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Dog with CHF Needs Help with Dry Cough


My dog has an enlarged heart with CHF and now has a dry cough. He has been placed on Lasix, enalapril and Vetmedin.

In the past he had shots for bronchtis. We have purchased an herbal cough syrup and are giving him a small drop with water.

His cough is causing him a lot of discomfort in life. He's only been on his medication for about three weeks. We have decreased the doses of Lasix, but may need to increase again.

He also takes a vitamin Pet tab once daily and omega three fish oil. He has a good diet low in sodium.

The herbal cough syrup is made by Wish Garden and is not a honey base with lots of sugar (it has glyerin achl).

Please help us with the baby's cough. Thank you.

Comments for Dog with CHF Needs Help with Dry Cough

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Oct 27, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with CHF Needs Help with Dry Cough
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hello,
For your dog with congestive heart failure, attempting to control the cough with a cough syrup will not be effective. If the cough is from bronchitis, a cough syrup MAY help a small amount, but a cough suppressant would work better (conventional drugs would be Tussigon). You may wish to try a homeopathic remedy, such as Spongia tosta 6c or 12c given three times daily.

If the cough is from the congestive heart failure, the only way to improve the cough is by improving the flow of blood through the heart. As he already has an enlarged heart, I assume he has a substantial heart murmur, and the only way to control it would be with the drugs lasix (a diuretic), Vetmedin and enalapril to increase the cardiac muscle contraction and cardiac output.

I would NOT decrease the lasix until the cough has improved.

In the meantime, supplement his diet with:

1. CoEnzyme Q 10 10-30 mg daily to support cardiac muscle.

2. Low sodium canned dog food or a RAW diet, NO DRY DOG FOOD.

3. Continue the Omega 3 fish oils, 250-300 mg TWO times daily.

4. Give homeopathic remedy, Crataegus 6c or 12c Three times daily.

The other factor that might be causing a cough/bronchitis/worsening of murmur is dental disease. If he has gingivitis and lots of tartar, he should have his teeth cleaned. NO ANESTHESIA teeth cleaning is best, and this should be done by a veterinarian. Give antibiotics first before the teeth cleaning. Holistic veterinarians seem to be using this method more and more.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Oct 27, 2012
WishGarden Herbal Cough Syrup
by: Julie Luther

I had gotten the WishGarden Herbal Cough syrup, what about that?

His teeth are clean they have been brushed every other day since a puppy.

He had a side effects to the antibotic Calavox that started all of this.

Please let me know about that cough syrup from WishGarden -- she has been only giving him a one drop in little water 5 time a day since Wednesday 10/24. Is this one safe?

When the meds starting working it seems from the literature the cough will go away? Thank you for your help. Julie

Oct 27, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with CHF Needs Help with Dry Cough
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Julie,
In the article that I wrote about cough due to Kennel Cough, I listed several herbs that would be beneficial for that kind of cough. Our researchers found a product that contained some of these herbs.

Researching Wish Garden Herbal Cough syrup, it also contains those same herbs. Therefore, this cough syrup would help for Kennel cough/bronchitis but would not be very helpful in congestive heart failure cough.

Check out Bio Cardio Capsules which would seem to be much better for support of the cardiac muscle in congestive heart failure. A holistic veterinarian would also be able to guide you in the appropriate use of both conventional meds used in conjunction with herbs and supplements.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Oct 28, 2012
Soft food
by: Julie

I need to know... why soft food? Can we just wet his hard food? Thank you for all your help.

Oct 28, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with CHF Needs Help with Dry Cough
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Julie,
DRY dog food has been overly processed and extruded by machine under pressure during manufacture. Adding some water to it will not 'reconstitute' the meat back to its natural moist form.

And, it is too calorie-dense, so dogs on a dry dog food are commonly overweight.

Also, dry dog food does NOT keep the teeth clean UNLESS it says it is a TARTAR control diet. Therefore feeding canned or raw, dogs will need to have tartar control treats for their teeth (and continue to brush the teeth, too!).

For dogs (and humans), since our bodies are made up of 70% moisture, we NEED that moisture in our diet to maintain health. For proper functioning of heart, kidneys, bladder, joints, hair/skin, etc. Feeding a DRY Dog food is NOT healthy. It would be best to AVOID dry dog food altogether, and use canned or RAW diet.

DRY dog food came into existence due to World War II. Before the war, pet food was only in cans. With the war, came rationing. Metal was in short supply, and the government mandated that pet food was NON essential.

Pet Food companies did not want to go out of business, so they figured out how to 'bake'/'process' the canned food, and put it into bags. This was only going to be temporary until the war was over.

When the war ended, they discovered that people thought dry dog food was GREAT! It was easy, and convenient, they could leave it out in a bowl all day, it did not smell! WOW, great 'FAST' food for dogs!

So, pet food companies did NOT re-call dry food. They could make more money selling BOTH canned and dry food!

So, DRY dog food WAS not created or developed because it was for the health of dogs or cats, it was continued basically to make more money for pet good companies.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.





Nov 08, 2012
Follow up
by: Anonymous

I thank you for your help. I will pass on to mom the homeopathy information for vets in our area.

Sammy seem to keep coughing after he takes his meds and the Vet has decreased the dosage. Sammy has high anxiety and we can't figure out what or which is causing the coughing (dry) and or the anxiety.

Regarding Bio Cardio, can it help
with the side effects like the merck vet manual says? And can a pet take this cardiomed that does have CHF?

Lastly do you know if there is a homeopathy vet that you can talk to live just to discuss the things that will help my mom move forward? Julie

Nov 09, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog with CHF Needs Help with Dry Cough
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Julie,
If Sammy has high anxiety when your mom is trying to give his medicine--perhaps "Pill Pockets" available (most pet food stores in the U.S.), would be easier. Or try coating each pill with peanut butter or putting into a small piece of vegie hot dog, so it will be a treat.

Rescue Remedy is a natural flower essence that is very helpful in decreasing anxiety. It was developed by Dr. Bach, who was an M.D. He found it to be helpful in humans, and it will also work in animals.

You can add 2-3 drops to his water bowl 2 times daily for the next 3 weeks, then as needed. Also, make up some in a 2 oz dropper bottle, by putting in 10 drops and filling it with Spring Water.

This way you can give him some any time during the day or night, AS NEEDED for anxiety.

Regarding the Biocardio Support,
there would NOT be any side effects giving this along with the regular medicine he is taking. And it would be very helpful for CHF.

For a holistic veterinarian that will take phone consults, you will need to check the list from the AVH or the AHVMA.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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Related Pages:
Dog Symptom Checker - Photo, Question & Answer Library for Thousands of Dog Symptoms
- Dog Cough Diagnoses & Treatments,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Coughing Problems Section
- Dog Anxiety,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Behavioral Issues Section

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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