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My dog has congestive heart failure... what can I do to help her?

My sweet little dog has congestive heart failure from a mitral valve prolapse. The vet started her on Lasix and Enalapril. For the first few weeks the medicine seemed to be helping, but now she's wheezing again and having some trouble breathing.

She's a 12 1/2 years old, 18 pound, black and white terrier mix. She also has quite a few benign fatty cysts (one is very large on her chest). She's also had a history of stomach issues (possibly pancreatitis) that began with getting a batch of poison dog food. The stomach issues are mostly managed at the moment.

Is there anything I can do to help her? She initially responded well to the medication but seems to be deteriorating a bit. What can I do to help her?

Any advice is truly appreciated!

  maddie37 on 2010-11-16
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
Can you give a few more symptoms? What is the state of your dog? Give us your observations of his behavior, his appearance. Describe a typical day for him.

You have my sympathy. I have always been a great lover of animals, and have loved my pets very deeply. When I have seen them suffer, it has always been terrible for me as well.
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Thank you for your email and your compassionate response. They truly do become a part of our families... and it's hard to watch them suffer.

To answer your question, she generally seems in an okay mood. Although she does have episodes of complete fatigue and lethargy for a day or two at a time, especially when her stomach is bothering her. In general her nature has always been a very 'low-key' lap dog. She likes to eat, sleep, go for short walks, and cuddle. It's not really in her nature to be too wild or gregarious. Lately though, she hasn't wanted to cuddle so much or even be touched. She's also much less 'feisty' then she used to be and seems to have lost a bit of her spunk.

And as for her typical day... it consists of breakfast in the morning, a moderate walk, lots of sleeping/chilling out on the couch or in the sun, another short walk in the afternoon, more chilling out, dinner, going outside one more time, and then bed.

Ever since she started the Lasix though, she's also got to go out around midnight and 4 am. So neither one of us have slept much through the night in a little while.

My main concern is that her breathing is visibly strained. It almost sounds like she's snoring or sighing or wheezing when breathing in especially.

I also cook her food, (lamb with peas and rice) since she can't tolerate dog food very well anymore. I'm not sure if she likes it very much though and if she's getting enough nutrients.

She was also a 'rescue dog' and had been abused when I got her at age 2. So she's had a lot of trauma in her life and seems more cautious/stressed by strangers then usual.

Any help is truly appreciated.

Thank you!!!
maddie37 last decade
A very useful remedy for congestive heart failure is Carbo-veg.Do you have access to a first aid kit.

I am not sure it would cure it at this stage, but it might palliate some of the symptoms.
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
I can get that remedy. How would it be given? What doses?

And no, I don't have a first aid kit handy. Would you recommend getting one? And what for?

maddie37 last decade
Carbo-veg 12c, one dose morning and night, for no more than 3 days. Assessment should be done at the end of each day before continuing.

It is preferably to get liquid doses, so that you can succuss(hit) the bottle and give the dose as drops.
brisbanehomoeopath last decade

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