Acute Congestive Heart Failure Life Expectancy in Dogs

The congestive heart failure life expectancy may vary but typically, it is normal in dogs that receive treatment. Congestive heart failure is a condition that will cause the weakening of the heart muscle, and this in turn affects the blood pressure. However, if the condition is controlled, the dog may live a normal life.

Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

Congestive heart failure in dogs is a common condition. The heart performs the task of providing blood and oxygen to the organs and tissues in the body. When the dog is diagnosed with congestive heart failure, this means that the heart muscles are weaker and the heart is gradually failing. When the heart muscles are weakened, the heart will have to beat faster and this can cause additional problems such as increased blood pressure. The condition may be caused by old age or by obesity. There is no cure for congestive heart failure, but the treatment may offer support to the dog's heart and prevent complications.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a dog with congestive heart failure may depend on several factors such as:

  • How advanced the condition is when it is detected
  • The dog's age
  • The dog's weight
  • The type of treatment prescribed
  • The dog's overall health

Typically, dogs that receive treatment and are in a good health condition will be able to live a normal life. Periodic examinations will be necessary to monitor the progress of the heart problem.

The condition will get worse in time, even if the dog is under treatment, but most commonly dogs with congestive heart failure have an average life expectancy. The condition may be deadly in some cases, especially if the dog doesn't receive any treatment. However, dogs with CHF usually die of other causes.

Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure

The treatment and management of the condition is essential to make sure your dog has a quality life. The treatment can include medication such as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors:

  • Enalapril, which is also administered to humans that have heart problems; the drug will improve the dog's life quality
  • Benazepril, which will slow down the progression of the heart damage and improve the dog's exercise resistance

The ACE inhibitors will bring the serum electrolyte concentrations to a normal level, which will improve the activity of the heart.

If the dog is overweight, he will be put on a diet and lose some weight. Exercising is not recommended in dogs with congestive heart failure, because it can cause additional stress on the heart muscles. Other medications such as vasodilators or diuretics may be prescribed. If the dog has a high blood pressure, the vasodilators will reduce the arterial pressure. The sodium intake of the dog should also be controlled, because sodium can increase blood pressure and may also affect the heart in the long run.