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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:01 am

Congestive heart failure...what do I do?

Postby lmrosier » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:49 am

Hi everyone,

I signed up to this forum last night hoping for some guidance. I've recently found out that my 11yr old Maltese has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and a murmur rated at 5/5. Since we were told of this he has had 2 asthma like episodes, one of which we ended up in the emergency centre close to home. I've been told that it's possible I'll need to come to a decision soon about his life. How do I make this choice? It seems so black and white until you're faced with the reality. At times he's still fairly bright (know where near the same) but doesn't look unhappy, however a lot of the time he is pretty quiet and sleeps a lot. He lost a lot of weight when he was first diagnosed and since then his appetite is better, he wants to eat but he's just not putting the weight back on at all. He's simply skin and bone.

Ultimately I know I need to decide what is best for him, is he suffering? I just don't know how to make that decision. What if I am reading him wrong and he's quite happy? What if he's not ready to go and I make that decision prematurely. The biggest thing for me is his quality of life. I just don't know how to determine this and then be happy with my decision. I can't help but feel it will be something I'll always think back too, have I made the right choice. Any advice would be much appreciated...

Thank you for your time,


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Re: Congestive heart failure...what do I do?

Postby tonypittman » Sun May 12, 2013 9:05 pm


We just concluded this journey. Last march, our 10 year old female had the same diagnosis. Medication helped for a while. But, after about 10 months, the situation began to decline rapidly. After the heart enlargement and lung fluid buildup became too much and too constant, we had to euthanize her. It was VERY sad, but I think we had to make the decision. It is a slow, sad way to see these wonderful dogs decline. I wish you the very best.

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Re: Congestive heart failure...what do I do?

Postby gsimone812 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:53 pm

Our 14 year old male maltese has congestive heart failure. I came to this forum to see how others have dealt with the same issue. I've come to the right place. Our maltese is showing the same symptoms I have read here in this forum, coughing, hacking, sleeping allot, not as active. Sometimes he stands there as if in a daze, staring into nowhere. We call his name and it takes several calls before he turns his head in our direction. He is also showing symptoms of tremors, where his lower jaw shivers as if he were too cold, yet the temperature is a warm 75º (not sure how that relates). I want to know how you can tell he is in pain or is suffering. Right now I don't believe he is, there are times he will act like his old self and barks and jumps for joy when giving him a treat. Yes we are guilty of spoiling him with lots of love and over attention especially now when we know he is having some bad days. The medication helps but the vet told us that the medication will not be able to keep up with the disease...and eventually....well he left nothing to the imagination. How do you know when is the correct time to consider do the humane thing, to not let your family member for 14 years suffer? When is the quality of life not worth living anymore? We have the opportunity to prepare ourselves for the eventuality, but are we going to be truly ready? I don't think so. When my wife made the decision to buy our maltese from a breeder when he was only 3 months old I try to warn her in a subtle way that there will come a time...since a dogs life is much shorter than our own. I then never thought about it since. We enjoyed (enjoy) having him around every day!

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