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View Full Version : My Brittany is in congestive heart failure.



nakato
05-09-2011, 06:53 PM
She was sick all weekend and I spent last night sitting up with her. I took her to see the vet this morning and he gave her a shot of prednisone and Enalpril and Aminophylline. She has only had one of each pill so far. Still panting and restless.

Neither one of us slept last night. I don't want her to suffer, but I am not ready to give up hope yet. Anyone "been there and done that"? Advice?

Polly
05-09-2011, 07:50 PM
Oh I'm so sorry.. My very first cocker, Puppy, had congestive heart failure. He lived for 7 years after it was diagnosed. Constant vet visits, but he was a happy boy. He was on lasex and prendisone and a heart med that I can't remember.

Fostermom
05-09-2011, 08:09 PM
Hopefully the meds will help soon

nakato
05-09-2011, 08:38 PM
How old was he when he was diagnosed Polly?

Brittany is 11yrs and 11 months as of today. She's still drinking water good, although she hasn't eaten that much today. At least not much compared to her usual standards. That's what scared me the most. She never skips a meal, which is a problem we both have. :P

I'm going to give her, her second dose of pills in a couple of hours. I'm praying they work.

Polly
05-09-2011, 09:47 PM
How old was he when he was diagnosed Polly?

Brittany is 11yrs and 11 months as of today. She's still drinking water good, although she hasn't eaten that much today. At least not much compared to her usual standards. That's what scared me the most. She never skips a meal, which is a problem we both have. :P

I'm going to give her, her second dose of pills in a couple of hours. I'm praying they work.

Donna, My vet judged him to be between 2 and 4 when I adopted him. We found out about his heart about one to one & half years after we got him. He still went on hikes with me, 4 hour hikes in the CA Mountins, and neighborhood walks also.

He was younger than Brittany and lived to be about 10 I would guess.

Fostermom
05-09-2011, 10:24 PM
I would start adding Q10 coenzymes for cardiac support. Probably on lasix and that and the analapril will help. Is she coughing?

nakato
05-10-2011, 12:24 AM
I'm going to call the vet tomorrow about adding lasix. She's retaining a lot of fluid and I know that needs to go. She was coughing/retching a lot last night. Tonight she is just panting still.

I just gave her an hydroxyzine. The emergency vet I spoke to last night told me to give her one of those and then another one an hour later to help with the breathing/coughing. I usually keep those and amoxicillian on hand.

She's had her second dose of pills and I've got a vaporizer and fans on her to keep her cool. She needs some rest and so do I. I'll check into the Q10 tomorrow. I've also read that taurine helps. I'll talk to her vet and go from there. Thanks

DJ's Three
05-10-2011, 12:36 AM
I am sorry that Brittany is ill, I hope that the medications help her soon.

deborah
05-10-2011, 02:23 AM
I don't have cocker experience with heart trouble, but I've been living with CHF for about 9 years now. I've noticed that they use the most of the same meds in animals with CHF, so I bet the Lasix will help a lot. I'm on ACE inhibitors, too, along with a beta-blocker and digitalis. Sometimes it takes a day or two for the meds to catchup, and you may need to bump up the Lasix to clear out the backlog. Once the water is out, breathing will be easier, too. I bet she's feeling a little better by mid day Tuesday, and I can tell you that CHF doesn't hurt, so Brittany's probably not in pain. Hope this helps, Deborah

manuel
05-10-2011, 04:25 AM
As Deborah said, Brittany is in an acute phase right now. She'll be much better once she's stabilized on medications. She's having pulmonary edema right now where the fluid is backing up in the lungs. Might be having some respiratory infection too. She needs an ultrasound of the heart and lungs and chest x-ray to find out exactly what's going on. My Gabby who passed away had CHF. He was treated with Vasotec and Digoxin for an irregular heart beat and on lasix. Once his CHF worsened he was put on Vetmedin. It's a CHF drug just for dogs (expensive too). It made a big improvement.

You can look through Gabby's blogs: http://mycockerspaniel.com/forum/blog.php?u=1&blogcategoryid=8

I kept track of his medications on how he was doing.

DotInFlorida
05-10-2011, 07:51 AM
No experience with dogs and CHF only with my mom when she was still with us. Yes, it will take a while for the meds to catch up.

All my best to you.

Polly
05-10-2011, 12:27 PM
I would add milk thistle to support her liver. My Puppy didn't die of his CHF, it was liver failure from all the meds he was on.

Fostermom
05-10-2011, 12:30 PM
Great advice Polly and taurine is great for dogs. They are even adding it to foods these days. It has always been in cat food. Dogs produce it, but recent studies show they need more. Especially spaniels. You can add it with organ meet, but the supplements are easier.

Polly
05-10-2011, 12:40 PM
Yes Linny! Also, if she looses energy, a little bit of D-Ribos in her food is good. It's also a great ameno acid, a form of natural sugar that helps your energy levels. The hardest part of watching your baby with CHF is the coughing. I made my Puppy PJs.. he knew that he had to have them on every night. I don't know if they helped him, but, I felt better knowing his chest was covered..

cockermom
05-10-2011, 05:00 PM
I am sorry about her problems, poor baby. I know nothing about that condition but I do know people and animals can do well for a long time with treatment.

As for Taurine they have also found that many dogs with seizures improve with Taurine supplement, Chase has been on it for quite a while.

Mike
05-10-2011, 07:22 PM
I'm sorry your pup is having heart issues. Have they done any X-rays to help determine the cause? Over a year ago, my Lacey started coughing badly and throwing up mucus... it came out of nowhere.... and the next day she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and a grade 2 murmur. The X-rays clearly showed the problem. Heart was a little bigger than it should be, and it was pressing on her windpipe which made her cough. Plus the congestion. She was put on enalapryl to help take the load off the heart, and a low dose of lasix for the congestion, and it has helped her a lot. Occasionally she will get a small coughing episode, but overall, she is still doing fine. She also gets 250 mg taurine and 500 mg of L-Carnatine twice a day, and the milk thistle for liver support.
If your pup is in the early stages of CHF, she will have a good chance of doing fine with the right meds. Best of luck!

nakato
05-10-2011, 10:18 PM
Thank you all for all of the support and information. She's on lasix now. Only got one dose in her today. I can see a little improvement from that one dose. I found a vet cardiologist near St. Louis about 3 hours away. It's either there or Knoxville, TN or Columbia MO. Those are both 5+ hour drives from where I am. St. Louis it is. She hasn't had any testing done other than what her normal vet did. I'm going to call him again tomorrow and have him refer us to Memphis for an ekg/ecg and xrays. I really wish Memphis had a vet cardiologist, but so far I can't find any info about one.

Today she's ate a little more, but that could be because I thawed some puppy stew out to feed her. Yay for puppy stew!

About the taurine, what organ meats could I feed her? Raw or cooked? She hates taking pills and would probably rather "eat" all of the supplements.

I've been keeping a list of supplements, so far I have: CoQ10, Taurine, L-Carnitine, milk thistle, potassium for when using lasix, and d-ribos. Anything else?

I've to go poke two more pills in her now. Poor baby. I'm surprised she hasn't bitten my finger yet. This morning, I tried hiding them in her puppy stew. Didn't work. Capsules, no problem. She doesn't notice a thing. Tablets? Spits them right out. I've to get some pepcid for her tummy to help counter act the pills she's on now. We had a very loose stool this morning. I've got pumpkin now for that.

She's worth it. That sweet little dog has brought so much joy into mine and my mom's lives. She's our heart dog.

DJ's Three
05-10-2011, 10:31 PM
We use pill pockets here for pills even with Miss Picky Princess Zoe'. The first time I gave them to her I broke them up a little and gave her a little piece without a pill in it and then it is like "more please" and then the one with the pill. I do have to warn you that the Duck and Pea one smell horrible.....

cockermom
05-11-2011, 09:33 AM
I use the 500 mg Taurine in capsules from the health store, just Taurine in mine. I pull them apart and mix 1/2 capsule ( 250 mg) of the powder with his food 1x day. Your girl would never notice it in the puppy stew.

Fostermom
05-11-2011, 11:51 AM
I use pill pockets if it's not dinner time but I crush pills and add to food.

Mike
05-11-2011, 07:29 PM
For the meds, some are small, so I always bury them into a small piece of canned food thats put on my finger or a spoon to make sure Lacey gets them down. If they're put in her food bowl, she may spit them out and I might not see her do it. The supplements are larger, so I can add them to her meal and I'll know.
If your pup is spitting things out the supplements, crush them with the back of a spoon, then just sprinkle it on her meal. She wont know that way ;)

Polly
05-11-2011, 07:55 PM
I didn't know what I know now about suppliments back when I had Puppy.. I just shoved all the meds down his throat. He got to be very good about it. Several times when his cough got really bad, my vet would give him a shot to relieve the water in his lungs..

manuel
05-11-2011, 08:49 PM
Gabby was good about taking his heart meds. They don't taste too bad. It was the antibiotics he didn't like because of the bitter taste. I don't think he liked the minty smell of the aldactone though.

Polly
05-11-2011, 08:52 PM
Manuel I have always bought the minty PetzLife.. Stormy hates it. So, next time I'll get the salmon flavored.

nakato
05-12-2011, 03:38 AM
She slept pretty good last night. Just nice easy breathing and her usual snoring. My mom had a doctor's appointment today, so we were gone for a few hours. She had lunch and pottyed then had her allergy pill, which usually makes her sleepy. I made sure the house was cool for her and had to wake her up when we came in. :)

She's such a good girl. Her stool was good today. Yesterday we had some very loose stools from the new meds, but not today. She's in her favorite spot in the bathroom asleep.

I'll try grinding her pills and put them in her food, but I don't know if it will work with her. She can be a picky little fuss budget when she wants to.

Polly
05-12-2011, 10:23 AM
Maybe putting them in a treat, like yougert? Even frozen yougert!

DJ's Three
05-12-2011, 01:13 PM
I'll try grinding her pills and put them in her food, but I don't know if it will work with her. She can be a picky little fuss budget when she wants to.

Does she like peanut butter? Mix the crushed pill with a little peanut butter roll it into a little ball and hand it too her.

nakato
05-13-2011, 04:26 AM
She loves peanut butter. I'll use it if everything else fails. I don't want to ruin her favorite treat. She likes some yogurt. I'll add that to my list.

Today was even better. She ate good, slept and pottyed fine. Steps are a big problem. We have a handicap ramp for my mom, but it takes too long for Brittany to walk it, so she goes down the steps. Then I help her back up. Tonight it was raining so we just tinkled on the deck. ^_^

cockermom
05-13-2011, 08:02 AM
I'm glad she is doing better. Just a thought, my vet doesn't like to put meds in food, she doesn't want them to associate the food with something bad and quit eating it. I am lucky I don't have trouble getting stuff down the wiggle butts.

KLADCkrs
05-13-2011, 11:40 AM
One trick I heard of for giving meds is:

Get out three treats (soft enough to put pills in). Put the medication in a treat and put it to the side. Give one treat (no meds). Quickly give the treat with the meds, and just as quickly, give the third treat. When you do it that way, sometimes the dog doesn't notice the middle treat with the meds.

DJ's Three
05-13-2011, 11:45 AM
One trick I heard of for giving meds is:

Get out three treats (soft enough to put pills in). Put the medication in a treat and put it to the side. Give one treat (no meds). Quickly give the treat with the meds, and just as quickly, give the third treat. When you do it that way, sometimes the dog doesn't notice the middle treat with the meds.

Did this before I found pill pockets...it does work. Velveta cheese works, too. It is soft and wraps around pills well.

I don't worry too much about the girls tasting the bad with the good, with three of them waiting they are too worried about the others getting something before they do, LOL I don't think that they even chew.

Joyce
05-13-2011, 12:18 PM
Chew????What's that! Mine don't know how to chew I don't think....maybe ice chips! I'm always afraid I'll drop it and someone else will get it. Mine just eat the pill or chewable without anything wrapped around it. Noone takes meds on a regular basis except LadyBug and I usually tell the other two..."This isn't yours!" and they move back......

I like the idea......one without...one with....one without.....Mine wouldn't have a clue, but if they did, this would be the trick...