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My dog was diagnosed with congestive heart failure roughly 8 months ago. Though her breathing has been the thing we have noticed and discussed primarily with the vets, that seems to be under control with her current medication. Her heart rate, however, has become concerning. Her heart rate is rapid even when resting, and very pronounced when you feel her chest. It also seems quite irregular, I tried to measure her beats per minute but I couldn't tell, and my wife and I had wildly different estimates.

Is this normal with congestive heart failure? My main concern is that she not suffer. Could she be suffering with a rapid, seemingly irregular heart beat?

Other notes:

  • She is slowing down significantly on walks (likely compounded by summer heat). She's overall less active.
  • She is becoming a more finicky eater, though still eating as we are putting things like chicken / fish in her dinner now.
  • She hasn't lost all her spunk, there are moments where she shows some playfulness, and still some moments where she'll be a guard dog, but it is definitely reduced.
  • She saw a vet & cardiologist 2 months ago, they told us to come back in 6 months. While I understand I'll get the best information by bringing her back, it's both expensive and traumatic for her! So I really do appreciate any advice that can be offered.
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    I cannot answer your question, but hopefully give you some advice how and where to measure your dog's heart rate correctly. Put your hand into the left armpit of your dog (the space right behind or under her left front leg), preferably while she's lying down and not panting. Always measure with your fingers, not with your thumb. Even a toy stethoscope works great! The heart rates of dogs vary depending on the dog's size and physical condition - between 60 and 140 beats per minute. See more information here – Elmy Jun 13 at 20:20

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