Optimal treatment for the pet with congestive heart failure requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical
. Administer prescribed medication(s) as directed and be certain to alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your dog. Optimal follow- up veterinary care for heart failure often involves the following: Regular examinations that include an interview about clinical symptoms and quality of life. Be prepared to answer questions about your dog's activity, appetite, ability to sleep comfortably, breathing rate and effort, coughing, exercise tolerance and overall "quality of life."
BRING YOUR MEDICATIONS with you to show your veterinarian. Dosing is critical for heart medication.
Measurement of arterial blood pressure is often done.
Blood tests to examine kidney function and blood electrolytes are routinely recommended.
A blood digoxin test should be done periodically if that drug is prescribed.
A chest X-ray may be needed to evaluate the lungs for fluid.
An electrocardiogram is recommended if there is a heart arrhythmia.