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Andrea Roberts
Andrea Roberts, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2379
Experience:  15 years as a companion animal veterinarian; BVMS and MRCVS.
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My dog died of CHF yesterday. He was laboring to breathe and

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My dog died of CHF yesterday. He was laboring to breathe and I rushed him to the vet. There, we tried giving him medicine via a mask for him to breathe into. He fought the mask and the dr had to force him to keep it on. I'm not blaming the dr, I know he was doing everything he could. But, I feel like we suffocated him. He was panting with mouth wide open, and couldn't open his mouth wide in the mask. Could he breathe as well? But then, wasn't he suffocating anyway- on his own fluids? I worry I should have taken him in last week, but then again I'm glad it wasn't a long drawn out illness. He was still pretty happy the day before he died. I'm just tortured by the idea that he suffered or died in pain.

Hi there

I'm so sorry to hear about this, and can understand you thinking about the situation you were in.

When a dog has a mask on to breath- they are breathing 100% oxygen, rather than air (about 20% oxygen) so the oxygen intake is massively increased compared to normal breathing- so this will have been far better than the low oxygen state his body will have been in due to the fluid in his lungs- he probably just didn't like the mask on his face- most dogs don't- it was the right thing to give him oxygen- it will have provided some relief despite him getting stressed.

He most certainly won't have been in pain, and the oxygen will have helped him at a time when he would have been severely hypoxic (oxygen deficient) so he was in a better place on the oxygen mask than off it.

I'm so sorry for your loss, but your actions did actually prevent him from suffering.

Regards Andrea

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your response. It wasn't just oxygen. It was a medicine to help open up his lungs. (The name was familiar, but escapes me. I think people use if for asthma.) I guess he just couldn't get enough of it into his lungs. I guess your answer is still true?

Yes- the same will apply- but they probably added in a 'broncho-dilator' to open up the airways, this is usually a steroid type drug, the same as in a human inhaler (salbutamol). Because his lungs were full of fluid, he wouldn't have been able to get enough oxygen from the lung into the blood stream- i'm so sorry for your loss.


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