Do dogs with congestive heart failure suffer?

A dog with congestive heart failure may cough, have trouble breathing, experience fatigue, loss of appetite, or might die suddenly. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment can help reverse congestive heart failure, and medications are available to help relieve its symptoms.

Dogs can suffer from many of the same ailments that affect humans, including congestive heart failure. This condition occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in both humans and animals alike. While the symptoms and treatment of congestive heart failure can vary from breed to breed and from dog to dog, it is important to understand the implications of this condition in order to provide the best possible care for your pet. In this blog post, we will explore the question: do dogs with congestive heart failure suffer? We will look at the signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure, the treatments available, and the prognosis for dogs with this condition. We will also discuss the importance of having a good understanding of your pet’s medical history and the right questions to ask your veterinarian. Understanding how to best care for a dog with congestive heart failure can help ensure they live a long

What is congestive heart failure?

The term “congestive heart failure” (CHF) describes the heart’s inability to adequately pump blood to the body. There are many causes of CHF in dogs. The two most common causes are:

  • mitral valve insufficiency (MVI). MVI is a leaky mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and the left ventricle.
  • dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
  • Please refer to the handouts “Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs” and “Mitral Valve Disease in Dogs” for more details on these specific causes.

    Depending on whether the dog has left- or right-sided heart failure, the clinical signs of CHF change.

    What Is Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs?

    Brown pug naps in a red dog bed on the floor.Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to the inability of the heart to pump blood adequately throughout the body. As a result, blood backs up into the lungs and fluid accumulates in the body cavities (chest, abdomen or both) further constricting both the heart and lungs, and preventing sufficient oxygen flow throughout the body. In dogs, there are two main types of CHF:

  • Right-sided congestive heart failure (RS-CHF). This occurs when a heart contraction causes some blood to leak into the right atrium from the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve rather than being pushed through the lungs and becoming oxygenated. As a result, the main circulation system becomes congested with backed up blood, and fluid accumulates in the abdomen, interfering with proper organ function. Excess fluid might also build up in the limbs and cause swelling known as peripheral edema.
  • Left-sided congestive heart failure (LS-CHF). The most common type of CHF in dogs, this occurs when blood from the left ventricle leaks back into the left atrium through the mitral valve rather than getting pumped into the bodys systemic circulation when the heart contracts. It is a state of diminished cardiac function as a result causes volume or pressure overload to the left side of the heart. As a result, fluid leaks into the tissue of the lungs, causing swelling known as pulmonary edema, which leads to coughing and difficulty breathing.
  • Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

    Clinical signs of CHF in dogs may include one or more of the following:

  • Coughing, sometimes even coughing up foam
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased rate of breathing, even when resting
  • Inability to exercise
  • Fatigue, lethargy and weakness
  • Cyanotic (blue) gums
  • Distended abdomen
  • Collapse or sudden death
  • If your dog exhibits any symptoms of respiratory distress or difficulty breathing, contact an emergency veterinarian right away. When exhibiting mild to severe congestive heart failure symptoms, your dog might require hospitalization and urgent care.


    Is congestive heart failure in dogs painful?

    Usually, dogs with congestive heart failure don’t show overt signs of pain. However, chest pain has been cited as a contributing factor in congestive heart failure in humans, so it’s possible that dogs also feel some discomfort. If you believe that your pet is in pain, seek veterinary care.

    How do you comfort a dog with congestive heart failure?

    How to Help a Dog with Congestive Heart Failure
    1. Medication. …
    2. Pacemaker. …
    3. Low-Salt Diet. …
    4. Exercise Management. …
    5. Supplements. …
    6. Being Careful About Treats.

    What are the final stages of congestive heart failure in dogs?

    Stage 4: CHF is in its final stage. Breathing becomes difficult even when at rest. It can be difficult to walk due to swollen legs or a bloated stomach caused by fluid accumulation in various body parts. It can even cause vomiting.

    How do you know if congestive heart failure is getting worse in dogs?

    Pets will experience progressively worse breathing issues as their heart failure worsens. Your pet may wheeze while sleeping or otherwise at rest, or you may notice her sides heaving more when she breathes. She might also pant or breathe more frequently with her mouth open.