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Old 9th July 2008, 07:05 AM
jae jae is offline
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Default Chihuahua with congestive heart failure due to mitral valve disease

I have a 7lb, 13 1/2 year old female, spayed chihuahua who was diagnosed with mitral valve disease and collapsed trachea about a year ago. She has had a heart murmur for a few years now but has never had any health problems except after a dental cleaning about 6 years ago, she aspirated fluid and had to stay at the vet hospital. Other than that, no problems at all.

She eats a raw food diet (raw beef, turkey, chicken, & tripe) and has done so for about 4 years. Before that she ate an all natural kibble. She has not had any vaccines in over two years. Before that she only got vaccines occasionally (but I sure wish I knew back then what I know now because I wouldn't have given her any!).

She receives cayenne, hawthorne, & cactus herbal tinctures each day as well as CoQ10, dog greens supplement, carnitine, & taurine. I also give her parsley & apple cider vinegar.

She has a very sweet disposition & hardly ever barks. She doesn't go out of her way to be friendly to other animals- she usually just avoids if possible. She loves humans and their attention and would much rather be with us two-legged mammals. She does get jealous (we have 3 other animals) and is sensitive when we leave her (but doesn't have abandonment issues).

The coughing was the worst symptom at first, no visible heart issues. The coughing continued to worsen but we treated it with an herbal cough syrup which worked ok for a while. We were able to keep the lasix to a minimum by using natural diueretics up until about six months ago when she had her first fainting spell. We consulted with a homeopathic vet who suggested that we try Lachesis LM1. At a single dilution of this remedy, we saw a big improvement- more affectionate, much less coughing, just seemed to feel better- but this only lasted about 5 days. Then the coughing began to increase, and so we tried the remedy over the next week but she did not seem to improve again. Coughing was worse, especially during the middle of the night. So he suggested Phos 30C and this really seemed to help the cough. She did really well for about 2 weeks- hardly any coughing at all.

During a trip to see my family (which she loves to do), the cough was very minimal but towards the end of our trip, her heart condition became worse & she had to be hospitalized and kept in an oxygen chamber for 2 days. We almost lost her and it was quite terrifying. So after coming home from our trip and obviously being prescribed more drugs from the conventional emergency vet (she is now on lasix & enalapril), her condition was pretty stable. If the coughing started up, I could give her Phos and it would go away (haven't had to give very often). I feel like the Phos really helps with the cough but not the heart. I gave Phos about 3 days ago and she only coughs occasionally now but I am terrified that she is in the last stages of congestive heart failure. Could she be getting worse because of the Phos or is her heart just getting weaker??

Over the past few days, her condition has become much worse and I have had to increase her lasix dosage. Her appetite has decreased, breathing more labored so I am sure more fluid is building up, she is sleeping a lot more, just seems more listless, doesn't want to go on walks like usual (which is the first time this has EVER happened). She has also begun to shiver occasionally (which she never used to do- she usually gets hot easily) which I am guessing means her circulation is getting worse. But sometimes she'll be panting and seem hot and out of breath. I have done hours of research and am confused which remedy
to pick.

In summary, the underlying cause of her condition is mitral valve disease which is causing fluid to build up, making her heart work too hard and her breathing to be labored. I have thought about naja, spongia, kali-c, apis, cactus, & sulphur but I wanted to get some further advice from you knowledgeble ones! I have been scouring this forum and truly learning quite a bit. I know this is a complicated case but if any dear soul out there can give me any advice I would greatly appreciate it. This little girl is my doggie soul-mate! I have had her since I was a senior in high school and I just want to keep her comfortable and with us for as long as possible. Thank you in advance for your help!!
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