I'm wondering if I should bring my dog to the vet tonight and say goodbye.

She was taken to the vet earlier today due to shortness of breath and was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), but it was a little less severe at the time. The surprising part is that the young veterinarian just prescribed a diuretic and told us come back in 2 weeks if things don't get significantly better.

The situation just seems more severe. She hasn't been able to sleep or eat and is holding her head up constantly, trying to get enough air. Not very fun to have to watch your dog go through this. I suppose I'll wait until morning in case the medication does anything, but I really don't want her to suffer more than necessary.

Any thoughts?


It sounds as though your dog is in severe respiratory distress; less than 40 breaths per minute at rest is normal.

She does need to see a veterinarian again as soon as possible. From what you say the diuretic is having little effect.

Lasix (furosemide) is quite a safe drug in the sense that quite high doses can be given in the short term. If you cannot go to a veterinarian immediately you can increase the furosemide dose to provide comfort. You can give up to 6 mg/kg by mouth every 8 hours (Plumbs). I would be hesitant to go much higher without evaluating the dog. Smaller doses more frequently are also fine, but it sounds as though she is not responding to the smaller doses.

Nobody on here can tell you whether it might be your dog's time, that is a decision you have to make between you and your vet. If the diagnosis is definitely CHF and she is not responding to diuretics, then short of hospitalization with oxygen therapy, thoracocentesis (removal of fluid from chest) and full cardiac workup there is little that can be done to keep her comfortable. It will be a difficult decision to make, but your veterinarian should be able to provide you with an idea of prognosis based on your dog's history and clinical exam.

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    Can you expand on why your suggestion of altering the dosage to "up to 6 mg/kg by mouth every 8 hours." is more appropriate then the dosage prescribed by the veterinarian who saw the dog? References would be good place to start. Jul 27 '17 at 12:15
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    @James That dose is in Plumbs, you'll find many different opinions on dosing of lasix. Yes it is always best to follow the veterinarian's recommendation, but what I was saying was that if the dog was in severe respiratory distress and the owner cannot get to the vet immediately, one can try to give a one-off higher dose of lasix before gettng to the vet to see if it provides comfort.
    – Harry V.
    Jul 27 '17 at 14:13
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    I was going to suggest a link to the page, put it looks like a subscritipion is required to use the reference plumbsveterinarydrugs.com/#!/search Jul 27 '17 at 14:20
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    @JamesJenkins Harry's suggestions line up with my vet's instructions when I had a cat with CHF. If he started breathing fast I was to give extra lasix until his breathing settled back to normal.
    – Zaralynda
    Jul 27 '17 at 15:28
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    for anyone who is interested or is maybe going through the same thing i should add that we took her to the vet that night and said goodbye. i think it was for sure the best thing to do. if her rapid breathing didn't start so fast and she started meditacation a few weeks earlier she might have had a bit longer. at the vet they gave her an oxygen mask and some medication to make her feel calm and relieved for her last hour. miss her alot but have no regrets.
    – Joel M
    Feb 12 '18 at 2:58

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