 times
Reputation: 143


Originally Posted by pnwretired View Post
Mine too has congestive hear disease. I just keep him comfortable with meds. No way am I spending thousands and thousands of dollars on a cardiologist just to have him die anyway. That is not humane either putting a dog through all that. Love, love my Cavalier but animals die and we just need to do what is best for them and not let our emotions get in the way.
It all depends on what you can afford to do and what you are comfortable doing. In my case, I could afford it so I was more than happy to do it. It was worth it seeing the difference from when he was first diagnosed, coughing, hacking and not being happy, to getting the right meds prescribed and him returning to his regular personalilty of being happy, playing a lot and his heart being able to keep up with the amount of exercise he needed to be happy. And there was nothing inhumane about his cardiologist visits. The tests are not invasive. Ultrasounds & the occassional EKG are easy and he was more than happy to lay still and get petted while they were being done. Each situation is different, each person is different and not all dogs will react as well to the medication or to the vet visits, but if anyone's dog has CHF and the dog isn't stressed by regular vet visits and they can afford to keep up with the medicine and vet visits to determine how to adjust the meds every few months, than it is more than worth it for their quality of life. I'm so glad I chose to go that route, rather than watch him slowly wither away coughing & hacking for the last six months of his life. The cardiologist knew how high he could adjust the meds without them causing more problems then they were treating, so when we hit that ceiling, I knew it was almost time and the meds couldn't be adjusted anymore. So when they stopped being as effective and he started having trouble again, I knew it wasn't going to get better & it was time to euthanize him, which was much better than slowly watching him lose his quality of life, waiting to die.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:36 PM
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Default 8 year old Chiuhuahua has (CHF) and has 6-9 months to live

My dog has always been a healthy & happy little dog. He started a few months ago with a cough that wouldn't go away, we took him to the vet. They did a chest X-ray and told us he has a heart murmur an enlarged heart that was pressing on his lungs and his trachea causing the cough and he had about 6-9 months to live. They started us on a water pill to drain the fluid in his lungs Furosemide, they put him on Tobutotrol which is a narcotic to help with the pain, Enalapril which is to help with his heart and Vetmedin to help with his heart. He is only 8 I have read so many posts and all of the dogs are 10, 12, 14 and older going through this. We took him to a cardio specialist as well and she said that we might get lucky and he might make it longer. To me this is just insane!! We bought him, he was a purebred with no problems. Has anyone experienced this before? I mean a dog this young can have this. I see the toll the medication has taken on him, his eating has diminished and now he is getting the shakes. Has anyone experienced this? I would love feedback please. Thank you
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:03 PM
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I have a 2 year old Boston terrier I rescue that has congestive heart failure, my vet. Says its because she had heartworm , when she was dumped in a shelter. She was treated and was doing great until two weeks ago. She needs Viagra for her problem , but I just can not afford it. I live in n.h. and do not know what to do she deserve the best chance she can get, her live before me was hell. Can anyone help or tell what else I can do. Thank you steph
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:50 AM
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Hi angelique030,

I had a very similar experience with my chihuahua x mini foxy. He was perfectly healthy and happy. We scheduled him for a routine dental but he'd been coughing occasionally for a few weeks so as a precaution the vet did an X-ray. Suddenly we were facing the same as you- enlarged heart, murmur and trachea collapse. It was a huge shock to us as well as the initial vet told us he could be dead as soon as a week or a month. We were absolutely devastated and suffered a lot of depression. We too couldn't understand how it could be possible. Our little dog didn't have any other symptoms other than an occasional cough and even though he was 8 years old he always acted like a goofy, little puppy. I know how you are feeling- you don't want it to be true and you can't believe that it is happening. We ended up taking our dog to a cardiologist who gave us a better prognosis of 18 months. He was on Fortekor 2.5mg once per day and did really well for about 12 months but died a few months ago aged only 9. I still can't believe he is gone and have been suffering PTSD and major depression. He was my little fur baby and he really remained well (excepting the cough) up until about 3 weeks before his death when he rapidly decompensated.

It does sound like your vet is on top of things regarding medication. I did not personally have a good experience with Vetmedin but it has helped other dogs. If your dog has the shakes and his appetite is decreased you could ask the vet about halving the Vetmedin dose. The medications are a very delicate balance. Please also be aware that chihuahua's are a bit different to other dogs. Their blood sugar drops very easily. They have very tiny tummies and sometimes don't tolerate doses the same way as other dogs of the same weight. I hope some of this info is helpful to you.

Now- the hard truth. Congestive heart failure is not curable. It is manageable with medication but you are essentially only buying your little dog time. I don't tell you this to be cruel. I am telling you so that you don't get into the same cycle that we did. Don't mourn him before he is gone. Try to make every single day count. Tell him you love him and give him lots of cuddles. Don't get angry at him if he doesn't eat or refuses his meds (or bites, vomits or wees the bed- he can't help it). And most importantly when you see he is pain, when it gets too hard for him- let him go. It will be the hardest thing you ever do but giving him a pain free, comfortable death is the most respectful, loving thing you can do. Trust me please. My dog died unexpectedly, without us, in pain, surrounded by strangers at the vets. There was no time to euthanise him peacefully and I will never forgive myself for the rest of my life that he suffered even for a few minutes.

I know how difficult all of this is to accept. I'm still struggling to accept it all myself. Just monitor him, shower him with love and cherish every moment you still have together. He knows that you love him and only want the best for him. I wish you all the best and truly hope you get to have as much quality time together as possible. x
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:08 AM
598 posts, read 2,447,120 times
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My Yorkie/Cairn cross was diagnosed with CHF at 11 years old. He was put on Vetmedin, Lasix, and Enalapril. I kept him quiet for the first couple of months. After that he was back to his old self, though our walks were a little shorter. He was happy and comfortable on meds. We had to adjust for Lasix causing frequent urination. He had one and a half really good years with no discomfort or other health issues. When he went it was over a 24 hour period - very quick. Everyone has a different situation, but I was never sorry I went the medication route.
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