Congestive Heart Failure

Overview

Heart failure is a condition, caused by an abnormality in the structure or the function of the heart, in which it is unable to pump normal quantities of blood to the tissues of the body. The heart is a pump, and when it fails, it often leads to fluid retention in the lung and the body cavities leading to congestive heart failure.

Dogs of any age and any breed can develop heart failure. There is a predisposition for heart failure caused by cardiomyopathy in giant canine breeds. Many older, small breed dogs develop heart failure from abnormal function of the heart valves as the valve tissue degenerates.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Congestive heart failure is generally diagnosed by chest x-rays, electrocardiogram (EKG) and an ultrasound examination of the heart (echocardiogram).
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Acute therapy may include diuretics, Nitroglycerine ointment, oxygen as well as drugs to help maintain blood pressure if needed. The majority of dogs with congestive heart failure are treated at home with a diuretic (water pill) such as furosemide (Lasix) and angiotension converting enzyme inhibitors such as enalapril or benazepril and dietary sodium restriction. Additional drugs such as Digoxin and pimobendan may also be used with certain types of disease. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.

 

What to Watch for*:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficult breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

 

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.

 

Monday through Friday:

Walk Ins start at 10:00am, check-in starts at 9:00am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)

 

Starting Saturday, August 1st

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM

 

24 Hour Emergency Care:

 

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)366-3400

 

AVETS

4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA
(412)373-4200


VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)885-2500


Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue
(412)471-9855
WALK—IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM


North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd
(412)821-5600
WALK-IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

 

 

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