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  #1  
Old 10-29-2011, 09:59 PM
Jihi Jihi is offline
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I think my dog is dying of congestive heart failure right now

Not sure where to put this, but I know the mods will accommodate if need be...

Way back in 1997 my family and I helped rescue two mixed terrier puppies from a bad situation and we took them into our home. It was a brother/sister pair whom we named Max and Jasmine. The brother, Max, was diagnosed by a vet 2 years ago with a congestive heart defect. We were never able to get the money together to get the necessary surgery.

Over the last month or so Max started to show signs of heart failure. He's had trouble breathing and has started coughing a lot. (I don't know if it's "coughing" really, but that's the best description I can give.) Earlier today his condition worsened greatly. He's started showing signs of an imbalanced equilibrium. He can still stand for extended periods, but he's also stumbling and falling on his side a lot. He's also standing in one place and holding his nose up in the air, which I've never seen him do before. His breathing is severely labored.

I'm not sure what's really going right now, but I have a really bad feeling about this.

I've buried pets in the past but it never gets any easier. We're letting him eat and drink water and staying by his side tonight, but I don't know if this is going to be "a thing" that takes hours or days or what's going on. Any knowledge or previous experience would be greatly appreciated.

He's 14 which I know is old in dog years. He's had an easy life for the most part which is the only small consolation I can take right now. He keeps looking at me like he expects me to fix it. But I don't know what I can do besides make him comfortable.

I don't know if I'll be able to post again tonight, but I will be will be paying attention to the thread.
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  #2  
Old 10-29-2011, 10:14 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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So sorry to hear about Max. It may be trite to say this, but he's had a long happy life with you and if it's his time then that's that. You will be with him, and that's a great comfort to Max. If you think he's in too much pain, it may be necessary to make that last visit to the vet, but from your description that's not the case.

Rest assured Max knows you love him and will do your best for him.
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2011, 10:27 PM
ajb867 ajb867 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jihi View Post
*SNIP*

He keeps looking at me like he expects me to fix it. But I don't know what I can do besides make him comfortable.
Please take him to an animal hospital / vet. Thanks for sharing I guess.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2011, 10:37 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Please take him to the vet and have him put to sleep if he's in pain. And if he does pull through, please still take him to the vet. I had a dog with congestive heart failure and she was able to maintain on meds for some time.

StG
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2011, 10:49 PM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is offline
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I'm so sorry.
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:05 PM
Jihi Jihi is offline
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Max is on his way to the vet now.

I'll update tomorrow.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:10 PM
PapSett PapSett is offline
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I read this thread with a lump in my throat. I lost my beloved Papillon Jay to congestive heart failure in 2007. It was my first expreience with it and he was on medication. We thought he was responding to it, but the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it hit him hard and he dies in my arms.

I am glad you are taking Max to the vet. Jay didn't go easily and it was not pretty. I wish I had had him euthanized instead. It will always haunt me.

My thoughts are with you and Max.
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:16 PM
ataraxy22 ataraxy22 is online now
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I'm going through a similar situation right now too. My 13 1/2 y.o. Schnauzer has a heart murmur that has slowly gotten worse. My regular vet recommended she be checked out at the cardiac specialist clinic. I went last month and they did an ultrasound and I could see her mitral
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:22 PM
ataraxy22 ataraxy22 is online now
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Sorry. Got cut off. The power is down where I live
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:23 PM
horsetech horsetech is offline
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ETA: I'm sorry, I should have previewed, as I would have seen that you posted while I was typing. I'm glad you are going.

Please take Max to the vet. In the late stages of CHF, the animal is essentially slowly drowning in their own fluid. When the left side of the heart can't pump effectively enough to match the blood coming in, blood backs up in the lungs. The increase in pulmonary blood pressure causes fluid to leak into the airways, filling them with fluid and inhibiting (or eventually stopping) gas exchange. This fluid - pulmonary edema - build-up leads to coughing and labored breathing, and the lack of oxygen and build-up of CO2 may affect other organ systems.

As StGermain mentioned, there are treatments we can use sometimes to buy more time - for example, diuretics to get rid of excess fluid, blood pressure lowering drugs to reduce the strain on the heart, and other drugs to support heart function - and make the animal more comfortable. I.e., even if you are not ready to euthanize Max, there may be things you can do to help him, but only if you take him to a vet. If he is in distress tonight, please take him to an emergency vet, where they can euthanize him if he's close to death or put him in an oxygen cage and give him IV drugs to stabilize him before sending him home on pills.

I'm sorry you and Max are going through this.

- 1st year vet student, insert usual disclaimers here

Last edited by horsetech; 10-29-2011 at 11:24 PM..
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2011, 03:08 AM
ajb867 ajb867 is offline
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Thank you for taking the dog to the vet. I hope Max is able to hang in there.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2011, 03:20 AM
KinkiNipponTourist KinkiNipponTourist is offline
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I'll be watching the thread and waiting to hear about Max too. I suspect my cat has tachycardia, mainly because I work for a company that makes heart rhythm devices, and a little bit of knowledge in an otherwise ignorant mind (mine) is a dangerous thing. So your thread title caught my eye.

Reading though, I am glad to see that you've taken your boy to the vet. Your guess may well be correct, given his history, but as other comments show, your vet can diagnose and keep him comfortable.

Again, thank you for taking him to the vet. Come let us know how he's doing, ok?
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  #13  
Old 10-30-2011, 10:52 AM
Jihi Jihi is offline
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Well we took Max to the vet last night, and she told us that he had a severe amount of fluid built up in his left ventricle and there wasn't much that could be done at such a late stage. He was slowly drowning in his own fluids and he had only hours, a day at the most. We opted to put him to sleep rather than let him suffer any more and he died around 1 a.m.

We brought him home and buried him this morning.
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:04 AM
MissSwitac MissSwitac is offline
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I'm sorry about your loss. You did right by Max.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:04 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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I'm so sorry for your loss.
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  #16  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:23 AM
Jenaroph Jenaroph is offline
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Poor baby. I know it wasn't easy, but you did the right thing for your old friend.
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  #17  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:24 AM
KinkiNipponTourist KinkiNipponTourist is offline
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Awww Jihi, I'm so sorry. RIP Max.
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  #18  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:33 AM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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I'm sorry , Jihi. You did the best thing not letting Max suffer.

StG
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  #19  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:29 PM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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I am so sorry mate, its always gutting when your dog dies.

I hope he passes away easily, sending good thoughts your way.
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  #20  
Old 10-30-2011, 03:20 PM
PapSett PapSett is offline
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I am so very sorry for your loss. You did the right thing by your boy. (((hugs))) It is the ultimate act of love.
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  #21  
Old 10-30-2011, 05:23 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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I'm so sorry. You did the right thing. RIP, Max.
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  #22  
Old 10-30-2011, 05:36 PM
nonacetone nonacetone is offline
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I'm so sorry. You have my condolences. Thank you for taking him to the vet.

This past April 25th, we had our beloved Chow mix, Luke, put down because of CHF, also. He was nearly 15 years old.
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  #23  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:11 PM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
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Aw, gosh, I'm so sorry. RIP Max.
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  #24  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:29 PM
Baker Baker is offline
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I've had cats put down, and I've loved them and grieved heavily for their loss.

But I've had a dog just short of a year now, and thinking of the time in the future when I may have to do this makes me tear up as I type here.

RIP Max.

I truly do hope we get to see our beloved pets in the next world.
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  #25  
Old 10-30-2011, 09:56 PM
Marconi N. Cheese Marconi N. Cheese is offline
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RIP, Max. Goddamn, it never gets any easier does it?
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  #26  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:29 PM
dogbutler dogbutler is offline
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{{{{Jihi))))
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  #27  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:12 AM
silk1976 silk1976 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jihi View Post
He keeps looking at me like he expects me to fix it. But I don't know what I can do besides make him comfortable.
You did fix it. You did the last, most comforting thing you could do for him.

It always sucks putting a pet down, it never gets easier - but you do learn to realize and accept that you suffer more than they do - and in a way that is comforting.
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  #28  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:38 AM
ataraxy22 ataraxy22 is online now
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I'm really sorry. But at least he is not suffering.
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  #29  
Old 10-31-2011, 06:08 AM
6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast is offline
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Oh Jihi. I'm so sorry. I was hoping for a different post from you about Max.

To have the strength and selflessness to do the right thing for him is a heartbreaking act of love; I'm sure Max thanks you for a loving end to the wonderful, and long life he had with you.

Shine brightly, little dog star.
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  #30  
Old 10-31-2011, 02:41 PM
NinjaChick NinjaChick is offline
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I'm so sorry, Jihi.

You did right by Max: you did everything you could to ease his pain, and you were with him to provide comfort at the end. It sounds like he had a long, wonderful life with you. He was loved and cared for, and really, the beautiful thing about dogs is that that's all they ask in exchange for a lifelong loyalty.

I say all the above, but know it'll ring hollow. We had to put my childhood dog - she was the same age as Max - to sleep four years ago, and sometimes I'll stumble across a picture of her, or hear a story like yours, and get a lump in my stomach. Time has made it easier, but it until the day when we as people no longer love dogs, it will never be easy.
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  #31  
Old 10-31-2011, 02:59 PM
Soylent Juicy Soylent Juicy is offline
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I'm so very, very sorry for your loss, Jihi. I lost my beagle to congestive heart failure in 2008. You did the right thing. Congestive heart failure can't be fixed.

If it makes you feel better, my stepdad's brother said at the time: "You tell Juicy she did the right thing. I have congestive heart failure and I know exactly how her dog felt. SHE DID THE RIGHT THING."

Doesn't make it easier, I know, but you did the right thing. Take care of yourself, you'll be hurting for a long while.
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  #32  
Old 10-31-2011, 03:06 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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All you can do is make their life good and their suffering short. That's really the best anyone can expect, I suppose.

Thank you for rescuing.
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  #33  
Old 10-31-2011, 04:44 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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I am sorry to hear of your loss! Sending supporting thoughts your way.
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  #34  
Old 10-31-2011, 05:17 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Sorry to hear this..I had to put my best (canine) friend (Buddy) down years ago.
It is never easy, but console yourself that you have the courage to end the poor guy's suffering.
I wish you the best, and please adopt a new friend-Max would be honored.
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