Pet Euthanasia: Dog Heart Failure, When To Euthanize?

Cognitive heart disease can be a nightmare. The heart is the most vital organ of the human body. It is the heart that purifies blood so that it reaches every cell of the body. Congestive heart failure is a common and terrifying disease that can lead you to pay the price of having a pet. The price can be even euthanization of your dog. People are often perplexed by even the idea of dog heart failure when to euthanize. Hence this article deals with Congestive heart failure, it causes symptoms, treatments, and the time for euthanization.

Pet care is really dynamic issue. An ailing pet would have to be going through a lot, and you are responsible for understanding it. It can be exhausting physically as well as emotionally to deal with an issue like Congestive heart failure which in later stages might leave you deciding on euthanization of your dog with heart failure. What is this disease? Let us understand.

What Is Congestive Heart Failure?

Dog Heart Failure


In layman’s language, this term refers to a situation where the heart cannot pump enough blood for the body. This can be of many types like-sided heart failure or including both sides. The heart valves may not have enough capacity to function properly leading to Congestive Heart Failure. it is also called the heart murmur and generally is of three types, systolic, diastolic, and continuous. There can be many reasons behind it. What are they?

Congestive Heart Failure: Causes

There is no one reason for the occurrence of this disease. There are many. A few of them are listed below:  

  • Improper functioning of the heart walls.
  • A sac of liquid may surround the heart.
  • Abnormal rhythm.
  • Heartworm disease
  • High BP.
  • Endocarditis.
  • A tumor.

Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure:

one thing that is to be noted is that there is no particular breed or age of the dog that the disease creeps in. It can affect any dog and that too without notice. This is because, in the early stages, this disease will not be showing any signs in particular. The disease will not be coming to your notice. It is when it starts to get severe and progresses to the later stages that it exhibits symptoms. The symptoms include:

  • Coughing.
  • Difficult or rapid breathing
  • cannot be active.
  • Weakness most of the time.
  • Frequent Fainting.
  • Gums get grey and sometimes even blue.
  •  sudden Collapsing.
  • Death out of the blue.


The question of treatment depends on the factor underlying the occurrence of the disease. When the cause is treatable the disease might be too. for example, if let’s say it is the heartworm disease that has caused murmur disease. Heartworm can be treated and this will, in turn, treat the heart as well. But when the disease is not treatable and severe then the hopes are less. Oxygen, medications, vets can only help you to a certain extent.  You will find yourself rushing to the vet every now and then for blood tests, radiographs, etc. Thi may or may not be able to save your dog.

Having said that, we must never lose hope. A majority of the dogs who followed proper medications, tests, etc, have lived. Your dog may too!

Dog Heart Failure When To euthanize?

How do I know when to put down a dog with heart murmur disease? this question haunts many as it involves the question of life.  However, pet care includes the responsibility of life as well. A coughing dog will be going through a living hell and sometimes euthanization is the best thing to do. The best answer to this question is the advice of your vet. Has your vet advised you to give up? That there are no chances left? In this case, you may take up the call of putting your coughing dog with murmur disease to sleep.

The other reason might be the deteriorating quality of life of your dog. A coughing dog might not be able to live a normal life. With medical treatments, continuous coughing, and weakness, it can be tough to live. What does your dog want? Is it willing to live? Understand it and see if it is responding to the treatment or not.

Always remember that this involves the question of life. It is proven that most dogs with this disease live if they get the proper treatment, medications, pet care, and love. Your dog may live too. Do not let go of the hope to the very end.

Kavita Trivedi

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