This sounds like fluid retention which is a symptom of heart failure. I think you need to speak to the vet. It is possible that diuretics may ease the situation temporarily. See what the vet says about this treatment.
It's so hard to know when 'it is time'. I think the best guideline is to see what quality of life your dear dog has. If she is still content in herself, still eating (even smaller amounts) still able to go for little walks to do business, or just for fun, still able to sleep, and enjoy life -even if that isn't to the same level as she did before, and is not in pain that pain medication can't relieve -then she still has some good 'quality of life'.
So sorry to read about your sweet, senior girl. Are you sure the Vetmedin in causing a reaction? Have you spoken to the Vet about this as the drug is often used with CHF. Perhaps she could tolerate a lower dose? He may have an alternate drug you could use. Not sure, but maybe the Lasix needs to be increased. Has her kidney function been checked?
If her appetite is good, I doubt she is in pain. If in pain, she would probably stop eating and you would notice a change in her activity level, etc.
I care for my 93 year old mother who has CHF among other problems. She has been advised to follow a low sodium diet and watch her fluid intake. I actually have to weigh her daily as a weight gain of a few pounds warrants a call to her doctor.
When it comes down to older dogs, it has to be the owner's call on how they choose to treat. You know your dog best.
My mother is 93 and we pretty much let her have that extra cookie or some potato chips when she wants some.
Thank you for replying to my post. My husband took Molly to the Vet on Tues to be checked. Because of where her heart murmur is, she is collecting fluid in her belly - but that is better than around her lungs. Her heart is about twice the normal size.
The Vet drained the fluid - Molly went from weighing 11.8 lbs to 10.2 after the fluid was drained. My husband and I could tell soon after that she felt much better. The doctor also increased her Enalipril and Lasix. I'm concerned about the higher dose of Lasix because I know diuretics can deplete potassium and other minerals/electrolytes. I am going to start making her a "stew" so I can incorporate foods that will help with the potassium loss.
She seems to have a voracious appetite and wants to eat all the time - is this normal in dogs with CHF?
Glad you got Molly to the Vet. I'm sure she is feeling better without all that fluid which may explain the increased appetite. I would not feed her more then her regular daily amount. You just might try dividing it up into a few smaller portions.
Not sure about the meds. You would have to look that up.
He didn't suggest checking her potassium? Did he suggest limiting her fluid intake or measuring it?
Actually, there are prescription diets available now. Dud your Vet mention those? They would contain the nutrients the dog should have.
Do a Google search for diet for dogs with CHF.