Tag Archives: congestive heart failure

Monday Mischief: Charles Explains First Aid for Seizures and CHF

Charles here to explain some really important life-saving things to you:

It is always a good idea, before something happens medically, to have a thought about what you should do. Now that I have seizures and collapse sometimes from congestive heart failure, my Mom really needed to learn more about the steps to take if/when bad things happen.

Here is a good article on the basic procedures for several emergency situations: Pet First Aid Basic Procedures

I want to focus on my 2 medical issues: Seizures and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)


  • Please make sure that I am in a safe place. Move me if you have to. I should not be somewhere, like a bed, that I can roll off of.

  • Move me away from toys or other things that might hurt me (even furniture) while I am in the event.

  • Try to keep other animals away so that they don’t bother me (or me scare them).

  • Don’t try to hold me or stop me from doing what my body needs to do.

  • If you have emergency medication, like Diazepam, administer it as soon as I come out of the event.

  • When I come out of the event, if I peed on myself, or did other stuff, just wrap me in a towel or blanket until I know where I am.

  • Make sure there is water nearby because I could be thirsty.

  • I may wander around the house because seizures can be very disorienting to me. Don’t worry but keep me safe.

  • Since I have already been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, contact the Vet if my seizure lasts more than 2 or 3 minutes or if I have a cluster of them.


  • Please make sure that I get my medicines several times a day, because they are keeping me alive. (Furosemide and Pimobendan).

  • Make sure that there is always fresh water around because I get dehydrated.

  • I am pretty stable right now, but if I collapse on my meds, emergency treatment may be required. Don’t wait, get me to the emergency vet if I collapse and do not respond within 30 to 40 seconds of the event.

  • Check if my heart is beating. If it isn’t do the following to resuscitate me:

    • Lay me on my right side on the floor (my heart is located in the lower half of my chest on the left side).

    • With your hands around me, gently press down on my heart (I am little so you don’t need much force).

    • Massage my heart (with your hands around my chest, fingers on the right side, and your thumb on the left side, and compress the chest by squeezing it between your thumb and fingers 100-150 times a minute (because I am so little). Around 80-120 for bigger animals.

    • Keep doing this for about 4 to 5 minutes while on the way to the Vet. Hopefully, you will hear a heartbeat and my breathing will return to normal.

I know that emergency medical treatment is the best way to save my life and the life of other animals with medical issues. But I do want you to know about other serious medical emergencies that happen every day especially, POISONING and EXPOSURE to TOXINS. Please make sure that you learn how to take care of those. You should have the number of your local Animal Poison Control hotline on your fridge (ASPCA # 888-426-4435 (there is a fee for the consultation)).

What kind of mischief did you get into today?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤


Posted by on April 17, 2023 in Dogs


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Monday Mischief: Looking Good, Charlie

Charles had to go back to the vet (going to vet pictures above) to make sure all the heart medicine for his advanced congestive heart failure (see post on March 21: Charles’ 2d Chance) was OK. Jolie, of course, suffering from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), came for moral support. Well maybe Charles was her support, but I digress…

Charles at the Vet with Jolie butting in as usual

Dr. Buchanan said everything is looking good. We are watching his liver and kidneys and all that stuff because between the Phenobarbital, for seizures, and the VetMedIn and Lasix, for the heart, his poor little organs are under a lot of strain. But Charles does not know this, so he is as happy as a lark.(Coming home from the vet – smiling – pictures below.)

One side effect of these meds is that he is really hungry. I mean, eat the wallpaper hungry. He is not only constantly barking at us and demanding more than ever (he is a Pomeranian CHIHUAHUA as you know and currently we must place a very heavy accent on the little demanding dog part of the breed), but now he has taken to jumping up at my arm when I am in the recliner and giving a little nip if I am not listening to him (since I try hard to ignore him if I can).

We are really glad that Mr. New-lease-on-life is still with us, but we really would like to watch at least one TV show undisturbed.

He finally did conk out after all that excitement at the vet, at least for a little while.

OLD Dogs do what they are gonna do!

What kind of mischief did you get into today?

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤


Posted by on April 3, 2023 in Dogs


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DogDaz Zoo: Charles’ 2d Chance

On February 17, Charles had a grand mal seizure. It was very scary for all of us. We started him on Phenobarbital, a drug that is used to treat seizures. He continued to have what we thought were smaller petite mal seizures every few days after that. The vet gave us Diazepam as a rescue drug for when the seizures happen, this was to try and stop what they call ‘cluster’ seizures (one right after another, which is common). But something continued to not be right. Even the smallest excursion was causing him to collapse. Was it the seizure disorder or something else?

You may not remember but Charles has a heart murmur and an enlarged heart. On March 7 we went back to the vet because of multiple collapsing episodes. She said his chest sounded OK and we should continue with the pheno as prescribed. Pheno can take several weeks to kick in. But…things still did not seem right.

I emailed the vet on March 15 and sent a video of him collapsing. Late afternoon, she prescribed a heart medicine called VetMedIn (pimobendan), which improves the efficiency of each heartbeat so that it doesn’t have to work so hard, in addition to the Pheno. I picked it up after work on March 16. I was worried about getting him to take it because it is a large pill for a little dog, so we decided to wait until the morning.

4 AM, Friday, March 17, before we could even start the VetMedIn, Charles went into congestive heart failure. His little heart was racing a million miles a minute. He was panting and wheezing. Off to the Vet we went as soon as they opened. On X-ray, the lungs showed fluid building up around the heart. The vet asked us if we were ready to make the very hard choice about his quality of life.

But… there was one other medicine that we could add to the mix and see if that could help – Lasix, a diuretic. We opted to give it a try. What was the worse that could happen since he already was so weak. We carried him up and down the stairs in the house; we carried him outside to the bathroom; we did not let him exert himself at all if we could stop him.

March 21 – SPRING – and he seems back to his old self. Hungrier than usual but stubborn and sassy and just being Charles. Now he refuses to be carried and wants to do everything by himself. Prayers are still needed, but right now we are extremely happy that he is still with us. Spring and medical intervention have given Charles a second chance. Bang those healing drums and thank modern science for medicines that work.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤


Posted by on March 21, 2023 in Dogs


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