Dogs » My dog has CHF, so he's on diuretics, and has become incontinent.


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My dog has CHF, so he's on diuretics, and has become incontinent.

My dog was coughing, fainting, tired etc. The vet diagnosed congestive heart failure, discovering a problem with his mitral valve, causing back flow.

He's been put onto furosemide, Vetmedin, plus another heart med (can't remember the name at the moment). He's instantly become urine incontinent, despite us lowering the dose of the diuretic to half a tablet every 12 hours.

The vet doesn't seem to be offering any suggestions, besides checking for a UTI, and if that's ruled out, the possibility of trying an alternative diuretic.

I am so worried for him, and also for my family, who are struggling to deal with the excessive urine all over the house. He has *never* had any sort of problem with urine in the past, although he's 14 now.

Are there any other possibilities, or suggestions?


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oh try the vets again if you are early you might be lucky

if you arrive late at the vets they may have to put him down :(

so sorry if it is the second option please keep us updated


Martina Stuart

I am sorry that I have missed this question. I did think that I had answered it so suspect that it may have been asked more than once and that I have deleted the one I answered.
The purpose of the diuretic is to remove excess fluid that has accumulated in body spaces and tissues throughout the body. It does this by increasing the volume of water excreted by the kidneys. So to a certain extent more urine means that the drug is working. It also means that the dog feels thirsty so if the water is available he will drink more. net result no change in fluid retained just more urine.
solution either restrict the water intake (provided that the blood urea levels are normal) to marginally less than she was drinking before. or use the diuretics intermittently.
Best discuss with the vet who is treating her.
I hope this helps.
Please do keep us updated.



I suspect that I might be coming to look at this again in the very near future Stuart and was going to be putting up a question to you.

My own little Tara of 8 yrs was diagnosed with a G.3 heart murmur this week and will be off to the cardiologist asap. I also have been told it is mitral.

I was going to ask whether this can happen quite quckly and progress quickly as I had noticed something but couldn't put my finger on what and had requested bloods while I was at the vet for something else. We didn't get as far as that as she detected a possible heart murmur and suggested a full examination. Going back one week later the murmur was definite.

Have posted here as maybe saddogdad can help me also in his experiences, and also to say how sorry I am for your little man. I do hope he has some quality of life and you are able to bring the incontinence under control.



Sounds like it is too late... commiserations... if anyone else is looking at this we have the same problem... it is not clear for the pet owner as to how much water a dog should drink whilst on diuretics... like the poor sod earlier our dog is gulping down water like there’s no tomorrow so his water retention remains... I hope I am not too late in realising this phenomenon as I am now restricting his water intake to see if that works and hope he is not too dehydrated whilst his belly is deflating... it seems obvious but is not as dogs do drink water ...a lot ...usually..., I am a bit mythed that the vet did not clarify this... and even after questioning this we were prescribed more diuretics instead of being told to check his water intake... here’s hoping I am not too late with this for our dog and many other owners who may be frantically reading & hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel.


Martina Stuart

Diuretics work by removing fluid from the body via the kidneys. This makes the dog feel thirsty and consequently it wants to drink more.
Restricting the water intake is potentially dangerous especially if there is an underlying kidney problem. It is therefore sensible to monitor the dogs blood urea level before doing so and have it checked regularly.
Specific medication for the heart problem is also necessary.
Do also keep monitoring his weight
Good luck


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