How do you reduce the fluid in a dog's lungs due to congestive heart failure?


Quick Answer

Medications, dietary supplements, diet and exercise management, a pericardial tap and surgery are methods of reducing the fluid in a dog's lungs due to congestive heart failure, states WebMD. The treatment depends on the underlying cause.

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Full Answer

ACE inhibitors are most commonly used to treat canine heart failure, explains Tufts University. Diuretics can help the dog's body eliminate excess fluids, while vasodilators relax blood vessels to decrease pressure on the heart and allow it to pump more efficiently.

If detected early enough, heartworm medications can eliminate heartworms if they are causing the heart problems, and antibiotics can resolve bacterial infections, notes WebMD.

Feeding a dog a low-sodium diet limits the amount of fluid accumulation in its body, states WebMD. Portion control and moderate activity help manage weight to avoid stressing the heart. A veterinarian may suggest supplements, such as vitamin B, taurine, carnitine, coenzyme Q and vitamin E, to help manage congestive heart failure symptoms in a dog.

If a structural problem is responsible for the congestive heart failure, reparative surgery may help, according to WebMD. The veterinarian may also perform an invasive procedure called pericardiocentesis, or a pericardial tap, which involves removing fluid from the sac that surrounds the heart using a needle and catheter. This procedure is sometimes done on an emergency basis to alleviate pressure on the heart so that it can pump blood more efficiently.

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