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Old 10-13-2011, 11:38 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,245 times
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Default Dog diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure

I am so torn. My 12 year old dog has always had a clean bill of health and all of the sudden he started acting funny and throwing up. The last couple of days have felt like hell for everyone. He started by not eating one day, and we thought he might die that night. The next day he was walking, which was progressive, and he even ate a little. Today he seemed to have a lot of energy compared to the other days but he it seems like this night he is really struggling.

He is on a heart pill and maybe something called Lasix? He has developed a terrible cough that breaks my heart and has some real shakes. We took his temp and it was low so that might be part of it but I am really confused.

I don't want him to suffer and in his eyes I can see its not good. The vet says to give the meds a week but this is just insane to me. His eyes scream that he is in pain but Im not sure if its the medicine or the illness. I dont want to prematurely put him down if he can improve but I do NOT want him to have to deal with this struggle if its hopeless.

I guess I'm just asking if anyone has dealt with this, what the general outlook is, what I should be concerned about etc etc. All info is helpful because I dont want him to be in pain or die from some painful way. Please help and thank you for reading.
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:17 AM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
850 posts, read 1,072,785 times
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Oh, I know what you're going through. My chesapeke had been with me 15 years when congestive heart failure finally took him. His symptoms were different tho so I'm confused. The vet told me Moose would become weaker and weaker, I'd have to help him up and down the porch steps and soon he just wouldn't have the strength to get up. That's exactly how it went. I came home one day to find him on the porch, weak, unable to even lift his head, but I didn't see any signs of pain through the whole year or two since he'd been diagnosed. Just increased weakness.
Have you asked the vet what's causing the pain, has your dog had a chest xray?

I did, btw, have my granddaughter get the vet and I laid next to my friend and held him while he quietly left this world. If like me, you had a friend like my Moose was, we both have been blessed with a once-in-a-lifetime friendship. Nothing I can say to help your own heart tho, it's going to be tough but that's because you've been so lucky to have him.
I'd like to know how he's doing.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:57 AM
 
844 posts, read 966,119 times
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We had a Maltese years ago that was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at age 11 years. He lived a full life for another 7 years before he had to be put to sleep. And even then it was due more to the fact that his son, who acted as his guide dog in a sense (Shimo was blind), sadly developed severe kidney disease at age 14 and the vet felt it best that he be pts since he was suffering. Shimo was so lost without him during his (the son's) short hospital stay that it was decided to have them both pts together.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:28 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,196 posts, read 6,517,045 times
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Clubber, I am sorry.
Can you afford a veterinary cardiologist? You might be able to get some better options and answers from a specialist; ask your vet for a referral. If there's a veterinary teaching hospital you can get to this would be an excellent choice.

I have no experience with heart problems in dogs but I have a friend with Dobermans who is unfortunately very knowledgeable aboout it - Dobes are really prone to heart problems. Send me a private message if you want me to try getting some info for you. What breed or mix is he?
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:35 AM
 
Location: In the middle...
1,243 posts, read 1,095,867 times
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Unhappy There is never an easy answer...

My moms pom was diagnosed with CHF. It was the horrible cough that got her to take him into the vet. For him the prognosis was not good and she did what was best for him although it was so very hard on her. She loved that little dog. He was her little companion, her friend...but she loved him too much to allow him to hurt or to suffer. She was with him when he left this world...and it broke her heart.

Only you know what is right for you and your little friend. Who is to say when it is too early, is there a too early? Why does it have to be when they are in such pain and suffering? Why do we have to wait so long? These are questions only you can answer...and I am so sorry you must deal with questions at all.

We love our pets like family and that is why it is so very difficult.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:28 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,245 times
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Today he is better again.. He is practically running and wants treats now. I still don't know whats going on because at night he has the look and sound like he is going to die and I hate it. He clearly has gotten at least a little better since the medication started but I'll keep monitoring him because I don't believe 2 hours of good outweighs 22 hours of bad.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:59 PM
 
Location: zone 5
5,981 posts, read 4,867,795 times
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I totally agree, about 2 hours of good, but I'm hoping for you and him that the medication's helping and he'll have many more good hours than that. It's such a strain, facing a chronic illness with an older dog. Hang in there!
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:14 AM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 1,191,509 times
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Can you get a 2nd opinion soon? Is it coughing or honking? We've experienced the coughing, vomiting and honking. The honking led to an x-ray showing a collapsed trachea. In some of our others, the coughing or wheezing is directly related to grass eating right after the grass has been cut; same with the vomiting. I'm sorry I have no further information for you but if it is in your budget, I would definitely take him to a different vet.

Their eyes do seem to say more than any words, if they could produce words. Please let us know what happens. Good luck to you both.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
4,006 posts, read 4,370,249 times
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Treatment for CHF includes lasix which clears fluids from the lungs he should be on Tumil K, a potassium supliment as lasix depletes potassium.

Vetmedin helps open up the blood vessels
Benzepril reduces blood pressure
atenalol helps slow the heart rate
sildenefil (viagra) helps reduce pulmanary blood preasure (cheaper to be made at a compounding pharmacy)
Hikoden cough supressant (had to be made at a compounding pharmacy)


It bought my poodle about 6 months.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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My chihuahua was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure and it tears me apart. I love my dog with all my heart but some people are saying that if I don't put him down I'm making him suffer. I still feel like with his medication and love there is still some hope. How are you handling your situation?
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