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congestive heart failure

October 18th, 2005, 07:13 PM
I have a 12 year old lab with congestive heart failure, can anyone share with me on there experience, and should he be taking potassium since he is on diruetics?
Thanks Paud

October 19th, 2005, 09:29 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about your dog being sick. I know how it feels as we have a 14 year old dog suffering with heart failure as well. He has had heart problems now for 2.5 years. Blacky is on 2 different diuretics and 1 type of heart medication.

The one thing to remember is to follow your vet's advice very carefully. Also, always update your vet as to how your dog is doing. At one point I would update my vet every week. My vet will even call me to see how Blacky was doing.

Has your vet recommended a specific diet/food? My dog is on a special homemade diet. Our vet gave us the recipe and all the vitamins and minerals to add. It has no sodium. I'm not sure about the potassium though, you should ask your vet about this.

Make sure that he always has fresh water available as the diuretics make him pee more, he will drink more. Also, keep in mind that he will not be able to hold his bladder. The diuretics work really well, and fast.

Limit his exercise. Don't let him get overly excited or overly active as this could cause him to go into a coughing fit and will cause stress on his already weak heart.

If he starts to cough/gag more or you notice that he is retaining more water (bigger pot belly) call your vet. This could mean that his diuretics are not working as sufficiently. We have had to up Blacky's doses on a couple of occasions for this reason. But only do it with your vet's permission.

October 19th, 2005, 07:09 PM
Thank You For The Reply, It Was Very Helpful, Do You Have A Copy Of The Diet You Use? Bear Seems To Be Doing Alot Better Now That The Weather Has Cooled Some, We Live In Sacramento, Ca And The Summer Was In The 100's, He Stays In The House With Air Conditioning. He's Doing So Much Better, Thanks.

October 20th, 2005, 03:55 PM
I'm glad to hear that he is doing better. The heat does seem to make them feel a little worse.

My mom is the one that makes Blacky's food. I will ask her tonight and will post tomorrow as much of the recipe as I can. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the paper that the vet originally gave me on which it is written. I do know that she got it from one of her veterinary medical books.

The only thing I remember of the recipe right now is that it requires 1 cup of ground meat (chicken or beef) and 4 cups of white rice. The meat and rice are cooked separately and the meat must be drained of the excess fat. No salt is ever added. Once cooled, the meat, rice, vitamins, minerals, calcium and oil are added. The vitamins and minerals were given to us by our vet and I will try and get you the information of the oil and calcium.

BTW, Sacramento is very pretty. I was there just a month ago and must say, I love California. It was quite warm, but I loved it. Would love to live in California some day.

October 20th, 2005, 04:04 PM
I found this recipe online. The link is

"When preparing this diet, the object is to keep salt (Sodium Chloride) to a minimum. No added salt should be used and ingredients high in salt must be avoided. Potassium chloride, rather than sodium chloride is the ingredient of choice if the diet is too bland. Fresh beef cuts are low in sodium. Fish, shrimp and shellfish are quite high in sodium and so should be avoided as well. Most supermarket dog and cat foods are quite high in sodium. Milk products, salted snack foods, mixed seasonings and canned vegetables are also high in salt unless the package states that they are salt-free. One diet, published in a 1995 issue of Veterinary Forum, I have modified it somewhat. The diet is composed of pound ground round or other lean beef, 2 cups of cooked white rice, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, 300mg of Calcium lactate and one pet vitamin."

I just thought that I would add, if you do plan on changing your dog's diet or if you are planning on making a homemade diet, please talk to your vet first and run it by them. You want to make sure that you are doing the right thing and not more harm.

This is another link to some recipes I found online.

October 21st, 2005, 06:09 PM
Thank you again for your helpfull information, it has really helped me.
Thanks again

Glad you like Sacramento, but I would like a change.