National Enquirer - - HEALTH WATCH -

OWN­ING a pet can of­ten be a puz­zling ex­pe­ri­ence. Na­tional EN­QUIRER colum­nist Dr. Jeff LaCroix — a top vet­eri­nar­ian — an­swers read­ers’ ques­tions about their furry friends.


Our 15-year-old bea­gle has con­ges­tive heart fail­ure. Drugs helped for a while, but we are los­ing the bat­tle. What else can we do?

Con­ges­tive heart fail­ure is usu­ally due to valvu­lar heart dis­ease or “leaky valves.”

The heart is es­sen­tially two pumps side by side.

When the valves are work­ing prop­erly, 100 per­cent of the blood moves for­ward with each con­trac­tion of the heart mus­cle. As the valves be­gin to leak, the ef­fi­ciency drops off. Sadly, this is a me­chan­i­cal is­sue. New valves are needed. Since this is not an op­tion, drugs are used to slow the

heart to al­low the cham­bers to fill more ef­fi­ciently. Other drugs are used to in­crease the force of con­trac­tions. Di­uret­ics are used to pull fluid out of the con­gested tis­sues. Even­tu­ally th­ese ef­forts will not be enough to over­come the prob­lem. I wish I could give you bet­ter news.

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