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Old 12-31-2008, 08:44 PM
Location: Southeast
4,301 posts, read 7,010,510 times
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My dog has CHF, as told to us by our vet.. We started giving her some Lasix and other meds, but they don't seem to work at all. The coughing and hacking has gotten worse over the past few days, and I am afraid she is about to pass away..

Anyways, she went deaf some time ago. After she is done with her violent coughing, she just looks up "smiles", wags her tail like nothing happened. She still eats, has never missed a meal. She can still run up and down the steps if she has to.

My concern is I will have to put her down. Has anyone else had experience with CHF? What are the signs that they are about to go? She has gotten really bad these past few days, and has shortness of breath and breathes hard for only a little air.

..This isn't good because I already lost a pet a couple months ago, I don't think the family can take another hit.

Any help or suggestions are appreciated
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:49 PM
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I would seriously consider asking the vet to try a different medication. Or, get a 2nd opinion from a different vet.

You don't mention your dog's breed or age. When was your dog diagnosed? Perhaps his trachea is narrowing/collapsing?

I had a dog with the same problem, but the medications worked right away. My dog was a 12 yr. old mini poodle. His trachea started to narrow, but that comes with age. He died of kidney failure.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:49 AM
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,961,540 times
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My girl had it, was on lasix and and a bp med, her coughing did get worse. she was 11 or 12 at the time. I think it was the bp med that made her cough, it was one of the med's that caused the cough.

How old is your dog?

We quit the meds, she was still a happy dog, did not cough as much, and she lived 2 yrs after the diag of CHF without the med's, I only had to put her down as with her age her legs were giving out, and she could not hold her bladder and #2's anymore.

don't give up, unless she is showing signs of bad arthritus or other old age signs, if she is happy and getting around, I would not put her down, as I said my dog lived 2 maybe 2 1/2 years after diagnosis,so don't feel you have to put her down, but shes your dog and the decision is up to you.

hope this helps.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:47 AM
Location: Historic Springfield
549 posts, read 2,198,645 times
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My beloved, Barnie was also diagnosed with CHF...and put on the same meds. One's a water pill that other was to her heart rate, to help her sleep...and yes, she had that terrible coughing too. I kept her on the meds for about a month or so, then eased her off of them. That was two years ago, and although she still had the coughing now and then, overall she bounced back. Now mind you, she was 16 at the time.

My point is, being diagnosed with CHF doesn't mean it's near the end...this is something that you have to watch and be aware of...it's emotional and difficult when the time comes...but for me, it was knowing when the quality of life wasn't there, when daily life is too difficult for them.

It wasn't until this past November (8th) that I felt she reached the point where she was no longer having quality in life, she was almost 18, and even though she wanted, her little body just couldn't handle going for walks, and she was just overall, uncomfortable, she paced all night because she couldn't get comfortable...I could tell she was miserable...but still followed me and still remained faithful to me...and I knew that it was up to me to help her move onto the glorious life awaiting her....the hardest and most emotional thing I've had to do, but it was the right thing for my best friend.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:10 PM
Location: Southeast
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Well, she is 12 or 13, pretty far on up there in years. She has arthritis, but I give her baby aspirin which works wonders for her. She can get up and down the steps with no problems when I give it to her.

I am going to try and take her to the vet again soon, but we have been to two different ones in the past couple months. I am going to try and stop giving her meds for a little while and see what happens.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:32 AM
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What medications are you giving?

My dog took 3, one of which helped to drain the excess fluid from his lungs, which caused his coughing. They were Aminophylline (sp?), Enalapril and Furosemide.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:03 PM
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Does your dog have a heart murmur? If not, it may not be CHF. I went through this with my elderly shih tzu - she seemed to have an enlarged heart, and the vet started her on enalapril and furosemide. I moved to another state and her new vet thought it was odd that there was no murmur, and she sent me to the specialists at NC state for a workup. Turned out not to be CHF! For some reason, my dog's cough got worse when she went off those meds. She actually had bronchial (not tracheal) collapse and chronic bronchitis. We used various meds to try and control the cough over the rest of her life - I have totally forgotten what those are - I had to put her down in Aug. 2007 due to her other issues

So I guess maybe get a recheck for that murmur...
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:17 PM
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Default Congestive heart failure

The answer is Vetmedin. If the vet never heard of it, get another vet. My little Sparky has CHF, but lives a great life. She is a senior rescue dog that's mostly toy poodle. She also takes a bit of the Lasix for a water pill. The Lasix & Vetmedin together keep her relatively healthy and definitely happy. Exercise is a no-no, but I throw her ball up to 3 times because she demands it. I carry her up stairs but not down. I put pee pads down for her, and she is religious about using them even at night. She has been on these meds for nearly a year and doing amazingly well. She still does that little pony like leap when I came home and barks like a Rottie at the mailman and pizza guy. She's still a great watch dog.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:49 PM
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 6,962,858 times
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Just one little caveat: any dog on long-term lasix (aka furosemide) needs to be on an ace-inhibitor like analapril or benazopril. (I may have mispelled those).

But yeah, Vetmedin (pimobenden) is a great drug.

Also, like scorp mentioned, coughing does not always equal CHF. That's the old way of thinking, but it's proving to be not so accurate. The good news is that even if they have CHF they can often be pulled out if it with the right medications. A fair number of these patients continue to have good quality of life for months to even years.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:36 PM
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Congestive heart failure is characterized by enlargement of the heart as the heart trys to keepup with eliminating the fluids,that is what the lasix does, Basically it doesn't get better but can be controlled somewhat.Its usually a ageing condition but can be the result of genes /lack of exercise and over eating also. Exercise is also important.
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