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14 year old shij tzu has CHF. Taking 3 types of CHF meds…

14 year old shij...

14 year old shij tzu has CHF. Taking 3 types of CHF meds (salix, enalapril and vetadmin) since diagnosed last july 2017. Still eating and doing walks. But he has some real bad nights, but then ok next day. And now seizures if he gets too excited or over exerts. (3 in the last 2 weeks) Is there any reason to return to the vet? Had his blood test and xray of heart last July 2017. What can I learn that I do not already know? I will go and pay if there is something I can help him with. But don't want to just spend money on tests and a vet visit to be told the same thing again? Thanks

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?

Tupa. Not worried about the seizures though as they seem painless and he is fine right after.

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Answered in 9 minutes by:
3/20/2018
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2,544
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Tupa is being treated for congestive heart failure with medication. You mentioned he is having bad nights. What is Tupa doing that make them bad, is he coughing more during the night and unable to sleep?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Usual symptoms that I read about for CHF. restlessness, occasionl coughing but mostly hard breathing, panting and waking a lot. But then he has hours (on a bad night) or even full nights with very good, quiet sleep. it seem to come in waves. The last two days have been bad ones where I think it is over, not much sleep, and then he bounces back and is once again showing less symptoms, though they are always present. Not sure what a vet visit will tell me and paying for another visit, xray ( I Imagine they'll want one) and a blood test. I will gladly pay for any these if there is something that can be done to help his quality of life. I am a Doctors son and we never went to doctors.... still at age 62 I am the same way, but hopefully smart enough to go when It is important top go. Or my darling wife makes me go anyway. One thing - He has been on grain free diet for many years, but I did not really make changes to diet (low salt) once diagnosed with CHF as I thought he may as well enjoy his last meals and his treats., since his days are numbered? Thank you.

Thank you for all that information. Monitoring the status of the heart condition is looking at the things you mentioned. If the heart disease was getting worse then signs of coughing, increased respiratory rate of breathing, restlessness, and increased breathing effort should be throughout the day. It should also be happening while he is awake and not resting. When those with heart disease are resting the pressure inside the veins increase and the fluid pools slightly in the lungs. With heart disease, that pooling is more pronounced, so coughing occurs because there is more fluid in the lungs than normal. This should not happen during the day if the CHF is well controlled. The resting respiratory rate should also remain below 50 breaths per minute. So my recommendation would be to count the resting respiratory rate and get an appointment scheduled with the veterinarian if the rate is observed to be higher than 50 breaths per minute. A recheck x-ray should ideally be taken every 3-6 months for monitoring purposes, but otherwise, no recheck is necessary unless the respiratory rate is increased. It may be recommended that the lassie dose be increased at night only if these events keep occurring.

Also, these "seizures" are actually called syncope events. This occurs when the heart is unable to get enough oxygen to the brain especially during excitement or running. They are not actual seizures and are more of a complication of the heart issue.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks. He does have those same symptoms during the day too but perhaps it is because he sleeps in our room and I hear everything ( light sleeper) so it may "seem" worse to me at night. I work from home so I see him also all day and as I concentrate on computer, I perhaps do not notice as much. I will count the breaths. Question - Is it one or two counts with an inhale and exhale? So in + out = 1 or 2 for the counting

The in + out equals 1 breath. If you can count those for 30 seconds and then multiply that number by 2 then that will be your respiratory rate. Higher than 50 justifies a visit to the veterinarian.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
thanks . all set. good job. Kevin

You are most welcome. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help. If you have no other questions, I would appreciate a positive review when you get time. Leaving a review does not close out your question and you can come back to any time to ask additional questions. You can leave a five star review at the top of the screen. Thank you.

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
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Experience: DVM
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