Underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company
Barks and Mewsings logo

Welcome to the
Trupanion Blog

Trupanion's Blog is dedicated to help educate people with pet insurance and pet health information, but more importantly, to have fun!

Pet Health Concerns : Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure, or CHF, is a serious condition in which the heart does not sufficiently provide blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Both occuring in humans and in pets alike, this condition causes fluid to build up in other organs. Left-sided CHF is most common and this type causes fluid buildup in the lungs. Right-sided CHF is less common and it causes fluids to build up in other portions of the body. CHF tends to affect older animals.

Congestive heart failure can be congenital, or it can be a cause of heartworm disease, heart muscle disease, valve degeneration, pericardium disease, and heart arrhythmia. Symptoms of left-side CHF include panting, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Right-side CHF causes abdominal and leg swelling to occur. A veterinarian diagnosis is required to determine if CHF is present. The vet usually conducts a vet exam, diagnostic tests including X-ray, electrocardiogram or echocardiogram, and an ultrasonography. There is currently no cure for CHF but there are ways to reduce symptoms.  It is helpful to reduce exercise to decrease work load on the heart,  reduce sodium intake in the diet, and diuretic medications are available. Your veterinarian may also be able to prescribe medications to ease the workload on the heart.

To learn more about Congestive Heart Failure in pets, check out our Pet Health Concerns Guide. By enrolling your pet with Trupanion pet insurance, your cat or dog’s policy will include coverage for diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, hereditary and congenital disorders, as long as treatment for a certain condition is required after enrolling and is not pre-existing.

Has your pet ever been diagnosed with this condition? If so, we’d love to hear from you and any comments, advice, experiences, of thoughts on this condition.

About Akvile @

Akvile is an avid fan of surfing on snow, on water, and the web! Growing up in NY, she moved to Seattle a few years ago and has found her happiness here, where she can do all of the above. Aside from working during the week in the Trupanion office, she has her hands full being the mother of Batman, her massive-eared mini schnauzer who is a cuddle monster by day and super hero by night. She enjoys traveling, wakeboarding, snowboarding, camping, painting, and DJ'ing for fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 − 6 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>