Dog Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 10 yr old Chihuahua was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure about 5 months ago. Since then we have been on a roller coaster with her meds and her health. She was diagnosed after having "asthma like" coughing attacks which progressively had gotten worse. She was put on a Lasix and Vetemedin. After waiting over a month to get in to see a cardiologist, we finally got more tests and he doubled her doses of both meds and added enalipril to the mix.

Unfortunately my dog had a very rare reaction to the enalipril as it put her into a coma like state because it lowered her blood pressure TOO much. So we cut down on the dose and she seemed to be doing okay with that.

However, she is now at an extremely high dose of Lasix. She's 8 pounds and is getting 40mg of Lasix since the vet had me gradually increase it as she become more immune to it. The Lasix has made her incontenient since the beginning. She is constantly urinating herself, her bed, my bed, my furniture, etc. Her blood work has shown that her kidneys are fine so far though and her coughing had dramatically decreased and she was breathing great on the high dose.

This past week though her coughing has returned with a vengeance. She is really struggling to breath without having a coughing fit. I was wondering if anyone could tell me about other diuretics besides Lasix? She is no longer responding to the Lasix so the cardiologist mentioned trying a different med.

If anyone has any advice about a dog with CHF in general I would greatly appreciate it. I feel so alone, confused, and terrified. This has been a very scary journey . I hate seeing my dog struggle on her bad days. I hate being helpless because she can't tell me what exactly she is feeling or thinking. I know that she is scared, I can see that in her eyes. Especially when she has trouble breathing. I want to do whatever possible to get her back to breathing better and being comfortable while dealing with this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,884 Posts
CHF really sucks :(

The only other diuretic that I'm aware of is apironolactone/Aldactone. My understanding is that it works differently from Lasix, and is not generally considered as powerful. I'm sure there are a couple more, but Lasix is by far the most common.

There are other heart meds that she can be put on too. We have boarding dogs that are on several. The ones that your pooch is on, the lasix, enalapril and vetmedin, plus others. I know one often used is hydrocodone, which is a narcotic pain reliever. It's not really a heart med in and of itself, but it helps with the coughing caused by an enlarged heart pressing on the airways. There's also Lisinopril, which is an ACE inhibitor like Enalapril. There are also others that are more specific to the condition of the individual dogs heart.

Anyway just hang in there. CHF is no fun, but can generally be managed pretty well once the right cocktail of drugs is figured out. Maybe ask about getting some hydrocodone to use as needed for those bad days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
That is a pretty high dose for Lasix alright... never had a patient on that high a dose. Most of the time when I get a patient that needs more diuretic and is not doing well on what we have so far, Spironolactone is added. It has several advantages over its diuretic potential so I would certainly look into it. Ideally, you should be seeing a cardiologist who can help you with all this stuff.. no idea where in the country you are, but most areas of a cardiologist in that state at least. Eventually many cardiac failure patients stop responding to medications indicating that their hearts are progressively getting worse, and eventually there is little that can be done. No idea how close we are to that situation but it might be coming up. Good luck and I hope something works out for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your responses. I really appreciate it. My cardiologist has me decreasing the lasix to 20 mg a day and adding 12.5 mg of spironolactone. I will be starting it tonight and keeping my fingers crossed that we see some improvements.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top