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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18235
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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I have a 13.5 year old sheltie with congestive heart failure

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I have a 13.5 year old sheltie with congestive heart failure diagnosed 1.5 yrs ago. She now has sever dementia 90% loss of hearing and fluid retention. She has frequent episodes of hyperventilation with increased heart rate,coughing and inability to stand on smooth surfaces and wanders into tight spaces like closets and behind the toilet. She has been on lasix and aminophylline for 1.5 years. She often looses her bowel now. Is it time that I should be thinking of euthanizing her - she has no quality of life. I would appreciate some direction. Thank you. Pamela
Hi Pamebraro7,

Sorry to hear about your little one's problems. It sounds like you have been there for her for quite some time. To get any dog an additional 1.5 years after the diagnosis of congestive heart failure is doing very well.

Your in a tough spot. I always tell my owners that quality of life is our big concern when their pet is getting towards the end of their life. As long as that pet is enjoying life (eating, drinking, able to interact with owners, get around somewhat, etc.) then I feel like they are able to go on. Once they are not doing these things, then that decision to let them go definitely must be very much considered. It is one of the toughest choices to make, but it is also that last gift you can give to that pet for the wonderful time they have been with you.

As far as her issues with her heart, yes there are more medications to add into her treatment protocol. Your vet can discuss these and evaluate if they are a consideration. There is a drug called senelife that can be used in older patients to help with cognitive disorders. I would recommend getting into your vet here to see if this also might be of consideration.

In the end, if you are saying that she has no quality of life, then it is that time. But, give your vet one last chance to evaluate her and see if they can help.

Dr. Bruce
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