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Re: [MVDincavaliers] Comfort measures?

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  • Debra Orenstein
    Thanks so much, Karla, for the very thoughtful suggestions! We¹ll work our way through the ones we¹re not already doing ­ so far, Ollie seems to really
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 1, 2010
      Re: [MVDincavaliers] Comfort measures? Thanks so much, Karla, for the very thoughtful suggestions!   We’ll work our way through the ones we’re not already doing – so far, Ollie seems to really enjoy the massage....come to think of it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me, either....


      On 8/31/10 4:53 PM, "KCD" <doglovercentral@...> wrote:


      Dear Debbie,
      I read your message twice, trying to think of anything else I did for my dog.  I have been exactly where you are now and constantly wondering what else I could do.  I thought of a couple of things we did.
      One was, I took him on wagon rides.  My younger Cavalier wanted to walk and when my CHF dog was too tired to do walks, he would go into his wagon.  It was well cushioned.  He just loved it.  In the evenings or early mornings we would go.  He loved it so much he would jump right back in after taking him back from a long 'walk', always wanting to go further.    Another thing we did to satisfy his love for adventure was to drive him to a shady park and let him walk just a bit- sniff around a lot, maybe rest by a tree while I read- but we had a rule to never do this unless the temps were below 75 degrees.  He loved going in the car and getting out to see where he was.  He could hardly wait to get out, with his tail constantly wagging.
      I bought him a CoolBed II.  It is a bed you fill with water- much like a water bed.  You can buy sheets and a bolster for it.  I was so happy to find him there the first day we got it.  He was very comfortabale on that bed.  I would sometimes refrigerate it so that it would be extra cool.  He moved from the cool ceramic tiles to the CoolBed after we got it.
      I made him his favorite foods and he knew when it was dinner time, as he would go to the kitchen and start barking.  I tried to make eating something he enjoyed more than ever- especially since he was sleeping more and not going out as much.  
      My dog also did not like being touched on his chest and neck area- my daughter would give him massages over the rest of his body.  She thought it really relaxed him.  We also trimmed his fur quite a bit as that helped to cool him off.  We wet him down sometimes on warmer days before he went out- when in the 90s, even a few min. is a lot- it helped to keep him cool for that short time.
      And one last thing- he loved cool fresh water.  We were filling his multiple bowls several times a day.  We also boiled chicken to make sodium free broth, and froze it in small aliquots.  He loved to 'snack' on broth.  It is so important to keep them hydrated and not always easy in this hot weather- even if they are just going out for a few minutes at a time.
      The weather should be cooling down shortly- he loved laying in the cool grass in the evening.  My dog would lay out there as long as someone was there with him.  I think cool air in general makes them feel better.  
      I wish you all the best with your beloved Ollie.  And hope even one of these suggestions is something you are not already doing- and something that helps.

      From: Debra Orenstein <dkorenstein@...>
      To: "MVDincavaliers@..." <MVDincavaliers@...>
      Sent: Tue, August 31, 2010 1:12:31 PM
      Subject: [MVDincavaliers] Comfort measures?

      Hi everyone,

      Ollie is now 8, and it's 14 months after congestive heart failure, 8 months
      after atrial wall rupture #1, 6 weeks after rupture #2. His appetite is
      excellent, but he is spending more and more time sleeping. His respiratory
      rate is still around 30, but he seems less comfortable - he no longer lies
      on me every night for a cuddle and chat before walking into his crate (his
      routine for the last 7 1/2 years). In fact, he seems less cuddly in general
      and a bit less joyful. We just bought him a special cushion for the crate,
      because he no longer wanted to go into it anymore. His walking is a bit more
      wobbly, but he's still sneaking up the five stairs to our bedroom and
      jumping on the bed and the chair. It seems to take him longer to clear his
      chest when he coughs, but it's unrelated to exercise. He now actively
      resists being lifted and carried, so I assume his chest and/or abdomen cause
      some discomfort.

      The weather here has been hot and humid but Ollie spends his days in the
      cool air conditioning except when he goes out to potty and then he's on a
      tether to keep him from chasing bunnies, which caused one rupture and a

      Any suggestions for anything we're missing to make him more comfortable?
      The cardiology department at the U of MN doesn't know why he's still alive
      after the ruptures, so they've said we should leave his meds as is: fish
      oil, 2 lasix/day, enalapril, and pimobendan. And I know we're on borrowed
      time. I just want to keep him around and happy for as long as we can.

      Thanks so much,


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