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Old 03-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #16
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Similar situation - they put my boy on Prednisone.

Please keep us posted.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:09 PM   #17
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DH said that we could take her to the vet again to get their opinion on what to do next. The vet didn't say anything about the Congestive Heart Failure on our last visit.
It's hard to say why your vet didn't talk about CHF in the setting of an enlarged heart and ongoing "congestion" issues.

Generally an enlarged heart means that it's gotten big to compensate for ineffective pumping ability. With CHF, it's gotten too big, and is unable to effectively pump blood and fluids around the body and they begin to back up into the lungs, the abdomen and the extremities, etc.

In people, treatment is much more complex, but in dogs, it's fairly simple. It includes medications that get rid of some of the excess fluid (diuretics) and help strengthen the force of contraction (digoxin). You will also want to feed a high quality low sodium dog food and limit excessive fluids. Following his weight will help you gauge his fluid status in order to avoid his retaining it, thereby increasing symptoms.

I hate to say it, but dogs are also at risk for sudden death with an enlarged heart, because the electical conduction fibers in the heart muscle itself stretch and therefore can cause arrythmias. Some of those arrythmias can be lethal. In people, we put in defibrillators prophylactically. In dogs, we don't.

That said, people are living longer with CHF than ever before due to better knowledge and treatments available for the disease. It is no longer an automatic death sentence. Same in dogs. It will require regular medical care and monitoring, though.

If your dog develops fluid in his abdomen, he might not be very hungry. Feed smaller meals more frequently. He may also be tired sometimes. Let him rest and don't overexert, but light regular exercise is good if he can tolerate it. He may be thirsty from diuretics. It's important he have enough fluids, but not too many. Don't let him drink back what you've taken off with diuretics.

Like with people, you will learn to manage it as you go along - if that's really the issue. You need to sit down with the vet and figure out if this is what he actually has first. You can always see a veterinary cardiologist if you want another opinion.

Good luck.

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Old 03-02-2013, 11:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
It's hard to say why your vet didn't talk about CHF in the setting of an enlarged heart and ongoing "congestion" issues.
The vet did call and say he was concerned about her enlarged heart.

I didn't get a chance to talk to the vet when we picked her up (it was an "emergency" vet visit, as the vet was booked for 2 weeks solid) because he was dealing with an emergency euthanization of 2 dogs who were in a fight.

To be honest, I was anxious to get my girl home after having her at the vet in a cage for 6 hours, and out of all the chaos that was in the vet office.

I am hoping I can get in for a visit - or at least get the vet to call and discuss stuff with me more in depth - on Monday. Fingers crossed. Our vet is very popular and there is only one veterinarian at the office that I truly trust.

She seems to go through phases with the congestion - no congestion one day, the next maybe a little, one day she sounds congested a lot - you just never know.

Last edited by rszdtrvl; 03-03-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:53 AM   #19
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:00 PM   #20
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I got her in to the vet this morning. How, I have no idea. I think the Canine Gods were shining on us and all of the planets were aligned perfectly or something.

She has been doing great since the last post, but I wanted to get her in anyway.

Anyway, the vet doesn't think her heart is *that* enlarged, from the xrays. He said that because her bloodwork is fine that he wants to try a couple of other thing before putting her on medication for her heart. He said that he sees dogs way worse than her daily, and that while the heart is enlarged, it is not 911 emergency enlarged. And is typical of a dog her age anyway (she is 9).

He gave her an exam and said that her tonsils were a bit redder than normal.

He decided to put her on a month's worth of antibiotic to see if that will combat her red tonsils and her teeth (she has dental issues but I don't want to put her under anesthesia to get her teeth cleaned again because we almost lost our male Beagle after anesthesia).

If that doesn't work, he wants to try Benadryl, in case it is allergies.

And if that doesn't work, he wants to put her on Benazepril for her heart.

I am hoping that it is just an infection of some sort still.

It was nice to be able to talk to the vet. I am very high strung anyway when it comes to my family, so I always blow things way out of proportion.

Anyway, just wanted to update everyone.

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Old 06-20-2013, 10:30 AM   #21
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Update - post 1
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