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Congestive Heart Failure PDF Print E-mail

   1. Underlying cardiac disease decreases the forward movement of blood flow by the heart.
   2. The heart may try to compensate for a decreasing amount of blood being moved forward by pumping faster.
   3. If the heart beats too fast, there is not adequate time for filling of the chambers between contractions, and less blood is pumped forward.
   4. Congestive heart failure develops as back-pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs causes fluid to leak out of these vessels into the lungs.
   5. Clinical signs of congestive heart failure and cardiac disease may include:

   1. Exercise intolerance
   2. Increased respiratory rate and effort
   3. Coughing
   4. Sudden death

   1. Common Cardiac Medications:

Dogs:

   1. Lasix

          o Lasix is a diuretic and will cause increased drinking and urination.
          o The goal of Lasix therapy is to decrease excess fluid in the body to prevent its build-up in the lungs.
          o At higher doses, or with decreased water consumption, Lasix may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

   1. Enalapril (Enacard).

          o Enalapril lowers blood pressure to decrease the resistance the heart is pumping against.

   1. Digoxin (Cardoxin).

          o Digoxin slows the heart rate to allow adequate filling between contractions and may also improve cardiac contractility.

 

Cats:

   1. Lasix (furosemide)

          o Lasix is a diuretic - will cause increased drinking and urination.
          o The goal of Lasix therapy is to decrease excess fluid in the body to prevent its build-up in the lungs.
          o At higher doses, or with decreased water consumption, Lasix may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

   1. Enalapril (Enacard)

          o Enalapril lowers blood pressure to decrease the resistance the heart is pumping against.

   1. Diltiazem (Cardizem)

          o Diltiazem slows the heart rate to allow adequate filling between contractions and also dilates vessels, lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the heart muscle.