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hazelrunpack November 7th, 2012 08:59 AM

Any tips on management of heart failure in dogs?
We recently found out that Ridge is in the early stages of heart failure. Her symptoms have abated since the addition of Lasex and Enalapril, but does anyone have any general tips for the management of heart failure? Homeopathic remedies that you've had success with? Exercise recommendations?

luckypenny November 7th, 2012 12:20 PM

Oh Hazel, I wish I had some ideas to share with you :(.

All I have is lots of love and hugs for you and Ridge :o.

hazelrunpack November 7th, 2012 12:36 PM

Thanks, LP. She seems to be holding her own for now, which is a good thing. :)

Barkingdog November 7th, 2012 01:59 PM

[QUOTE=hazelrunpack;1048949]We recently found out that Ridge is in the early stages of heart failure. Her symptoms have abated since the addition of Lasex and Enalapril, but does anyone have any general tips for the management of heart failure? Homeopathic remedies that you've had success with? Exercise recommendations?[/QUOTE]

I would check out what dog food is best for dog with early stages of heart failure. I know people have to be careful with their salt intake so I would think dogs would need to be careful too. I am so sorry to hear this, I would spend as much time you can with your dog and try not to let her get too stress out or over excited.

pbpatti November 7th, 2012 03:52 PM

Hazel, I am so sorry tohear about Ridge's health. Take a look at this website to see if there might be something that can help you out homeopathically. What kind of heart disease does Ridge have?


growler~GateKeeper November 7th, 2012 04:57 PM

Big :grouphug: for Ridge

Good thing she's a yard dog & doesn't like the adventures into the woods so you don't have to worry about keeping her from getting excited while the other dogs go out.

hazelrunpack November 7th, 2012 05:15 PM

That's very true, growler! :laughing: She has never been one to overexert. :D

She has valvular heart disease of some sort, Patti--rapid development of a grade 3 heart murmur--but as far as we know, it's idiopathic. All her blood work and xrays looked good, and the ultrasound showed relatively normal function despite the murmur. She started with a soft cough a while back, at which time we added the meds. Thanks for that link--I'll check it out!

Thanks, Barkingdog. She's not much for overexertion and stress isn't in her vocabulary! :D We do spend a lot of time with all our dogs, knowing that they're getting older and not wanting to waste a minute with them if we can help it!

Winston November 7th, 2012 05:36 PM

Hazel :grouphug::grouphug: give Ridge a gentle hug please.

free November 7th, 2012 06:32 PM

sorry to hear. when we had ollie he had a grade 3 heart murmur we mitral valve.kept him on meds the vet said make sure food is low in salt. he still took his walks and kept everything normal.

hazelrunpack November 7th, 2012 08:44 PM

Thanks, Cindy.

We have to explore the food route again with Ridge, free. Salt was not one of the things we looked at prior to this, so I have no feel for how high the salt content is in kibble formulas. Did you find a good one for Ollie?

Barkingdog November 8th, 2012 09:20 AM

I found this dog food on line , I never heard of it but I was trying to find a dog food that was in low in salt for your dog.


hazelrunpack November 8th, 2012 01:02 PM

Thanks, Barkingdog. We've been talking about raw, which would be much easier than ordering food special and will enable us to totally control how much salt she gets. I just have to finish twisting hubby's arm... :D

breeze November 8th, 2012 02:52 PM

All I can offer Hazel is


for you and Ridge

Dog Dancer November 8th, 2012 03:04 PM

Hazel I'm so sorry to read this about Ridge. I have to agree raw may be the right way to go. Sorry I have no advice to offer though. Hugs to you all and especially to Ridge. With you in her corner she's bound to do well!

dmc123 November 8th, 2012 04:31 PM

Hazel, I wish I had some advice, but I am so sorry to hear about Ridge. I hope you find some great tips and advice to help.


Goldfields November 8th, 2012 05:34 PM

That's sad news for Ridge, Hazel. She is lucky she has an owner who will look after her as well as I know you will. I have no advice really, I did nurse two cattle dogs through dilated cardiomyopathy for 3 years each but apart from med's and letting them take things as slowly as they liked there wasn't much else to be done, bar loving them of course. Big kiss and cuddle for your girl.

Dog Dancer November 9th, 2012 10:20 AM

Hazel, how is Ridge doing today? Hope she is feeling well and that you are managing to find all the info you need.:grouphug:

hazelrunpack November 9th, 2012 01:37 PM

Thanks, ladies. :grouphug:

DD, she's doing well. Not running into a whole lot of info, yet, but finding some. May be making a diet change, but pretty much we'll be doing as you did, GF--make sure she gets her meds and let her take things at her own pace. That last part is pretty much how she's been all her life, anyway--always last, just moseying along at her own pace. :D

Today we had the combined b-day part for Grace and her Uncle Cole and Ridge not only ran after a Kong (once...which is once more than usual :laughing:) but she also wanted to dance for the first time in ages! So I think she's feeling pretty good and the meds are certainly working for her at this stage.

Barkingdog November 9th, 2012 06:49 PM

That is good news that Ridge is feeling better.

MaxaLisa November 25th, 2012 09:39 PM

Well, drat, I'm so sorry to hear this.

When my girl's murmur advanced rapidly, I put her on low dose doxycycline and it stopped most all progression. She always had a weird infectious component, that we never figured out (lyme heavily suspected), and I do believe that there was a lyme or bartonella component to her heart disease. It was a low level murmur for a very long time, then progressed, and one of the tendons in her heart broke (luckily, it was a minor tendon).

She was put on enalapril, we didn't need the lasix, she luckily never went into full CHF. She did not die of heart disease, but of a brain/spinal lesion (again, thinking of that infection :( ).

Anyway, in addition to the doxy, I stayed away from things like Hawthorn (commonly recommended), because there is a balance between trying to make the heart beat too strong and stressing the structure of the heart. I did add hyaluronic acid to keep the parts of the heart supple (not glucosamine/chondroitin, but HA). Fish oil is important, to keep the muscles from atrophying. I guess that would include the heart muscle?

I hope that this link will work, I thought this was very helpful:

hazelrunpack November 25th, 2012 11:49 PM

Thanks for the info and that link, MaxaLisa--I'll read it more thoroughly tomorrow. Ridge went in for her dental last Friday and her murmur had backtracked back to a grade 2. She also tested faintly positivie for Anaplasmosis--so she [I]will[/I] be treated with doxycycline. We think the heart disease pre-dated the Anaplasmosis but we want to nip it in the bud before the Anaplasmosis causes any complications. She's already on an omega-3/-6 blend (Lipiderm) but I'll look into the HA, as well. :thumbs up

MaxaLisa November 26th, 2012 12:34 AM

It's a lengthy paper, if I recall! I think that they do give dosage recommendations? I can't remember...

Anaplasmosis? Drat, but I know she's in good hands because you treat aggressively. I will say that we have had at least a few dogs on the tick list, after their treatment for AP concluded, suddenly died from heart failure, when there was no previous heart disease, which I a bit scary.

Great news that the murmur is better. Will be interesting to see how it behaves on the doxy, hope it just gets better!

BigMax May 20th, 2013 02:39 PM

Sorry to hear about Ridge. I had a dog that suffered sudden heart failure and was revived. The vet placed her on several types of medication that extended her life an additional two plus years. As getting my dog to eat was my biggest problem, what I fed her was the least of my problems. The quality of her life was my biggest priority. Just let Ridge have the best life and enjoy it together. Ridge will appreciate an enjoyable life more than a longer one.

hazelrunpack May 20th, 2013 06:04 PM

Thanks, BigMax. She's doing remarkably well! The murmur is still reduced, her activity level is up and she's looking very bright and happy. :)

MaxaLisa May 21st, 2013 03:46 AM

This is great new!

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