CHF Alleviation for Dogs
June 8, 2011 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Our beagle Abbie has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) and mitral valve insufficiency (prolapse). While we know this is going to shorten her life, what can we do to make it as pain-free and long as possible?

She's on 5 (!) medications now, including a diuretic (Lasix), Analapril to shrink the heart and Soloxine for a pre-existing thyroid issue. We're going to move her to a low-sodium diet (not that she ever got much human food, but dog food and treats are really high in sodium). We have looked into a couple of supplements, but the cardiologist says they're not really applicable to her situation, where the heart walls have not thinned but instead are beating too well.

What else can help here? While we want her around as long as possible, her comfort is the primary interest.
posted by yerfatma to Pets & Animals (3 answers total)
Response by poster: Argh, Enalapril, not Analapril (wouldn't want to know what that treats).
posted by yerfatma at 11:10 AM on June 8, 2011

Best answer: Not a vet, but my now deceased pup with similar problems was on a cocktail of drugs similar to yours. In the end she was on 10 different supplements and drugs...ugh. But the one that made a enormous difference was called pimobendan. It is very pricey, but it worked miracles. My 12 year old dog was on death's door and within hours of taking it, she was acting like she had 2 years earlier.

It is not a "cure" but rather, extends quality of life. She later died at 14 years old as opposed to 12. Worth every dime. Ask your doggy cardiologist if that might work for your pup too!
posted by murrey at 11:53 AM on June 8, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, that is one of the other drugs, under the name Vetmedin. You ain't kidding about the "pricey" part.
posted by yerfatma at 11:57 AM on June 8, 2011

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