Heart Disease in Dogs

Our pets have noble hearts who are ready to accommodate everyone who is dear to them.

But, unfortunately, heart problems are the most common reason for shortening the lifespan of dogs.

Heart disease in dogs can be divided into three groups.:

  • congenital malformations
  • acquired heart failure (after suffering or as a complication of current infectious diseases),
  • diseases in old animals.

The first group of diseases occurs in young dogs. Alas, the characteristic clinical picture is often followed by the death of a sick animal at an early age.

As a rule, middle-aged pets suffer from heart failure, and diseases of the third group are found in animals older than eight years.

The causes of pathologies of the heart are transferred infectious and genetically inherited diseases, severe physical exertion, injuries, blood loss, neoplasms and congenital defects. Diseases of the respiratory system and other body systems can also contribute to the development of cardiovascular pathology to one degree or another.

Great Danes, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands are gigantic breeds that, unfortunately, also have cardiac pathologies in their genetic code. First of all, they can be caused by excessive loads or, on the contrary, their lack. In boxers and Dobermans, this problem is also often encountered - dilated cardiomyopathy.

Symptoms of heart disease in dogs and when to contact a veterinarian

It depends on the age of the animal. A puppy up to one year old shows the following symptoms of heart disease and congenital malformations: -

  • the puppy does not play,
  • sleeps a lot
  • not gaining weight due to eating poorly
  • the dog actively runs and plays, but after that it often breathes with its open mouth, as if it cannot catch its breath, after that it becomes sluggish.
  • may cough after active movements,
  • puppy has bluish tongue,
  • persistent dyspnea and fainting occur.

In an adult dog under the age of eight, dyspnea is often manifested in a state of rest. The dog is weak, sluggish for no reason, it can faint during a walk. The dog may develop a cough, often similar to the urge to vomit. She can drink a lot and gain weight. An adult dog older than eight years may also have a causeless cough. She can breathe in a cool room with her mouth open, be anxious, have shortness of breath.

Symptoms of heart disease are also:

  1. wobbly walk,
  2. incoordination
  3. refusal to eat, weakness
  4. rare breath

If the dog breathes loudly, sticking out his tongue, which has begun to turn blue - this is the reason to urgently call emergency veterinary care. The most constant and sure sign of any type of abnormality of the heart is shortness of breath. If you carefully look after the dog and catch this first symptom, you can quickly and effectively deal with the developing disease. Sometimes to halt the development of the process, you only need to reduce physical exertion and change the diet.

Treatment of heart disease in dogs

At the first stage, when the only sign appeared - dyspnea in the dog, first of all it is necessary to transfer the pet to feeding in small portions 3-4 times a day and reduce its walking time or athletic load. Often, the owners get used to playing sports with a dog, forgetting that 7-8 years old is already a solid age for the dog and it is time for him to rest.

If cough has arisen to dyspnea, which occurs in moments of activity or emotional experiences, then medications are needed, which the veterinarian will prescribe after a thorough examination of the dog. The treatment is already to be long.

If the attacks of dyspnea and coughing become longer and longer, and the intervals between them are shortened, then this means irreversible changes in the heart. The treatment will be needed for the rest of your life, and there will be very little hope of recovery.

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