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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I am new here and my dog, Molly was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure last week. She is a maltese-poodle mix we got at a shelter and she is either 12 or 13 now. She was prescribed vetmedin, lasix, and tussigon for the coughing, which is making her a bit lethargic. I am still reeling from the diagnosis and have done so much research my mind is spinning. For anyone who had a dog with this problem, did you do anything regarding their diet? I.e. make their food? Or did you add supplements that could be used along with their meds?

I know that she needs to stay away from sodium, but it seems many vets don't get much training regarding nutrition and only say to keep her on low sodium dog food. I am aware my sweet girl may live, at most, between 6 months and one year, but would appreciate any suggestions that may help keep her as healthy as possible while on these drugs. I found a couple of videos on youtube and I prepared homemade dog food yesterday that she seems to love. Any way, if you have any heart-healthy recipes or tips, that would be great! Thank you in advance! Cheryl
 

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I can't help with the diet but I hope you find something for her. I did want to give you the heads up though that sometimes heart medications make dogs wee a lot so be prepared for extra garden trips or possibly accidents.
 

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Hi Joanne, She is definitely urinating more so we are keeping pee pads out which she is using every night. My concern is that because she is peeing more she is losing nutrients which puts a strain on her kidneys and I read it's good to give her a potassium supplement? Just trying to figure all this out so she is as comfortable as possible. It is a difficult time for us. She is our baby.....as I am sure you know. :)
 

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Hi Cheryl, sorry to hear about your dog's diagnosis. I don't have any experience with that disease, but I think it's a good idea to look into supplements and homemade food especially because she's older. There's CBD if she's in pain, Buddy Custard based on the budwig protocol, etc. Just do some research into what might be helpful for her. Overall give her as much love and care as you can and make her comfortable and happy as can be which I'm sure you've already been doing. Glad to know that your first attempt at homemade dog food went well and she liked it! Just keep that up and be alert for any changes in her so you can take her to vet if needed. Best of luck!
 

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I started her on Coenzyme Q10 and will finally see a cardiologist this Saturday. I have just been giving her the same dog food mix I tried the first time with a few additions here and there. We are getting into a routine, but it is still difficult to watch her struggle on occasion knowing her time is limited. Thank you for your response!
 

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Hi Cheryl. How is Molly doing? I just found this forum after also exhaustively searching for answers. My 12.5 year old schnauzer yorkie was diagnosed with CHF 6 years ago and is still with me. She was just on Vetmedin until last week, as her coughing increased and was clearly causing her discomfort. I took her to the vet for new x-rays, which confirmed her enlarged heart is pushing on her collapsed trachea. No fluid in her lungs, which I’m thankful for. She is now also on prednisone and tussigon. I only give her those doses in the morning but am thinking about adding a dose of the tussigon at night too, since she wakes up early AM coughing pretty bad. I think I would rather have her comfortable and drowsy than coughing and alert. At this point in her life and having lived so much longer than the expectancy with CHF, I just want her to be comfortable and am preparing for her time to leave us. It’s hard but I’m grateful for the joy she’s brought us. Please share any tips you’ve found on controlling Molly’s cough, if any. And again, I hope she’s doing well.
 

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There really isn't a hard rule as to how long they can go on with CHF. If they respond well to the meds, without a lot of side effects they can continue for years as Mara R has experienced with her dog. Also the disease, as with people, progresses at different rates, from individual to individual.
 

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Hi Cheryl. How is Molly doing? I just found this forum after also exhaustively searching for answers. My 12.5 year old schnauzer yorkie was diagnosed with CHF 6 years ago and is still with me. She was just on Vetmedin until last week, as her coughing increased and was clearly causing her discomfort. I took her to the vet for new x-rays, which confirmed her enlarged heart is pushing on her collapsed trachea. No fluid in her lungs, which I’m thankful for. She is now also on prednisone and tussigon. I only give her those doses in the morning but am thinking about adding a dose of the tussigon at night too, since she wakes up early AM coughing pretty bad. I think I would rather have her comfortable and drowsy than coughing and alert. At this point in her life and having lived so much longer than the expectancy with CHF, I just want her to be comfortable and am preparing for her time to leave us. It’s hard but I’m grateful for the joy she’s brought us. Please share any tips you’ve found on controlling Molly’s cough, if any. And again, I hope she’s doing well.
Hi Mara,

So sorry to hear about your dog. It is heartbreaking to get news like that. I am happy to hear that she has lived for 6 years with it! I read that life expectancy is 6 months to a year, but Molly's condition was more advanced. No murmer had been detected previously, but when she was diagnosed, her heart was already enlarged and she was retaining fluid in her lungs. The cardiologist did an ultrasound and said her valve problem is pretty advanced. In spite of all this, she is doing very well! She is on vetmedin, Benazapril, and Furosemide. The Benazapril is for her blood pressure and the furosemide is to keep the fluid from building up in her lungs so she urinates a lot more now. We keep pee pads on an oil pan in the laundry room so she can go in the middle of the night if she needs to go.

Regarding her cough, she was also prescribed tussigon and I would give it to her twice a day. Since COVID began, however, my vet ran out and I was prescribed a different medicine. It is much stronger, so I only use half the dosage. She seems to be coughing about the same. It has not increased yet and she doesn't cough a lot, but I have heard others say their dogs cough a lot in the morning. My other concern is her kidney function. I need to have blood work done for her every 4 months or so. She is due this month. Occasionally, I notice her breathing rapidly when she is sleeping, which worries me. I have to be very careful about her salt intake so I make her food now.

Otherwise, she has a really healthy appetite and we still go on long walks. The cardiologist increased her dose of vetmedin in the mornings, so I think she gets nausea after she takes the meds. I give her vetmedin with food and I think it helps. I read so much about giving vetmedin 1 hour before feeding time, but her cardiologist said it doesn't matter. She did not see any difference in any of her patients with regard to whether they gave the medicine with food or without. Anyway, I am rambling. Best of luck with your fur baby and her cough! Consider doing the two doses and let me know if it helps!
 

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I posted in other threads, our dog is 12 with CHF grade 4. He has a leaky valve and was coughing and hacking. We panicked and someone suggested a shaman in South America. so with no other options, we tried it, and guess what, it is working! After 3 weeks of treatment, he has improved, no more coughing. The shaman says take him to the vet after the 4th week, it is a 4 week treatment. He says the dog will be cured.

He has sent us pics of his treatment which I have included here. I will take him to the vet in a week and see if he is right. If so then we all have hope. Otherwise we are broken-hearted, our little guy has been the best dog ever. Checkout these pics with little dog candles..
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Hello,

I am new here and my dog, Molly was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure last week. She is a maltese-poodle mix we got at a shelter and she is either 12 or 13 now. She was prescribed vetmedin, lasix, and tussigon for the coughing, which is making her a bit lethargic. I am still reeling from the diagnosis and have done so much research my mind is spinning. For anyone who had a dog with this problem, did you do anything regarding their diet? I.e. make their food? Or did you add supplements that could be used along with their meds?

I know that she needs to stay away from sodium, but it seems many vets don't get much training regarding nutrition and only say to keep her on low sodium dog food. I am aware my sweet girl may live, at most, between 6 months and one year, but would appreciate any suggestions that may help keep her as healthy as possible while on these drugs. I found a couple of videos on youtube and I prepared homemade dog food yesterday that she seems to love. Any way, if you have any heart-healthy recipes or tips, that would be great! Thank you in advance! Cheryl
Hello,

I am new here and my dog, Molly was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure last week. She is a maltese-poodle mix we got at a shelter and she is either 12 or 13 now. She was prescribed vetmedin, lasix, and tussigon for the coughing, which is making her a bit lethargic. I am still reeling from the diagnosis and have done so much research my mind is spinning. For anyone who had a dog with this problem, did you do anything regarding their diet? I.e. make their food? Or did you add supplements that could be used along with their meds?

I know that she needs to stay away from sodium, but it seems many vets don't get much training regarding nutrition and only say to keep her on low sodium dog food. I am aware my sweet girl may live, at most, between 6 months and one year, but would appreciate any suggestions that may help keep her as healthy as possible while on these drugs. I found a couple of videos on youtube and I prepared homemade dog food yesterday that she seems to love. Any way, if you have any heart-healthy recipes or tips, that would be great! Thank you in advance! Cheryl
Hello guys my dog was also diagnosed with chf and her coughing is so bad at night none of us can get any sleep? Any advice? The vet didn’t say anything about putting her down so I hope that this is just normal with chf.
 
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