Relief for my dying Pug
January 22, 2008 8:39 AM   Subscribe

My 13 year old pug has congestive heart failure, she's on Lasix and over the last few days her back legs have started to tremble very badly.

I know that diuretics can mess up electrolytes, I'm wondering if I should try giving her a potassium and or magnesium supplement to help relieve her symptoms. She is my love but she is also old and has been suffering from health issue for quite a while now so the official stance is no more invasive procedures or scary vet visits. Basically she's in doggy hospice and I just want to do whatever I can to keep her comfortable. As an aside, I just drove to Portland and back last week from Denver to get her so she could spend her last few months? weeks? with me. Anyone have any experience or advice for me?
posted by yodelingisfun to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Definitely call and ask your vet. They should be able to help you with this.

You are a good pug mommy, though. It is great that you are taking such good care of her.
posted by bolognius maximus at 8:43 AM on January 22, 2008

supplements sometimes take a while to absorb, you might try feeding her a banana (if she's that type of dog) or giving her a little gatorade (or pedialyte what ever you have closest).
posted by estronaut at 8:44 AM on January 22, 2008

It could be a number of things. Lasix can cause muscle weakness, or it could be depletion of electrolytes (as you suspect), or unrelated issues such as arthritis or epilepsy.

I understand about not wanting another scary vet visit (I have an elderly kitty with heart failure), but I second the vet call.
posted by red_lotus at 9:04 AM on January 22, 2008

Maybe they can switch to aldactone which is potassium sparing - not sure it is a dog friendly drug but you could ask your vet for sure.
posted by clanger at 10:09 AM on January 22, 2008

Every pug that I have known had their back legs give out shortly before death. I know that my mom hesitated to put her dog down after his back legs went. She wound up with blood on the carpet from the poor dog dragging his legs around. It happened to my uncle's pug too, though I think he had his dog put down a bit sooner. I'm sorry, it's probably irreversible.
posted by crazycanuck at 10:17 AM on January 22, 2008

I empathize -- my beloved old cat was just diagnosed with CHF. In fact I was just researching vets in my area that make house calls.

This source recommends using Morton's NuSalt as a potassium supplement for dogs who are taking furosemide. Not sure on the dosage, good question for a vet.

Best wishes to you and your darling dog. May her path be easy.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:21 AM on January 22, 2008

Definitely call the vet, it might be something to worry about, it might not, but your vet is the only one who will be able to help you. Please do not start supplementing the dog with anything without talking to your vet first, a scary-large number of our emergency "get that animal in here now" calls start with "Fluffy was doing x, so I tried giving him y".
posted by biscotti at 11:58 AM on January 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

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