I need some advice, we're having a very rough time...
It's been some time since I've posted on the forum, although I've been on here reading posts often. I'll try not to let this get too lengthy, but my Bentley has a multitude of health issues, they started about seven months ago, or so.
It started out with a very rapidly-spreading skin issue, it appeared as irregular reddish raised blotches, never itchy, and Bentley never scratched or acted as if it bothered him. It spread like wildfire from his neck to his tail, and along his upper sides. Got very crusty and there were numerous areas that seeped a bit of clear fluid and did bleed some. The vet put him on an antibiotic (cephalexin) and medicated shampoo, Malaseb. It really didn't do any good, although the shampoo may have helped a little bit. I won't get into that a whole lot, as there are other issues, and I hate to get too long-winded here, for now anyway. Other symptoms then started to really pop up, and as I was researching the skin issue online, I came across a site about Cushings disease, Bentley has nearly every single symptom: the pot belly, ravenous appetite (something new), excessive thirst, fatigue (he doesn't even want to go for walks any more), labored breathing and very loud snoring. So, another vet visit, and this vet (same clinic, different vet this time) tells me he thinks that Bentley has congestive heart failure, and starts Bentley on Lasix. I don't see any improvement on the Lasix, and it makes Bentley incontinent (although I can deal with that, if only the Lasix seemed to help). Another vet visit and I now the vet tells me Bentley has a grade 3 murmur. His breathing really scares me, especially at night, it's rather labored and noisy, and once in awhile it almost seems as if he stops breathing for a moment, then will gasp a little bit, and he is OK. And his pot belly has gotten larger, and that really has me concerned. All my poor boy does all day is sleep, and he doesn't play at all any more.
So, I know you are wondering... well, what about any tests that we may have had done. And here is the other difficult part, I only recently (in the last few years) had health issues of my own, and I am now on social security disability. So, I have not been able to get any tests done (yet) due to not being able to afford much (I can afford the vet visit and meds, and plan to get tests as I can afford to), however I plan to get at least one test (maybe two) done in a couple of weeks, and then after that more tests as I can afford to have them done. I am just heartsick that I cannot do more right now for my boy, and I am so sad and scared and frustrated. I guess I am looking for some advice and suggestions, such as, what tests might anyone recommend and what meds seem to be appropriate for CHF, if indeed that is what Bentley has? With the way he is breathing, and the fatigue and pot belly, all signs really do point to that (although he is not coughing at all). I have also read that dogs with heart failure tend to lose their appetite and lose weight, Bentley's appetite has gone through the roof and that is something new for him.
Anyway.... Bentley has so much going on I am overwhelmed, I just don't know where to begin. I am thinking right now I need to deal with his breathing issues and fatigue, and also try to get the skin disorder under control. The skin issue had started to get better, and was drying up/healing up, although it has left sort of hard chalky weird thickened skin in those areas and hair loss, only now he has many more new areas popping up on his tummy and neck and upper legs, and even his little butt. I do have somewhat of a plan set up with my vet, she has suggested some tests and went over them with me and we discussed it all, I plan to get started on them soon, at least with one or two tests, in a couple of weeks. I am curious if anyone has experienced these issues and what they did. Thanks for reading this, any suggestions or advice sure is appreciated. I forgot to say, Bentley is 8 years old, and right now he weighs 24 lbs. (had weighed around 18 - 20 lbs. when he was in good health).