Symptoms and treatment of heart failure in dogs

Heart failure is most common in dogs with heart disease. This is the inability of the heart to provide sufficient blood circulation for the metabolic needs of the body.

Blood supply to the organs deteriorates, leading to pathological changes in the myocardium. The cause of the development of heart failure can be a variety of heart diseases:

  1. congenital malformations
  2. cardiomyopathy
  3. cardiosclerosis
  4. pericarditis,
  5. myocarditis,
  6. arterial hypertension and others.

It can occur both in acute form and in chronic. More common in large and old dogs.

Symptoms of heart failure in dogs

Symptoms of the disease largely depend on the cause, in connection with which heart failure occurred.

Most often, the animal is observed:

  • high blood pressure
  • dyspnea,
  • tachycardia,
  • pulmonary rales.

Fainting, liver enlargement, swelling of the limbs and dewlap are also possible. The dog quickly gets tired, very sluggish. There are wheezing in her lungs. Heart often increases in volume. With left ventricular failure, pulmonary edema may develop.

Chronic heart failure (CHF) is characterized by a rather slow and relatively stable development, often against the background of previously transferred diseases. Sometimes a chronic cough can be the only symptom of such a heart disease in a dog.

In acute heart failure, a rapid increase in symptoms is observed, literally from several minutes to several hours. The most characteristic signs are:

  • dyspnea,
  • wheezing
  • cough,
  • pallor of mucous membranes,
  • increased heart rate

After that, cardiogenic pulmonary edema quickly develops, which may be accompanied by bloody discharge from the mouth and nose.

Treatment of heart failure in dogs

First of all, it is necessary to limit physical exertion of the dog to a minimum and strictly follow a certain diet. It is necessary to limit the use of salt to animals and reduce fluid intake.

The animal needs to walk for 20-30 minutes with the control of the pulse and state of health. Also cardiac glycosides are prescribed for life. Potassium preparations are needed to improve metabolism in the myocardium, chimes, vitamins.

With the appearance of edema, the animal is given diuretics:

  1. furosemide,
  2. uregit
  3. spironolactone.

In the case of an attack of acute heart failure, a solution of caffeine, camphor, sulfocamphoain intramuscularly and cordiamine is injected subcutaneously.


For the prevention of heart failure, it is necessary to regularly examine the risk group animals with a cardiologist. These include dogs older than six years and with suspicion of any heart disease.

Also, dogs with an excitable type of nervous system and dwarf breeds need regular inspection at any age.. In addition, the propensity to heart disease of some breeds has been proven. They are Dobermans, Boxers, Great Danes, St. Bernards and Newfoundlands.



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