Apologies for the long-windedness... My fiance has a 10-ish year old beagle. She's the sweetest dog I have ever met and he is CRAZY about her. I am too, of course, but she is the first dog he got by himself as an adult, and I like to say she is his longest relationship. We rushed her to the emergency hospital in the middle of the night last Sunday because she was having trouble breathing. After a very expensive visit, and another one to the vet later on Monday, and a loss of a day's pay for me staying home with her, we were told that her heart is enlarged, her heart murmur that was rated a 2 out of 6 a few months ago is now a 4 or a 5, and she has Lime's that apparently has been around for a while. We were sent home with an antibiotic for the Lime's, a heart pill, and pain medication, and told to just keep an eye on her. The vet said most people see great results from the heart medication within a week, and many dogs live for years on it. EVERY NIGHT since then she has had trouble breathing. Her breathing is shallow 24 hours a day, but during the night is when it is at it's worse. She has moments around now (1:30 am) where she is gasping for air and has "episodes" as we call them. Taking her outside in the fresh air seems to help. She usually has another around 5 or 6, and then sporadically throughout the day. None of us has had a decent night's sleep in days-including the dog. I've taken her back to the vet to explain the shallow breathing- I even left her there all day Thursday so the vet could observe her and give us something to help. He said he didn't notice any breathing difficulty all day- 8 hours! And yet she was up all night long. I think her adrenaline kicks in at the vet and puts the breathing at bay temporarily. Does anyone have experience with anyone like this that can offer help? All the vet keeps saying is to wait and let the heart medicine kick in. Tomorrow if she eats we are going to double it. How long do we let this go on for? We have discussed letting her go, but during the day she is so herself- wags her tail, comes when you call her, is alert, she has even tried to catch a few squirrels in the backyard this week. To me, that doesn't sound like a dog that's ready to go yet....until I sit here now helplessly watching her struggle. I realize we are teachers, not vets, but any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.