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Old 03-03-2012, 05:39 PM
13,768 posts, read 36,857,744 times
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So Sorry for your loss. Be sure to post in Rainbow Bridge. She will be waiting for you there.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:57 AM
1 posts, read 11,597 times
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Default Dog with CHF

Hi, although each dog is different, I can share about my dog. He's around 13. He was a rescue, so the vet really isn't 100% sure of his age. But, he was diagnosed with CHF exactly 2 years and 3 months ago and has far outlived the timeframe he was given. They thought no more than a year when he was first diagnosed. He's a shihtzu mix. He's been on Enalapril, Lasix and Vetmedin the entire time. He's also on a raw food diet (Nature's Variety) and I mix salmon oil into his food. His meds have not needed to be adjusted and his CHF has gotten no worse. I'm starting to think old age will get him at this point, versus the CHF. Really, it's all a matter of quality of life. Your vet should let you know when he/she thinks that has really gone downhill.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:43 PM
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Default Congestive Heart Failure in Older Dogs

My baby Ricki came down with kennel cough then later in Oct she was seen shortly after getting her teeth cleaned I later found once they put your dog under it causes stress on your dogs heart.She got kennel cough in April 2012 and she made it to her 11th birthday and purchase the water pills and heart meds and it all went down hill.The cough and the wheezing was terrible and she started losing her water and then her eating went from every other day the last day she would not eat her favorite treats.So if they are older depending on the breed they live longer than others now if they are panting and can get comfortable they are getting close to say good bye
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:50 PM
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Panting could mean so many things...impossible to conclude CHF without an echocardiogram or at least an x-ray. If it is CHF meds could bring quick relief and comfort. But really--panting could mean anything. Is there no coughing?
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:29 PM
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We have a 12-year old, 40-45lb Aussie and he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure a little over a year ago. We saw our local vet and then a cardiologist. Both diagnosed the same condition. He was put on 6 meds and we were told that would buy him 1 to 1 1/2 years. Well, he did great on the medication. He still had bouts of the typical cough/gag that everyone describes but he had great spirits (even acted like a puppy at times!), ate well and had good amounts of energy (sometime TOO much, I thought). We didn't go on our long walks like we used to but we did go for short ones (we live in the mountains). Since we knew he was in his last months we didn't take him back to any doctor but continued to give him the medications that seemed to be helping him. At the end of this I will list those medications, just in case it helps someone else. He had more meds than my mother's chiuahua (who has been battling it for over 2 years)- she only took one med twice a day.
Right now he is resting comfortably on his bed, breathing rapidly and heart racing. He started slowing down a week or so ago. His bowel movements started changing - everything from constipation to diarhea. He didn't follow me around the house, room to room, but settle for waiting for me to come back. Yesterday, he stopped eating and drinking and just lays in one place most of the time. We do get him out to do his business but he is really slow and has to be carried up the two steps to our front door. He also, as mentioned by another person, he would seemed 'lost' at times and not respond to his name.
We have stopped giving him his meds because he won't eat. He does drink some water. He doesn't seem to be suffering, just resting and waiting. It is hard to watch our 'little boy'. If he acts like he is in pain or any discomfort we are ready to take him to the vet and allow him to cross over, but as long as he seems ok we want him to just be home and comfortable. I was hoping to find someone with a similar experience to see how long this may last and what to expect but don't see anything here. If you're reading this and can help me, please respond.
Here is a list of the meds he takes 2x day: MEXILETINE 150mg; SOTALOL 20mg; PIMOBENDAN 7.5 mg; ENALAPRIL MALEATE 10mg; SALIX 75mg; DILTIAZEM 30mg. All but one I was able to get at the Costco Pharmacy where they all inexpensive (4 under $10. ea.) and one ($45.00).
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:57 PM
3 posts, read 25,313 times
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Only learned of your post this evening, and I hope your baby's still with you. He's on an awful lot of meds. How severe was his condition when first diagnosed, if I may ask? I can only assume he was in critical shape. I'm glad you stopped the meds, at least for now. I'm on my 2nd CHF dog. Neither, I must stress, was in any seriously advanced condition when meds were begun, just exercise intolerance. What I found was that occasional interruption of meds brought improvement, and a respite from all the side-effects of the meds, from which coughing, inappetance, GI upset,rapid heartbeat and weakness. Senior dogs--as well as humans--do not clear things as quickly from the bloodstream, so that the result is actually overdosage. CHF drugs are also very hard on the kidneys, some on the liver as well. My vet is a cardiologist at The Animal Medical Center in NYC, same vet for both dogs. We are at loggerheads because she disapproves of the way I juggle things, but I go by how he seems. I'm not familiar with all of your meds. My guy, who was old when I adopted him 3 yrs. ago, had been on Enalapril and Lasix [ furosemide] to which the doc added the Pimobendan about a year ago. I soon stopped the Enalapril, since one of the features of Pimobendan is that it may reduce the need for some of the other meds. So, I figured, let's see. Then several months ago she added Amlodipene. He takes, generally, 1 1/2 of each drug daily, and it's been fine. His kidney values have normalized, which was a great relief as the 1st CHF dog died from kidney failure--a really nasty way to go. I don't want that to happen again. You should really consider having your dog's bloodwork done before you give up. Maybe he is simply giving in to old age...but I always want to know the status of things before that final step. I hope I maybe have been some help...this doesn't seem to be a very active site, so I thought I'd better reach out. I'm up late...if you need.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:09 AM
2 posts, read 21,920 times
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Default Aussie has "recovered"

I want everyone who read my last post (June 14) to know that our 12-year-old Aussie is back to where he was before. He got through that rough period and is back to eating, drinking, eliminating normally, goes up steps, follows me around, goes for short (5 min.) walk. We're so happy! I actually think it may have been some food we gave him that had a high salt content. We really try to watch that but I realized later that the night before, a few leftovers that we mixed in his food had ham in it. I think the salt caused even more water retention. Anyway, we won't be doing that anymore. We're so happy to have him back to his 'normal'. Thanks to all who wrote with their experiences.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:41 PM
1 posts, read 10,724 times
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Default Same situation

I just found out that my 10 year old chihuahua has this today. Last week went in for shots, they said she has bronchitis and a slight heart murmur. They put her on antibiotics and went back today for recheck. Not better and did xray. They gave me Lasix and double the dose of antibiotics. I would like to know if you changed the food or gave any supplements. She seems happy for now but I too don't want her to be in pain. I have to go back in a week again. Any information would be helpful for this sad road ahead of us.

Originally Posted by doghead View Post
I have a chihuahua, about 10 years old, who went into heart failure in Nov. 2010. He was put on lasix, vetmedin and enalipril. Now, a year later, he is a little worse and the dr. added spironolactone. I am hoping he can hold on. He has severe mitral valve regurgitation and "controlled heart failure". Very sad. But I agree with one of the posters here that the treatment is really very easy, and it's very easy to diagnose. I think to not diagnose it is negligent, when it's pretty easy to treat. Of course, not cure.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:19 AM
1 posts, read 10,599 times
Reputation: 11
So my little guy( 14 year year old Shih tzu). Was having a lot of seizures and started coughing with rapid breathing. All came on pretty fast in a month or 2 . Was last at the vet in March and not diagnosed with this condition CHF. Started on lasix 12.5 2x a day and enalapril 2.5 1x. No more collapsing seizure, breathing much better, cough once in a while( is that normal) I hate that sound! Eating drinking and peeing ALOT. His disposition has changed. He still looks forward to walks his favorite time of day , but at times he just seems " out of it " is this the meds? Blood work all came back fine. Going back to the vet next week . I've been reading a lot of good things about Vetmedin should I leave it up to the doc or really try to add this to his mix? Really want to make him as comfortable as possible while helping him stay around as long as we could help like everyone else here . I thought we were losing him last week and wow was I devastated . Thanks for any input. Mario

Last edited by Muffinpeaches; 11-27-2013 at 10:37 AM.. Reason: Added comment
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:28 AM
1 posts, read 10,150 times
Reputation: 16
Default I cried for a month...3 years ago

My 15 year old Rat Terrier, George, was diagnosed with chronic valve thickening, 3 plus years ago...I was devastated. At that time I was told to go home and enjoy the time he had left...how could this be, he looked very fit, slim & muscular, I assume because of our daily 5 mile walks. I wasted that first year after diagnosis waiting for the worst but George did fairly well, still loving his long walks, so I put his illness out of my mind & just enjoyed him.
There was a definite increase in that cardiac cough in the 3rd year post diagnosis, the vet told me he really couldn't hear his heartbeat over the noise of the murmur, he was now a stage 6 on a scale that only goes to 6, he was a 4/6 when first diagnosed. He was definitely in CHF now & was started on Enalapril 2X daily & lasix once per day. I chose the a.m. for the lasix because I didn't want his increased urination to keep us up all night & wow... This 17 lb dog empties his 1gallon water jug/bowl every 4days so. I'm relieved he is litterbox trained. The CHF symptoms are worse indoors, he looks & acts fine outside, leaping around like a rodeo bull (I'm afraid the neighbors think I made his illness up).
Some days are harder than others but he is still well for the majority of the day, I WILL NOT allow him to suffer so I asked the vet for his opinion, he told me, "it's not time as long as he's still enjoying doing doggie things"...he still loves doing doggie things!
My advice : 1) don't waste precious time worrying about his/her death instead of enjoying their life.
2) exercise as tolerated
3) lasix in the morning
4) KEEP A VERY CLOSE EYE ON THEIR WATER DISH, they must have access to water to replenish
Fluids lost because of lasix.
5) If your dog loves his walks but the humidity worsens their breathing and your dog is small
enough, get them a pet stroller if you can. In the extreme heat/humidity, George still loves to
walk but then can't always continue long enough to get home & is too smart & STUBBORN to
head towards home too early. I have MS & though I can carry him short distances, I can't
carry him for a mile or more. He loves the stroller but I do get unsolicited, sometimes cruel
comments, I used to try to gently defend the stroller but I'm no longer concerned with
the feelings of people who make ignorant remarks, I let them finish their insult then stare
them in the eye & simply respond, "he's dying", then I just walk away leaving them looking
like (and hopefully feeling like) the idiots they are.

Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
My 14 year old labrador (who on regular intervals seems to be about to die but always bounces back) has been excessively panting today. Google search indicates that it could be congestive heart failure.

He was last seen by the vet a couple of month ago. The vet understands that our goal is simply comfortable last years. We have no intentions of pursuing expensive treatments to prolong life past his comfort tollerance. However, we will provide him with any treatments that will relieve pain or make him more comfortable.

It's very likely he has cancer. He definitely has serious memory loss. His joints are weak. But overall he's hanging in there. He's fairly happy and content without discomfort most of the time. Every couple of months, he has a bad night and I give him benedryl so he can sleep. He's on a high nutrient diet because his body doesn't absorb nutrients easily. We recently started him on something that helps his achy joints.

My question is if congestive heart failure worth treating in the last stages of a dog's life? Has anyone dealt with this? Would I just be prolonging his misery?
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