Congestive Heart Failure

This service is available at:
Bulger Veterinary Hospital
Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital
Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

There are many causes of congestive heart failure (CHF) including progressive heart conditions, drug toxicities, infection, and other causes.  Animals in CHF may have respiratory distress from fluid in the lungs or around the heart, a heart murmur, fainting/collapse, shock, or paralysis if a clot has formed.  Procedures to diagnose CHF include thoracic radiographs, echocardiogram, ECG, and blood pressure measurement.

Treatment for CHF is two-fold:

  1. Stabilize the animal if it is in congestive heart failure crisis.
  2. Maintenance therapy to manage the disease and prevent another crisis.

Initial therapy is aimed at decreasing the fluid in and around the heart and lungs.  Diuretics and vasodilators may be used; the chest and/or pericardium (sack that holds the heart) may need to be drained physically with a needle.  Long term management may include diuretics and vasodilators to prevent fluid buildup and keep heart rate/blood pressure at a normal level, positive inotropic drugs that improve the ability of the heart to beat, anti-arrhythmic drugs, and dietary management with low salt and weight control.

24 Hour Emergency & Specialty

Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty

Natick, MA 01760
508.319.2117

Directions

Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital

Latham, NY 12110
518.785.1094

Directions

Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Woburn, MA 01801
781.932.5802

Directions

Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

Portsmouth, NH 03801
603.433.0056

Directions

SAVES

Lebanon, NH 03766
603.306.0007

Directions

General Practice, Emergency & Specialty

Bulger Veterinary Hospital

North Andover, MA 01845
ER: 978.725.5544 GP: 978.682.9905

Directions