Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) Average Cost

From 72 quotes ranging from $800 - 8,000

Average Cost

$2,500

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What is Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided)?

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a non-specific symptom that can occur with many different types of heart disease. CHF can be either left-sided or right-sided depending on which part of the heart is involved; occasionally, CHF may be biventricular, affecting both sides of the heart at once. Many signs of CHF, such as fainting, shortness of breath, and inability to exercise are common to both left and right-sided origins, however small differences in your dog’s symptoms may suggest which side of the heart is more involved and help the veterinarian make an accurate diagnosis of the problem causing CHF. Oxygen depleted blood from the veins enters the right atrium. It passes through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle before being pumped into the lungs as the heart contracts. If the right side of the heart is weak, or the tricuspid valve is not functioning properly, the heart is unable to pump as much blood to the lungs for oxygenation. Pressure can build up in the veins that transport blood to the right atrium, sometimes causing a strong pulse and marked protrusion in the jugular vein in the neck. Meanwhile, blood will pool in the lungs since the reduced force of the heart’s contraction will not push it on to the left side of the heart as quickly. Fluid from the stationary blood frequently leaches out of the lungs and accumulates in the abdomen (called ascites). This is the most distinctive symptom of right-sided congestive heart failure. Dogs often have a distended pear-shaped belly, and may be reluctant to lie down or put pressure on their abdomen. Left-sided CHF on the other hand will be more likely to cause fluid accumulation within the lungs (pulmonary edema) with symptoms of coughing. Both types of CHF ultimate lead to oxygen depletion in the tissues and eventual heart failure, so CHF is a very serious condition.

Congestive heart failure is a symptom that often occurs in dogs with severe heart disease. If the problem begins in the right side of the heart, this is called right-sided congestive heart failure. Fluid accumulation in the abdomen is the most distinctive symptom.

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Symptoms of Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) in Dogs

These are some of the symptoms you might notice in a dog with right-sided CHF.

  • Distended abdomen (ascites)
  • Discomfort while lying down
  • Swollen limbs from fluid accumulation
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Noticeable protrusion of the jugular vein in the neck
  • Strong pulse in the jugular vein

Types

These are the different types of CHF that might affect your dog’s diagnosis.

  • Right-sided CHF (problem originates on the right side)
  • Left-sided (problem originates on the left side)
  • Biventricular (problem affects both sides)

Causes of Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) in Dogs

  • Atrioventricular valve degeneration (tricuspid valve)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy – more common in large dogs
  • Heartworm
  • Congenital heart defects (tricuspid dysplasia, ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect)
  • Tumor in the heart
  • Infective endocarditis affecting the tricuspid valve (rare)

Diagnosis of Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) in Dogs

The veterinarian will physically examine your dog. A heart murmur may be audible through a stethoscope and the veterinarian may even be able to tell which valve is affected based on the placement of the murmur. This, along with other symptoms like fluid accumulation in the abdomen or legs can suggest the problem is located on the right side of the heart. Right-sided CHF is a symptom rather than a disease, so the veterinarian will need to diagnose the underlying condition that is causing your dog’s heart to fail. The most common problem is some degree of backflow, or regurgitation in the tricuspid valve that connects the right atrium and ventricle. This could be caused by an inherited condition, age related degeneration, a cancerous tumor, or a heart infection (although this is more likely to cause left-sided CHF). 

More definitive diagnosis is made with x-rays of the chest, as well as electrocardiography, and echocardiography (an ultrasound of the heart). Chamber enlargement may be visible on an x-ray, while an electrocardiogram will record abnormal heart rhythms. The echocardiogram is the most useful tool for diagnosis since this shows the heart in more detail. The veterinarian will also order blood tests and urinalysis to check for infection that could be causing or contributing to your dog’s symptoms. Dogs with severe CHF will usually have signs of liver and kidney dysfunction as well, which may be apparent on these tests. Most dogs with right-sided CHF are also given a heartworm test, which measures for abnormal proteins produced by the worms. The larvae and adult worms live in the arteries that connect the heart and the lungs and often spread into the right ventricle and atrium, so heart failure from heartworm infection usually starts in the right side of the heart.

Treatment of Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) in Dogs

Dogs with moderate to severe problems may need to be hospitalized until the condition is stabilized. Taps will be inserted to remove fluid from the abdomen and around the heart (called abdominocentesis and pericardiocentesis). Strong diuretics, such as furosemide, may be injected to further encourage fluid elimination, and dogs may need additional oxygen.

Once the immediate attack is stabilized, long-term medications will be prescribed to help to control symptoms. Diuretics and ace inhibitors are the most common medications used to reduce fluid build-up and improve blood flow. Pimobendan can increase the force of the heart’s contractions, and digoxin may be prescribed if your dog’s heart rate is very fast. Beta-blockers and calcium blockers could also be suggested depending on your dog’s condition. Most treatment plans will combine a number of different medications.

Other treatment will focus on eliminating the problem that is causing CHF. If your dog has heartworm, it can be treated with medication once your dog’s symptoms are stabilized. Some conditions, like atrial septal defect, can be treated with surgery. Others cannot. Valve replacement is only done very rarely in dogs, so problems that affect the valves are often only untreatable symptomatically.

Recovery of Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) in Dogs

Recovery will depend on treating the problem which led to right-sided CHF. Mild heartworm infection, or a heart defect that is treatable surgically can have a reasonably good prognosis, but if severe CHF has developed there may be permanent damage to the heart muscles. With medical management, dogs have an average survival rate of 6-12 months. A low salt diet is recommended and dogs should only be allowed mild exercise. Frequent checkups will be necessary so the veterinarian can monitor your dog’s condition and assess the effectiveness of treatment. Keeping a close watch on your dog’s breathing rate can help you identify the onset of another attack before it becomes serious.

Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Duke
Bull Terrier
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Pitting edema
Grade 4 heart murmur
Right sided CHF
Exercise intolerance
Swollen Abdomen

My Bull Terrier was diagnosed with a grade 4 heart murmur at the age of 2 after we noticed his front right leg had swelled up. The vet diagnosed this as Pitting Edema and he was put on a short course of furosemide. The vet also did a urinalysis which showed a couple of high areas in his results but nothing concerning. We took Duke to the Cardiologist where he had an echo scan and x-rays. The diagnosis was both Mitral Valve Dysplasia and Aortic Stenosis, both on the right side of the heart but mild in severity. Duke is now 4 and apart from not being able to do too much exercise and gets out of breath easily, it's had very little impact on his life and he doesn't currently take medication. What's concerning me though is that I have noticed Dukes abdomen is swollen and bloated and this is most prominent when he sits down. If I research
Ascites, Dukes is not as severe and it's not hard to the touch or round. The vet says the bloating is from an operation Duke had when he was 1 (he was only born with 1 testicle) which has made the stomach muscles and area loose but this has only been noticed in the last few months. Could this be early stages of Ascites? Also what other symptoms should I be looking out for as a sign of declining health? I'm worried that by the time I notice, it will be too late.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
If you are concerned with ascites, I would recommend keeping track of Duke’s weight; his weight should stay pretty constant but if he starts to develop abdominal fluid you should notice an increase in weight relative it his size. An enlarged abdomen may be caused by fluid, gas, fat, organ enlargement among other causes; if your Veterinarian isn’t concerned, I would take their lead but keep an eye on his weight as well as body condition score. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Otis
Labrador Retriever
18 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My lab was diagnosed with TVD in June . Moderate to severe - 3/6 range. Echo with colour Doppler performed. Vet is guessing 1-1.5 years to live. He is currently 18 months old. Does this sound reasonable in terms of life expectancy?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations
Life expectancy in a dog with tricuspid valve dysplasia is generally one to three years so your Veterinarian’s expectations are middle of the road; treatment is palliative and some attempts of surgical correction have ended with unfavourable results. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/circulatory-system/congenital-and-inherited-anomalies-of-the-cardiovascular-system/tricuspid-valve-dysplasia www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/cardio_kittleson/cases/case23/text.htm

Thank you. This is consistent with my research. Two board certified cardiologists have confirmed the results but have not commented on life expectancy. Our Vet gave us this timeframe. Much appreciated.

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Pearl
Chihuahua
19 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty
Ascites

Medication Used

Furosemide
Pimobendan
Spironolactone

My Chihuahua mix has been diagnosed with right heart failure and the cardiac specialist suspects Chagas Disease? We have been adjusting the dosages a bit but currently she is prescribed - Furosemide - not sure of the mg but 1 full tablet, every 8 hours, Spironolactone - 12mg every 8 hours and Pimobendan - 1.25mg every 12 hours. She has to go in and get her belly tapped on a weekly basis, sometimes she will have up to 2 and 1/2 pounds of fluid drained and 3 days later they can drain another 2 pounds. Her breathing only becomes labored when her belly is full otherwise she is a playful happy pup with a very healthy appetite! Increasing the dosage of the Spironolactone and Lasix helped for a little while but we are back to every 4 or 5 days of draining her belly. She is only 18 months old and came from a rescue in Texas which is why the vet suspects the Chagas, but no one here in Colorado is familiar with it? I am fully aware that her time is limited but want to make it the best I can!
My questions are -
Have you ever heard of any successful treatments for Chagas?
Would surgery help?
Do you have any other advice on slowing down the ascites?
Is there a way to put some kind of a stint or drain so she doesn't have to go through the tapping all the time?
Are there any other medications you can recommend that may help?

Thank You!

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

There is no approved treatment of Chagas Disease in the USA; however benznidazole may be used under certain conditions and protocols but you would need to speak with your Veterinarian about this. Currently, Pearl is on two different diuretics which have different mechanisms of action to help excrete fluid from the body and pimobendan for the heart failure. It seems that this may be a case of supportive and symptomatic care; I wouldn’t recommend having a drain placed as this would give a gateway for an infection to make its way to the abdominal cavity which can cause peritonitis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Shirro
Maltese
11 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Abdomen

Our Maltese Sherri was taken to the vet this morning for a distended abdomen. Bloodwork suggested inflammation, white blood count was "a little" high & liver results "a little" high also. Vet ran an ultrasound which tech said appeared to be pancreatitis. Fluid drawn from abdomen was clear with small amount of coloring suggesting small amount of blood. Heart "sounded" clear. Vet suspected & began to treat for pancreatitis although he felt the amount of fluid was higher then he would suspect in pancreatitis he said that the bloodwork/consultation didn't suggest anything additional. Hours later I received call that he himself viewed the ultrasound & saw something the tech missed which warranted a chest xray which showed congestive heart failure. The xray showed a "spot" in heart that "could be" inflammation, infection, or tumor. We are currently up to $1400 vet bill & vet is recommending cardiologist appointment. Shirro is being treated with meds by mouth for heart failure & currently is impatient. Obviously getting this heartbreaking news, I would like to know if it would be ok to give him meds at home where he is more comfortable since cardiologist cannot see him until at least Tuesday. We are heartbroken & the last thing we want is him in a cage all night when he could be at home with us. I understand that liability wise you cannot say definitely that it is "safe" however I was hoping there was a way to suggest if bringing him home would be more comfortable for him. My major question however is how long can a dog live with congestive heart disease (most likely right sided) I'm talking best case scenario? The very last thing I want is for him to suffer in any way. Financial concerns are present as well. If paying to see a specialist will "possibly" prolong life for a couple of months then I am not sure that is worth putting him or us through weeks/months of pain. Perhaps these are more ethical type questions then medical & for that I apologize. Just looking for any information or guidance one can give to help us make the best decision for Shirro. Thank you in advance.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

There is a large variance in cases of congestive heart failure, some dogs respond well to medical management and live for years and other decline quite quickly after diagnosis. From a medical point of view and given the age of eleven, I would recommend seeing a Cardiologist as there may be medical management options which they can suggest; I understand that finances will dictate the extent of testing but at a minimum see the level of severity and you may be able to slow down or halt the progression of the heart failure. There are effective drugs which can be used on confirmation of congestive heart failure; but it is unethical to administer them on pure speculation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Levi
Yorkie Biewer
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hyptension
Right Congestive Heart Failure

I have a 1 year old Biewer who had a PDA closure at 3 months and during the surgery he threw a blood clot. Spent 3 days in an oxygen tank. He then came home and when he would play with the other dogs he would faint. They did another Echo and found R Heart Enlargement with Liver Enlargement. They have also done a Bubble Study which the Cardiologist thinks that he has pulmonary stents that aren't allowing the blood from the right give oxygen to the left.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

Fainting is a common symptom of cardiac issues when the heart is unable to pump an adequate amount of oxygen to the brain for it to keep conscious. Various conditions including enlarged ventricles (which normally means thinner ventricular walls) can lead to poor cardiac output and other complications. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to add any more value than your Cardiologist. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Chubs
French Bulldog
5 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Not Active
bloating, loss of appetite

My frenchie is 5 months old .. and he had fluid in his belly they tapped it out and we are waiting for an echo to be done tomorrow. We so far have been told it might be right heart failure. They gave us medication for the fluid to stop in the mean time.
Mostly concerned on this issue for my puppy if he has a living chance . . Since the fluid has been removed he has been more active and he eats .. he does have his moments he's not in any mood. But other than that he SEEMS fine.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

Ascites (abdominal fluid) in dogs may be caused by a variety of different causes including heart failure, liver disease, hormonal conditions (Cushing’s Disease), urinary tract ruptures, hypoproteinemia (low protein) or peritonitis. Echocardiography will be useful to visualise the heart and the function of the valves; if the echocardiography comes back clear, further tests like blood tests and x-rays would be required to help determine a cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

They did blood work and X-rays the echo is our last test right now ...

It seams like doggies with Ascites (abdominal fluid) really benefit from the simple procedure of having it drained. It seams like it really relieves comfort level and even if the disease is degenerative, it makes living with it easier. It also seams like there's a lot of different medications out there if your dog has, more specifically, heart disease.

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Duke
Boxer
9 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Not eating
cant walk

My dog was 80% normal when i took him in for a uktrasound and echo. Walking running and normal other than drinking water. The vet took my dog back ran the tests. Now all of a sudden my dog is so weak he can barely raise his head cant stand on his own and can only stand with help for a few seconds. This doesnt make since. The vet said that he had a tumor on the right side of his heart. How does a dog that is 80% percent normal functioning normal jumping eating barking and running change this much just by running an ultrasound. The vet keeps telling me they didnt give my dog anything. What can i do? He hasnt ate or moved to even use the bathroom for 12 hours now.

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

If you suspect that something has happened to Duke I would recommend visiting another Veterinarian or an Emergency Veterinarian for another opinion as without examining Duke I am unable to comment. Try encouraging Duke to eat by offering a different type of food which is more appetising like wet food mixed with a bit of water. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Dustin
Yorkshire Terrier
15 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Runny Nose
Fluid in legs
Fluid In Abdomen
Labored breathing

I have a 15 year old male yorkie, who up until about a month ago was mobile and healthy according to his age. Then, I noticed his abdomen became bloated and firm several weeks ago making it harder for him to walk. I thought it was because I had been over feeding him, so I reduced his intake gradually over the last 2 weeks and his belly didn't go down much, but he has lost weight everywhere else and alarmingly is quite boney now. The last few days, I have noticed the texture of his abdomen changed and his back legs have swollen with fluid under his skin. He is lethargic, has labored breathing and can't stand on his own anymore, but he doesn't appear to be in any pain laying on his belly or from touch. He still has an appetite and thirst and with a little assistance , can relive himself. Around the same time as the fluid build up, he has gotten a runny nose and is pink and inflamed appearing around his muzzle and nostrils. No coughing, vomiting, fainting or blood from anywhere. From what I have been reading, it sounds like possible right heart failure, kidney failure or cancer. Do you have any professional diagnosis, just based on this little bit of information? I have been debating taking him to my vet, because at his age and weak condition, I am afraid they will charge me tons of money testing him, only to say that he couldnt tolerate treatments or surgeries and they will make me put him down. Is there anything else that I can do to help him?

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

Fifteen is a good age for a Yorkie, if Dustin has been apparently healthy up until a few weeks ago I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian; a simple x-ray (to determine the size of the heart as well as a general view for tumours or any other abnormality) and blood tests (to cover liver, kidney and protein levels among other parameters) will rule out and confirm diagnoses and your Veterinarian will be able to prescribe diuretics that will hopefully relieve some of the fluid build up in his abdomen and oedema in his legs. Fluid in the abdomen may be caused by right sided heart failure, kidney disease and cancer, but a more common cause is liver disease. Dustin’s breathing difficulties are most probably caused by fluid in the lungs and the pressure of fluid in the abdomen preventing the diaphragm from moving back during inspiration. So whilst I understand your concerns regarding cost of tests, a single x-ray (Yorkie’s are small enough to fit on a single large film) and a full blood panel will be a treasure trove of information to determine if medical management is suitable for Dustin. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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COOKIE
English Cocker Spaniel
4 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness
distended belly
Breathing Problems
Vomiting

Medication Used

Rest and Regular Medicines

My cookie(bitch) is suffering from ascites which is because of right sided heart failure. Its been one week, fluid has been filled in her abdomen.Doctors have prescribed medicines for the removal of fluid. Dr is this curable? She is just 4 years old. She is not having anything because of which she is feeling weakness. Her liver and kidney is in good condition. what should we feed her and what should we do to overcome her weakness?
The following medicines have been prescribed by the doctor :-
-Pantob 40mg
-Dytor Plus
-Enapril 5
-Carnitor 500mg
-Safeheart
-Hepa 20
-Optivit LC
-Lisybin
-Ursolic

Health Expert
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1711 Recommendations

The prognosis for right-sided heart failure is dependent on the cause; in cases of heartworm, treatment usually improves the symptoms, however if the cause is due to heart defects or dilated cardiomyopathy the prognosis isn’t as favourable and Cookie may require life-long medical management. Treatment usually consists of a diuretic (furosemide) along with ACE inhibitors; a commercial diet by Hills may be beneficial too. Diagnostically, blood tests and an x-ray or echocardiography (to visualise the heart) would assist in the diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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