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Ask Dr. Alleyne Your Own Question
Dr. Alleyne
Dr. Alleyne, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 653
Experience:  Veterinary Associate at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic
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What would you do if a dog came in and was in heart failure?

Customer Question

What would you do if a dog came in and was in heart failure? how would you go about getting the dog out of heart failure?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 6 months ago.
Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping to help you with your pet question today. Since I can’t physically exam your pet, I may need to respond with several follow up questions so I can best help you. Remember there is no limit on how many questions you can ask to in order to clarify any information I have provided regarding your pet. I just have a few initial questions to ask to gather some more information if you don’t mind? How do you know that your dog is in heart failure? Has he been diagnosed with a heart murmur in the past?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
he was born with a heart murmur, I was always told that he would eventually go into heart failure...and that I should just monitor his resting breathing rate and keep him on a bland diet.....at about 11 he was rated at a 4,,, a few months later he had a little bit of a gage cough..which would only occur maybe once a day,, an x ray was taken and showed that he had an enlarged heart which was pressing against his wind pipe and the lungs were clear of any fluid...the vet told me that his heart murmur was at a 6 , which I think was exaggerated because he I had started giving him coq10 a couple months before and his breathing at night seemed a lot smoother...the dog would walk over 1/2 mile in the morning about 1/3 in the after noon and close to a mile at night..the vet said that she had some meds that would help him,,,, she put him on enalapril and Lasix....after about a week it seemed like the side effects outweighed any good the meds were doing so I consulted with ved and she said that i could take him off the meds... after about 10 days he began to breath more rapid,, when I took him to her she said that he was in heart failure,,, I asked was it from putting him on meds or taking him off,,,she said it didn't matter... and she was clueless on what to do for the dog being in heart failure...
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
hello
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
You don't know the answer ?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 6 months ago.
Sorry I was offline when you responded. I can give you an answer later on tonight if you are still looking for one other I can opt out
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Yes get me an answer
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 6 months ago.
Did your dog have an ultrasound of the heart prior to the meds? Did the xray show fluid in the lungs? Usually even if heart murmur grade has worsened that doesn't necessarily mean that the heart disease has worsened. I have had dogs with ranging grades of heart disease go into heart failure. Usually the best indication to determine how serious heart disease is is to have an ultrasound performed. This allows for measurement of the inside chambers of the heart. The bigger the chambers the more serious the disease
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 6 months ago.
If that is the case then additional medications can be added to see if that can help with the disease but there is nothing that can completely get rid of it. Unfortunately Lasix does have side effects so the costs of the medication has to be weighed against it benefits.
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 6 months ago.
Additional medications may include a drug called pimobendan. But before any additional medications are started I would recommend an heart ultrasound first to make sure you know for sure what is going on with the heart
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There was no ultra sound before meds and x rays did not show any fluid in the lungs
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 6 months ago.
If he is having problems with his breathing now xrays probably need to be repeated to see if fluid is in the lungs now. If there is then he may need a lower dose of Lasix to see if it helps with the breathing and side effects are decreased. At best medications can only control heart disease for a Time. At some point even in the best scenario the medications may stop working because of progression of the disease
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 6 months ago.
I would ask for a referral for a cardiologist to get the best results