Ask the Vet About Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs and Cats

Ask the Vet About Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs and Cats
Dr. MichaelDym
Dr. Michael Dym

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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Date: Aug 7, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Right side failure
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Question:Hi,I took my dog to the vet,I Paid a $150 in service,the vet didn't do much,I lost my job due to Covid,the vet wanted to due $1000 in test,if I had the money,I wouldn't of given it a second thought, I've been reading online alot about Natural Remedies using Uva ursi & Hawthorm Berry,my dog has improved,but still breathing heavily when resting,Doc could you give me some advice,what I can do, anything would be awesome... Please!!!

Answer:I don't know of any over-the-counter medications or homeopathic remedies that really help with congestive heart failure by themselves without being on prescription medications at the same time. Hopefully you got medication from your veterinarian while you were there. Here is a link to our article about treatment options for congestive heart failure: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/congestive-heart-failure-treatment-dog-c.html

Date: Jul 17, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Noisy breathing
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Question:I have an 11 year old toy poodle, had a X-ray done & it shows a bulge in the pulmonary artery going from the lung to the heart. Is there any treatment for this or is this something she will have to live with?

Answer:I would really need to see her x-ray, examine her and know more about her history and clinical signs (coughing, etc.) to give you any kind of useful information. A referral to a veterinary cardiologist is always an option as well.

Date: Jul 12, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Meds
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Question:My doggy was diagnosed with heart failure. I ran into a couple who heard doggies cough they said to buy a med online that would really help with the cough. I don’t know the name exactly on how to spell it and couldn’t locate it here. Maybe you can help. Siokitem, Zyoquetem, Ciokiten does anything like that sound familiar

Answer:Diuretics like Lasix (furosemide) and spironolactone help the cough associated with congestive heart failure the most. Vetmedin (pimobendan) helps as well.

Date: Jul 3, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Congestive heart failure
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Question:My dog is all I have from my son passing away two years ago I must do all is possible to keep her alive she is my best friend, I have had vet put her on heart medicine and directis I have friend let me borrow oxygen machine I'm trying put ut in her nouse or mouth help the breathing I'm scared I could be hurting her more may I have your advice what to do or not do

Answer:I would really need to examine her, look at her x-rays, know the exact medications she is on with the dosage and how much she weighs to really properly advise you so definitely contact your veterinarian to get their advice because they have access to all of that information.

Date: Jun 28, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heart enlargement
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Question: My vet give Steroid vaccine to my 12 and six months old Chihuahua because he have a severe coughing ... and he said that my dog is a fitghter but he will leaving soon what is sign if the dog dying with heart engagement and fluid in lungs ???

Answer:I hope he is on medication for his heart failure - there are many good ones that really help. (Steroids are generally contraindicated so maybe the injection was something else.) Here is a link to our article about congestive heart failure: what to look for and various treatment options: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/congestive-heart-failure

Date: Jun 24, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Rx
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Question:My vet wrote us an rx for Pimobendan 2.5 mg #90 Can you fill this rx

Answer:Yes - they should be able to - follow this link, then click on the 2.5mg tablets to order them: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Vetmedin+%28pimobendan%29-prod10980.html

Date: Jun 23, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Food for dog with serious congestive heart problem
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Question:Dog is under vet care with appropriate meds. Vet suggested Hill's Heart Care H/D which I have been buying from Petmeds (along with his meds). He hates the food & is losing weight. Can you suggest a wet food alternative? Thank you

Answer:Your veterinarian is the best one to ask for sure - the prescription diets formulated for heart disease patients are the best - there are a few different brands - if your veterinarian doesn't carry the other brands, they may have to special order it for you - but the decision will be based on the severity of his congestive heart failure.

Date: Jun 23, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Heart medication
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Question:Is Enalapril, 5 mg And Pimobendan 5mg Do these two medications do the same thing? Are they similar? My dog is having trouble breathing, last week her heart was slightly enlarged. I was trying to find a less expensive medication than the Enalapril 5mg., 135 tab. I was told that the Pimobendan 5mg is a lot cheaper and helps in the same way. Thank you.

Answer:No, these 2 medications are entirely different but both are often very helpful in a dog with congestive heart failure. So is a diurectic like furosemide, which is very cheap. Many dogs need to be on all 3 medications. Pimobendan, in general, is most expensive, but can potentially help the most as well.

Date: Jun 23, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Congestive Heart Failure
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Question:Our senior chihuahua has a worsened murmur and congestive heart failure. He's currently on Enalapril, Tamaril P, and his vet added furesomide a month ago. He's started to have a bad reaction to the furesomide. Something like a mini seizure, rapid breathing, head thrown back. He comes out of it before we can get him to the vet. Do you have any recommendations on something he can take in place of the furesomide?? His cough isn't controlled any longer with just the other two meds. He is seeing his vet in 2 days for further testing...

Answer:That is not a common side effect of furosemide and it is easily the best diuretic to help with the cough, so maybe try a lower dosage. There are other diuretics but they don't work quite as well, like Spironolactone.

Date: Jun 17, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Heart murmur
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Question:Hello my 9.5 week old male sphynx was diagnosed today with a grade 2 heart murmur vet wasn’t to concerned said we will monitor it. He’s super active eating perfectly. Should I seek a second opinion? I’m kinda nervous now

Answer:First see if it's still there at his next visit if he is having no problems right now - his next visit should be in 3-4 weeks. Then see if it's getting louder or quieter. Louder - yes, 2nd opinion with cardiologist. Quieter = continue to monitor.

Date: Jun 16, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: end of life
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Question:My dog recently past from Hemangiosarcoma with both heart and spleen involvement. I have a few questions about the end of her life. The pericardial effusion was causing many arrhythmia, which worsened during the last week of her life. We kept her home and were giving her Gabapentin, Trazadone, acepromazine, Yunnan Baiyao and CBD oil. 1. on her last day she became very stiff and went into full rigors immediately after passing. I am wondering what would have caused this? was it from the combo of medications I was giving? and do you think this caused her pain? 2. The last 3 days was having many fatal arrhythmia, but she was converting herself out of them. before and after she passed I was listening to her heart with my stethoscope and she took one last breath and then went into bradycardia with the full arrest and her heart stopped. Shortly after she went into what sounded and felt as a Vtach. Have you heard of this happening after death? We stayed with her at home and tried to keep her comfortable during her last week. I worry that she may have felt some pain and fear through this even though I kept her pretty sedated. And wondering what your thoughts are.

Answer: I am wondering what would have caused this? probably the cancer. was it from the combo of medications I was giving? no, very doubtful - and do you think this caused her pain? just like when people pass away, it is very hard (impossible) to really know but it sounds like you had good medications and did all that you could. I am sorry for your loss! I know it's hard but I can tell how much she was loved!

Date: Jun 13, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Heart disease diagnosis but no treatment?
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Question:Hi, I just adopted a pair of cats that just turned 4. One, the girl, is healthy per her health checkup a few weeks ago, but the male (13lb medium hair black n white, big tho slim guy) has heart disease. The proBNP test result was 900 and he had a cough when I picked him up from the shelter to foster a week prior to his health checkup. He still has the cough a few times a day, (no other trouble breathing and breathing rate appears to be normal and he is playful/eating/drinking normally) but the cardiologist who read the echocardiogram said moderate heart disease (obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) with NO treatment now and to re-echo in 6 months. No parasites, normal BP, normal everything else. I then asked the vet (via the shelter contact) about treating the cough (since it seems to be due to heart disease though no fluid found) and he prescribed an asthma/COPD medicine theophylline daily. Shouldn’t we be treating the root cause of heart disease and not just a lung treatment? Would a treatment now help him live longer and happier? Should I get a second opinion or does the non-treatment of heart disease/only treating the cough make sense for now? I will see my own vet (not the one the shelter uses as it is an hour away from my home) in 6 months to get him looked at again, but want to make sure I am doing everything possible now for him. I saw low sodium diets can help but also be harmful if started too early in disease progression - is that right? What is best to feed him?

Answer:If the the cardiologist who read the echocardiogram recommended no treatment yet, I would think it's too early to start treatment. All medications can have potential side effects so if an actual board certified cardiologist recommended not starting yet based on his echo, I would respect that.

Date: Jun 13, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Saddle thrombus
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Question:Hello. I have a few questions that I’m hoping to get answered. I had a 14-year-old cat that passed away four months ago from saddle thrombus. He was healthy but had a level III heart murmur that was steady for a few years. I am wondering if having him on blood thinners or medication could’ve prevented this? Also would he have had to of had heart testing before hand. My vet never recommended any of this. My second question is, when I took him to the animal hospital he was in respiratory distress, was panting and couldn’t move his back legs. They said there was nothing they could do. I didn’t even know what to ask them to do so I am not sure if there is anything that could’ve been done to save him

Answer:Here is a really good article about saddle thrombus, written by another veterinarian, from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=5307199

Date: Jun 11, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Collapsed trachea
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Question:I have a 9 year old pug that developed a bad cough 4 months ago. Our vet did x-rays and an echocardiogram and told us it was congestive heart. He has been on Enalapril, Lasix, and Vetmedin for months which hasn't helped at all even with increasing the dosage. I'm wondering if such tests have ever falsely diagnosed heart failure instead of the correct ailment which might be trachea collapse. Eighty percent of his coughing fits are after he drinks water. They are awful to listen to. His cough now has a high pitched weez to it and his breathing seems more labored. My vet says it's all part of the CHF. If that's true then why don't the meds help even a little.

Answer:Yes, it is unusual that the medications are not helping - he could easily have 2 or 3 things going on - you can always ask for a referral to a specialist (veterinary cardiologist) since he isn't improving.

Date: May 30, 2020
Category: Congestive Heart Failure
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Congestive heart failure
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Question:Can i purchase my dogs meds here?

Answer:Yes - here is a link to our article about Congestive HEart Failure that discusses various treatment options, with links to the products: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/congestive-heart-failure-treatment-dog-cat-32.htm

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