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Ask the Vet About Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs and Cats

Congestive Heart Failure
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs & Cats
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 18
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Showing 1 - 15 of 18
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Date: Jun 23, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Death

Question:Hello, I know this probably a strange question but I live alone and concerned. My Maltese going to be 16 yrs old sept. I have been blessed but 4 years ago she was diagnosed with blocked ventricular. My question when god for bid If the day she passes what do I do if middle of night with her till can get to vet. Thank you. Ps I worry to much . She is on vetmedian and enalapril which I buy from petmeds. Bless you for all they do !

Answer:That is a very good question - one that you need to think about before it happens. Call your veterinarian and ask them the same question because we are all different - most of us will take care of the body for you and then some areas have special cremation services available and some areas even have burial services - so see what is available in your area. You will want to keep her body cool (refrigerated or frozen) until you can get her to either your veterinarian or one of those places.

Date: Jun 22, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Fish oil

Question:My chihuahua has CHF. HE IS 11. Would fish oil be beneficial. He weighs 5 lbs.

Answer:If he is in congestive heart failure, he should be on a few different stronger medications but if you are thinking about adding it to his medications, then yes, it can be beneficial. Always check with your veterinarian who has his entire history (bloodwork, allergies, radiographs, etc) before starting him on anything. Fish oil by itself won't help CHF much though so don't use it as a single treatment.

Date: Jun 2, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Panting, breathing hard

Question:My Jack Russell has been diagnosed with COPD and the doctor has given him Theophylline, Hydrocodone, Enalapril, Prednisone, and amoxicillin 2 times a day. I gave him his meds and he is extremely shaky and is panting like he's been running for miles, but he's lying steal. What can I do? I have taken him to the vet twice & it has cost me over $700 & I cannot afford to continue taking him to the vet. I wondered if I could give him a little bit of Xanax because I cannot afford to continue taking him to the vet. I am so scared he is going to start having seizures what can be done any ideas? Thanks for your help

Answer:It is probably a side effect of the medications - call your veterinarian that prescribed them and work with them (more than likely over the phone) to decrease some of the meds. I would be most suspicious of the hydrocodone and prednisone but don't decrease anything without talking to them first.

Date: May 25, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Fluid in the stomach or belly

Question:Our 12 year old spayed female ( spayed when young) has started filling up with fluid. A vet told us to give her some water pills to try to keep her comfortable There was some yellowing in the eyes. The indication was not much else could be done. We had her at the Vet on Tues. and this is Thurs. After reading online there seems to be a lot of different possibilities. Is this for sure a death sentence or could there be another possibility? We were directed to give 1.5 (1 1/2) water pills per day. The first day she looked much better but today looks as if we are back to square one. Any suggestions for Maggie? Thanks, Larry McVey

Answer:There are other medications, other than diuretics, that would probably be helpful. You would need a definitive diagnosis though before starting them - your veterinarian would need to do radiographs (X-rays) and blood work at a minimum. The "yellowing in the eyes" makes me worry that she may have something other than heart failure going on, like liver disease, but only those tests could prove or disprove that. If she is "back to square one", I would definitely take her back in for a recheck. You may just need to increase the dosage of the water pill - but don't do that until you talk to your veterinarian.

Date: Apr 10, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Prognosis

Question:Our 9 year old female Maltese has just been diagnosed with congenital heart desease. We've always known she had a heart murmour but had started coughing a couple of months back. She had x-rays and found her heart was twice the normal size. She was given a 6 on a scale of 1 to 6. She takes 3 types of medication and eats well. She's happy enough but in reality, how long will she have? She is so loved and this breaks our heart thinking about this. She lost her life long brother an 18 year old jack Russell terrier about a month ago and since then she has been really quiet and lathargic but I'm sure her condition doesn't help either. Thanks for your time. Martin

Answer:It is really hard to say but I do say all the time that we really have many of the same medications that are used to treat people to help with heart failure now, so that's good. If she is that far along, she is probably taking Vetmedin which seems to really give my heart failure patients a good bit longer (than before we had it). I am also a big Coenzyme Q10 fan - ask your veterinarian if this might be something you could add if she isn't already on it.

Date: Mar 20, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Medication

Question:My Cody, 22 lb dachshund, was diagnosed with chf back in January. He wasn't eating good and had swollen belly. Vet put him on enalapril, LASIK, and vetmetin. The vetmetin is a large chewable pill but he doesn't want anything to do with it. Have been getting it down with cream cheese, peanut butter, and sometimes forcing it. But he has gotten where he won't take it at all and it's a fight twice a day. I wanted to know what the effects would be to cut out the vetmetin. Can he thrive with just the LASIK and enalapril?

Answer:Good question, but no, get the vetmedin in him. Call your veterinarian and confirm, but if he is definitively in congestive heart failure, this drug does more than all the other drugs as far as improving the function of his heart. (The others are important too, but don't stop the vetmedin)

Date: Mar 2, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Anything and everything please

Question:What would u suggest to treat congressive heart failure

Answer:I think everything you are looking for is in this article of ours: "Congestive Heart Failure Treatment for Dogs & Cats" - it lists the medications we use for congestive heart failure and their functions along with some other treatments: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/congestive-heart-failure-treatment-dog-cat-32.htm

Date: Feb 27, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Interaction with prescribed meds

Question:Is VetriScience Cell Advance safe to use with VetMedin, Spironolactone, Furosemide, Enalapril, Vetprofen, Theophylline? My miniature schnauzer is about 12 #. She was diagnosed with CHF in August 2016 and has been on these meds ever since. I am supplementing VetriScience Cardio Health and Senior Vitamin Chews. Thank you, Patty

Answer:HI Patty. Sounds like an excellent protocol you have her on, although I would speak with your local prescribing veterinarian about the need for continued Vetprofen, given the stress on the kidneys already with the furosemide, Enalopril, etc I see no problem with the Cell Advance, but make sure it is ok with your local vet

Date: Feb 26, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Diet

Question:My dog is almost 15 and she is a 13 1/2 lb. pug which she has weighed at her highest about 16 lbs but she was diagnosed with CHF a year ago and I am having a hard time at this point getting her to eat. She has been on the no salt green bean diet with blue buffalo life protection small chunks for seniors. Smokey has not been eating well at all so I have bee boiling white chicken breast and adding to her dry dog food and she will gobble down. I don't won't too hurt her so is that safe with her condition? Chicken wouldn't have salt in it right? Thank you, Julie King

Answer:I would not be overly concerned about the salt content of the diet at this point, but I would have vet recheck to see if any adjustments and/or additions to any prescription current meds are needed, as well as blood profile done to rule e out any other complications at this age, including liver/kidney disease, etc

Date: Feb 17, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Low sodium food

Question:What is the lowest sodium dog food ?

Answer:The one I like for my congestive heart failure patients is Hill's Science Diet H/D - I don't know if it's THE lowest in sodium but it's one of them. It also has other things that help my heart failure patients like fatty acids, antioxidants, taurine and L-carnitine, etc. (Disclaimer: I am definitely not a food sales-person so I don't benefit in any way by recommending their food, but they should feel free to contact me in the future because I am a fan of their food, lol) There are really good medications for congestive heart failure right now as well so work closely with your veterinarian to find what cocktail works best for your dog.

Date: Jan 12, 2017
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: coughing

Question:my dog previously was in congestive heart failure about two years ago. He is a 13 years old (chihuahua). he is coughing now, for the past few days, and his respiratory rate is slightly increased (usually it's 20 at rest and now its between 30-40 at rest). however, he does not seem to be having trouble breathing. he is eating and drinking fine and seems normal otherwise. should i take him into the emergency hospital tonight? or do you think he's ok to wait till tomorrow when my vet is open? I'd prefer to wait till tomorrow if you think it's safe?

Answer:I would take him to ER for evaluation and possibly lab work and definitely x rays. Additional meds may be needed like additional diuretics or adjustment in his heart meds based on this workup

Date: Jul 3, 2016
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Change In Behavior

Question:My Dog Has Congestive Heart Failure And Collapsed Trachea. She Has Been On Meds The Past Year And Had Responded Well. 2 Weeks Ago She Had Her Teeth Cleaned At The Vets Office. She Had To Be Put Under. She Has Coughed More Since Then And Her Behavior Has Changed. Confused. The Meds She Is On Are Lasix,Enacard And Temaril P. Thank You Jody Jamison

Answer:Best Jody To Have Your Pet Rechecked Out By Vet To Make Sure No Secondary Infection Or Aspiration Pneumonia From The Dental Procedure; Also Heart Status May Have Changed Since This Procedure And Dose Adjustments Of Heart Meds May Be Needed. See Vet In Your Area

Date: Feb 19, 2014
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Dog Food

Question:What Is The Best Dog Food, Both Canned And Dry? I Have Small American Eskimos. One Has The Start Of Congestive Heart Failure And Is On Salix 12.5mg. And Enalapriil Maleate 2.5 Mg. (male) The Female Has The Start Of Arthritis. Neither Are Over Weight. Thank You.

Answer:I Prefer Low Carb, Low Grain Diets Like Wysong Epigen Diets From 1800petmeds.

Date: May 3, 2013
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Congestive Heart Failure

Question:My 11 Year Old Pom Has Been Diagnosed With Congestive Heart Failure And Has Been Put On 3 Different Medications: Furosemide, Enacard, And Vetmedin. Since Then She Has Not Eaten And It Has Been 3 Days Now. I Have Tried Everything To Get Her To Eat Using Even Her Favorite Foods Including The Canned Food The Vet Provided But Nothing. Why Is This Occurring? Is This Normal Because Of The Pills Or Is My Baby Girl Telling Me Something. I Am Desperate To Know What Else I Can Do Because It Seems She Wants To Eat But Not Sure Why She Won't. Any Information Or Help You Can Provide Will Be Appreciated. Thank You

Answer:Answered Previously.

Date: May 3, 2013
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Congestive Heart Failure

Question:My 11 Year Old Pom Has Been Diagnosed With Congestive Heart Failure And Has Been Put On 3 Different Medications: Furosemide, Enacard, And Vetmedin. Since Then She Has Not Eaten And It Has Been 3 Days Now. I Have Tried Everything To Get Her To Eat Using Even Her Favorite Foods Including The Canned Food The Vet Provided But Nothing. Why Is This Occurring? Is This Normal Because Of The Pills Or Is My Baby Girl Telling Me Something. I Am Desperate To Know What Else I Can Do Because It Seems She Wants To Eat But Not Sure Why She Won't. Any Information Or Help You Can Provide Will Be Appreciated. Thank You

Answer:Enacard And/or Furosemide Can Cause Problems With Appetite On Occasion And Even With Kidney Function. Best To Have Recheck Exam And Possible Blood Work To Sort This Out.


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