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Old 03-07-2010, 05:59 AM
 
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Just about all elderly animals (including elderly people) are prone to develop CHF. It's not just Labrador retrievers.
CHF is usually VERY straightforward in its treatment and the treatment provides major and significant relief. The only way to know if the shortness of breath is due to CHF is for the vet to listen to the heart and lungs and perhaps do an X-ray. But it is NOT complicated in its treatment and the treatment is very effective. Hearts don't 'just stop' from CHF in animals. Essentially what happens is that due to the poor heart pumping, blood backs up into the lungs and other organs and the closest other physical even that this is likened to is drowning because the lungs are congested with blood. It's not a nice way to die. But the treatment is absolutely worth considering.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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Default We're in the same boat

Hopes- Your post could have been a perfect description of my labbie girl Molly. She'll be 13 on April 1st, and has most of the same symptoms you described. We consulted our vet when Molly started with the shortness of breath and coughing.

Unfortunately because Molly also is on medication for a leaky bladder, and is extremely sensitive to medications, we are not able to do anything for the CHF. We are in the frame of mind to make her as comfortable as possible, and to let Molly know she is loved until the end...hopefully a long time from now...

Unfortunately, as I see her struggle to stand on those long legs, and forget why she is outside, and have accidents in the house...I don't know how long we will have with her. But then there are the days that she is spunky and wanting to go chase the ball (which we can't let her do anymore), and is up and wagging when the kids come home, and giving kisses and wanting play.

Every day is a blessing, and we don't let them slip by without taking the time to love on her.

Hugs to you and your labbie boy today. I know the path you are walking because I am on it as well.

Anita
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,269 posts, read 3,382,686 times
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I wonder if the medication mentioned in several posts is Lasix (furosemide)? Very rarely should a patient in heart failure be on only one medication. If they are on lasix long-term they really need to be on an ace inhibitor like enalapril as well. We have had great success with a number of other medications such as pimobendan (Vetmedin) and spironolactone too.

But the first thing that should be done is to actually diagnose the heart failure. I know you know this, but just to get it out there...that's not something that can be done over the internet. To diagnose congestive heart failure, you really need chest x-rays to see if the heart is enlarged and if the lungs look like they have fluid in them, or if the vessels leading to the lungs look overfilled. I just say that because we get a ton of coughing dogs with heart murmurs who have been put on heart medications, when really they have a murmur that's not causing them any harm at this point and tracheal or bronchial collapse. What they really need is a cough suppressent. Murmur + cough does not necessarily = congestive heart failure.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
I wonder if the medication mentioned in several posts is Lasix (furosemide)? Very rarely should a patient in heart failure be on only one medication. If they are on lasix long-term they really need to be on an ace inhibitor like enalapril as well. We have had great success with a number of other medications such as pimobendan (Vetmedin) and spironolactone too.

But the first thing that should be done is to actually diagnose the heart failure. I know you know this, but just to get it out there...that's not something that can be done over the internet. To diagnose congestive heart failure, you really need chest x-rays to see if the heart is enlarged and if the lungs look like they have fluid in them, or if the vessels leading to the lungs look overfilled. I just say that because we get a ton of coughing dogs with heart murmurs who have been put on heart medications, when really they have a murmur that's not causing them any harm at this point and tracheal or bronchial collapse. What they really need is a cough suppressent. Murmur + cough does not necessarily = congestive heart failure.
It's not standard to start an ACE inhibitor with furosemide each and every time. Aldactone is fine, but because it's a potassium sparing diuretic, a dog (or a person taking it) can develop hyperkalemia (high potassium), which is very dangerous.

You can HEAR congestive heart failure with a stethoscope - it's not necessary to have a chest film. There's often an extra heart sound, called an 'S3 gallop' and if the lungs are congested you can also hear rales (pronounced to rhyme with 'pals') in the lung fields. A NEW gallop with a cough would always suggest CHF.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
We have had great success with a number of other medications such as pimobendan (Vetmedin) and spironolactone too.
.
Ah! The very one I couldn't remember the name of. She was also on Lasix at the same time, but a) she was a cat and b) she was a rather extreme case.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,269 posts, read 3,382,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
It's not standard to start an ACE inhibitor with furosemide each and every time. Aldactone is fine, but because it's a potassium sparing diuretic, a dog (or a person taking it) can develop hyperkalemia (high potassium), which is very dangerous.

You can HEAR congestive heart failure with a stethoscope - it's not necessary to have a chest film. There's often an extra heart sound, called an 'S3 gallop' and if the lungs are congested you can also hear rales (pronounced to rhyme with 'pals') in the lung fields. A NEW gallop with a cough would always suggest CHF.
Viralmd, I have a great deal of respect for your depth and breadth of medical knowledge. I have to say that much of what you say here is counter to what I see my board certified veterinary cardiologists doing every day.

I had a long rebuttal all typed out, but the most important thing to say, I think, is this: If anyone has a pet that they suspect has heart disease, the best source of information is a trusted veterinarian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
Ah! The very one I couldn't remember the name of. She was also on Lasix at the same time, but a) she was a cat and b) she was a rather extreme case.
We will sometimes use Pimo on cats, but man that pill is huge!
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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my ****zu is 17 yrs old and has heart failure. She is on all the meds she can possible be on. She coughs a lot. and tired a lot. Recently has been yelping loud and passing out for the last several nights in the middle of the night and loses bowl movement during it. Then seems ok in the day. she eats, drinks and makes. Sometimes she has a little difficult standing to long and other days she is ok for her age . She does have arthritis too. The vet said it is time to put her to sleep. I am having trouble doing it because I love her so much and can not part from her. she lyes on my a lot throughout the day. I just don't want her to suffer. I am so confused! I keep hoping she will be ok and I keep giving her another day before going back to the vet to put her to sleep. I am drained and cried out. I have not sleep in at least 4days.I need advise. She is not vomiting, her tongue is still pinkish, she does breathe heavy at night also. Please someone help me on what to do....
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slac View Post
my ****zu is 17 yrs old and has heart failure. She is on all the meds she can possible be on. She coughs a lot. and tired a lot. Recently has been yelping loud and passing out for the last several nights in the middle of the night and loses bowl movement during it. Then seems ok in the day. she eats, drinks....
I have a 12 year old jack russel cross who was diagnosed with a heart murmer several years ago. Recently he began panting, coughing and was to tired to walk 5 minutes up the road to the vets. He is currently on furosemide and vetmedin but is still coughing and collapsing. As you also said he tends to wee himself when he collapses but other than that and the tiredness he seems healthy enough. Youu said youur dog has been on everything, any ideas of what else we could try? We have been looking at Fortekor?
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,269 posts, read 3,382,686 times
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Is he on Enalapril or Benazapril too? Anyone on furosemide long-term needs to be on one of those. Has your vet done any diagnostic tests like chest x-rays?
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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Default Chp

I have an 12 year old JRT named Sadie who 3 months ago was Diagnosed with CHP due to Mitral valve prolapse. The Canine cardiologist put her on Lasix enalapryl and Vetmeden... She seems to be doing very well at this point. I have 2 jacks one that is older 13 and plump and Happy the other Sadie just turned 12 and was (we thought) in excellent health. Perfect weight very active and the last time we brought her to the vet before her episode the vet could not believe she was almost 12 as she still acted like a puppy in all ways. I thought she would be with me till 20... I have been told and have read many stories about those that live a long life after diagnoses and those that don't. I pray Sadie does every day...
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