Recently, I was talking to two of my best friends and both had dogs with congestive heart failure.
The first person I talked to had just lost her dog to congestive heart failure (CHF) but had been able to keep the pet alive for about a year and a half with a treatment program from her veterinarian.
The second friend’s dog is still living and has recently begun a treatment program for congestive heart failure.
I was interested in how treatment of CHF in dogs is similar to treatment of this problem in adults.
Here is a summary from Congestive Heart Failure In Canines:
Treatment of CHF in dogs can be divided into two phases: acute and chronic.
- The acute phase is aimed at treating the congestion and supporting cardiac output. This is potentially more critical for left-sided heart failure, as pulmonary edema will result in dyspnea, and urgent treatment is needed to avert death.
- The chronic phase of treatment involves the long-term management of stable, compensated CHF. The goals are to prevent recurrence of decompensation, control clinical signs, and slow progression of the disease.
Table 1 provides an overview of treatment options for CHF.