I'm new to the forum and just came here hoping to hear from people who have had experience with congestive heart failure. My 12 year old dog Boomer was just diagnosed with it on Monday after an X-ray showed enlarged heart and fluid on the lungs. He had been coughing/gagging on and off for several months but only really got my attention when it became more frequent. A Vet visit was on my to-do list but then one weekend he had a really bad episode of it and was running outside to eat grass like a starving cow. So I took him in that Monday. The Vet thought it might be bronchitis so he prescribed antibiotics and gave him anti-inflammatory shot and told me that if that didn't do it, we would do x-rays next. Well he was good for almost a week and then had another bad episode the following weekend, so he went back to the Vet again and we did the x-rays. Since his diagnosis, my own heart is not doing so well. He is the last of my pack as I lost a 15 and 16 year olds two years ago. I can't imagine my life without him.
Anyhooo...he is on 50mg Lasix twice a day "as needed." I understand this is a very low starting dose but I am not seeing much improvement(this is only his second full day of it, so perhaps I am being impatient?) He is a big boy at a 121lbs. He could lose a little weight, but he's a Lab/Akita mix so I don't think he's grossly overweight. At any rate, I foresee him losing weight since his appetite has decreased to the point I am already worried about it. In addition, I am not seeing an increased volume of urine nor increased thrist that I thought I would see after starting Lasix so I am wondering if it is even working.
So, I have several questions hopefully some of you can answer. First, how long does it take for Lasix to work? Does it depress the appetite? And why or why does he eat so much grass??? And finally, how long do dogs with this condition live on average? I've been alarmed by reading that once they begin showing symptoms they live from 6 months to a year. When I asked the Vet, he avoided the question or maybe I wasn't listening. I was kind of in shock at the time. I did ask him about diet, but he said not to change anything right now. As far as check ups go, unless otherwise needed, every three months. I know there's no cure, but is there any other treatment we should seek? Tests that should be done on a regular basis? He wasn't able to hear a heart murmur but said after the Lasix reduced the fluid in the lungs, he would probably be able to hear it. I am willing to go the distance with my boy. I want to keep him at my side for as long as he's willing to be there.
Thanks for reading this and I look forward to everyone's input.