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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29748
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 14 1/2 year old Min Pincher. Had a sever tooth Infection.

Customer Question

I have a 14 1/2 year old Min Pincher. Had a sever tooth Infection. The Veterinarian told me that he has a bad heart. He has water around his heart and is always coughing bad. He said that he is in stage 4. He put him on a water pill also to help him. He seems to be getting worse. He is having days that he does not want to eat. And having trouble holding his bladder. I guess I just don't want him to keep suffer if he is. My Vet didn't even think he would make it this long. We found this out last November.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I believe that you're asking if it's time to have Buddy euthanized. It's important to recognize that both pets and people with advanced heart disease also will develop kidney failure because the heart isn't pumping enough blood into the kidneys to keep them healthy. When a heart patient becomes inappetent as Buddy has become, their kidneys need to be checked as part of a broader diagnostic work-up. Unfortunately, if I find kidney failure, management of such a patient becomes very difficult because treating the kidneys involves flushing their systems with large amounts of fluids and those fluids can be difficult for a failing heart to accommodate.
I understand that you have a difficult decision to make at this time. You can have that thorough diagnostic work-up performed in order to see if therapy makes sense or you can euthanize Buddy - particularly if his quality of life has suffered to the point at which he can't do his dog things anymore. There's really no "in-between" options with these patients because of the life-threatening state at which they're in.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Buddy. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin