Monday, October 3, 2022

Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms Dogs

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Prognosis Of Dogs With Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive Heart Failure & Enlarged Heart in Dogs

The development of heart failure represents a specific measurable point in the development of heart disease. For DMVD, the average survival of dogs with CHF is 9 months.5 However, within survival times in this group vary widely, with some patients living over 3 years.5 Survival in dogs with DCM is similar.16

Parameters that can help stratify risk by suggesting poorer prognosis include large left atrial and left ventricular size and high mitral E wave velocity.

When owners are questioned, it is evident that most would trade some longevity for improved quality of life. With a logical approach, heart failure can be controlled for many months with a good quality of life in most dogs.

Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs Faqs

How long can dogs live with congestive heart failure?

Once congestive heart failure develops, survival time in dogs is expected to be between 6 to 14 months at stage C. Early detection and proper medical care are keys to improving a dogs prognosis.

What are the symptoms of the final stages of congestive heart failure in dogs?

Stage D is referred to as end-stage disease. In this final stage, a pet will typically have severe symptoms of disease that unfortunately no longer respond to medications or other treatments. These symptoms include cough and coughing up foam, difficulty breathing, increased respiratory rate/effort even when resting, inability to exercise, fatigue/lethargy/weakness, cyanotic gums, distended abdomen, and collapse/sudden death.

How can I help my dog with congestive heart failure?

The pet parent should take their dog to the local emergency vet immediately if congestive heart failure or respiratory distress is suspected.

Is congestive heart failure in dogs painful?

Dogs in congestive heart failure typically do not display obvious signs of pain. However, humans in congestive heart failure have described chest pain as a factor, so its possible dogs also experience some discomfort. Seek veterinary care if you feel your pet is in pain.

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Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs: Causes Symptoms Treatment

Congestive heart failure occurs in dogs when their heart is no longer able to pump blood effectively to the rest of the body.1 There are two main causes for this disease, including mitral valve insufficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Congestive heart failure is a serious condition that often isnt curable unless the underlying cause is fixed. Medication is often required to help reduce the side effects of this disease.

Clinical symptoms depend largely on the type of heart failure that your dog has.

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Congenital Heart Disease In Dogs

Your beloved pet can have heart problems just like you. Know the symptoms so you can get your companion the help they need.

Heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure. That’s when your dog’s heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of its body.

Heart disease can affect one side of the heart or sometimes both sides. It can progress slowly and may take years to spot.

Symptoms Of Canine Chf

How To Help A Dog With Congestive Heart Failure

Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure in dogs actually depend on the underlying heart problem, but there are certain common symptoms which indicate that a dog may be suffering from heart failure.

In its early stage, the signs and symptoms are rather non-specific. They include:

  • Tiring easily
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Restlessness
  • Coughing

As the heart failure progresses, the dog develops additional symptoms, including:

  • Appetite loss
  • Difficulty breathing increased panting, wheezing, and puffing
  • Abdominal swelling

In the late stages of canine congestive heart failure, the dog shows the following signs:

  • Sitting with his elbows spread and his head extended
  • Labored breathing
  • Gray or bluish gums
  • Fainting with exertion or stress

If the left side of the heart is affected, the dog will cough up a bubbly red fluid .

If the right ventricle is affected, the dog will have a swollen abdomen due to a fluid build-up in the abdominal cavity. A backup of blood within the abdominal vessels causes the fluid build-up. The dog may also have leg swelling and fluid accumulation in the chest cavity.

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What Does Science Say About Cbd For Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Collectively, the current findings present evidence for CBDs alleviation of cardiovascular anomalies and the diminution of myocardial oxidative stresstwo factors directly related to symptoms of canine Coronary Heart Failure. Similar studies show that CBD induces a substantial cardioprotective effect from ischemia.

Cannabidiol may represent a promising novel treatment for CHF in dogs by protecting the heart and other organs from oxidative damage due to myocardial ischemia. Accumulating evidence also suggests that CBD is beneficial in the cardiovascular system by its direct actions on isolated arteries, causing both acute and time-dependent vasorelaxation .

Additionally, pre-clinical data appear to support a positive role for CBD treatment in the heart as well as in the peripheral and cerebral vasculature.

At its core, cannabinoid based therapy can minimize symptoms related to Congestive Heart Failure to make your dog feel better & more comfortable, reduce unexpected peripheral vascular problems that arise, and offer a better safety-profile and eliminate the potential long-term side-effects from prescription medications-thereby achieving the three objectives of effective natural, holistic pet care for canine CHF.

What Are The Signs Of Heart Disease In Dogs

Heart disease in dogs often goes unrecognized for some timeeven years. The most common cause of heart disease is characterized by a long preclinical stage when the dog is asymptomatic, Gordon says. That means the first stage of heart disease will likely go unnoticed by owners, but may be detected by your veterinarian.

Gordon says to keep in mind that not all dogs with heart disease will go on to develop heart failure, but that there are many clinical signs of heart failure in dogs to watch out for, including:

  • Fast breathing when he is at rest or sleeping. Here are Gordons tips for evaluating your pets breathing rate at home.
  • Increased effort associated with breathing
  • Restless sleeping moving around a lot and changing positions
  • Coughing or gagging

Read Also: What Is Congestive Heart Failure Mean

Pale Or Blue Mouth And Tongue

Blue mouth and tongue, also known as cyanosis, are signs of inadequate oxygen circulation around the body, which we cannot see in healthy dogs. Oxygen therapy may be a requirement for treatment for dogs with low oxygen levels.

Before you plan on proceeding with oxygen therapy, ask your veterinarian about what you may have to do.

Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Successfully Treating Dog Congestive Heart Failure with Natural Diet (part 1)

Here are some common signs that your dog might be suffering from congestive heart failure, according to Pet Health Network®:

  • Coughing
  • Breathing at a fast rate, especially when in a resting state
  • Reluctance or refusal to exercise
  • Getting tired more easily on walks or during play
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing up blood
  • Collapsing

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should have your dog checked by your vet without delay.

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Treatment Options For Heart Failure

Once your vet has diagnosed your dog with congestive heart failure with a physical exam and diagnostic imaging, there will be a few treatment options that can offer your dog more time.

These management options will only be a band aid for your dogs heart disease, but can offer them much needed comfort as the condition progresses.

Some of the most common treatment options for dogs with CHF include:

What Does A Cough Sound Like In A Dog With Heart Disease

Crackles and wheezes are truly lower-airway origin adventitial lung sounds, the former having a low sensitivity for detection of congestive heart failure. Provocation of harsh/honking cough with palpation of the trachea or with excitement suggests inflammatory tracheal disease or dynamic large airway collapse.

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Diet And Exercise For Dogs With Chf

Dogs with congestive heart failure should be put on a low-salt diet.

Moderate exercise is beneficial to dogs with mild cases of heart failure.

However, if your dog is showing symptoms such as coughing, panting, and easy tiring after exercise, then it is not advisable to allow your dog to engage in such exercise or activities that bring about these symptoms.

What Is Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Understanding The Risk Of Congestive Heart Failures In Dogs

Congestive heart failure in dogs occurs when the heart is unable to pump an adequate amount of blood to the body, thus causing an increase in pressure and fluid that eventually leaks into the lungs and, less frequently, other major organs.

When fluid accumulates in or around a dogs lungs, it prohibits the lungs from expanding normally and prevents oxygen from moving into the bloodstream properly. This can cause a variety of symptoms and health issues.

CHF can be a slow-onset condition that develops over time.

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How Is Congestive Heart Failure Treated

Treatment depends on the cause of the dogs congestive heart failure and how progressed it is. Based on your dogs symptoms and the things observed in the tests, different courses of treatment may be recommended.

Medication may be used to help the heart work more efficiently and control irregular heartbeats, which can be inefficient. It may also be used to lower the fluid levels around the lungs if that is necessary. Surgery may be required to correct a torn valve. Pacemakers are rarely used, but they may be suggested by some vets.

A special diet may be necessary to prevent extra fluid build-up. Low-sodium diets may help with fluid build-up and limit the progression of the disease. Limited activity may be recommended to avoid putting excess strain on your dogs heart.

Sometimes, supplements are suggested. These will vary depending on your dogs diet, specific symptoms, and blood results. Vitamin B, taurine, carnitine, and antioxidants may be helpful.

Your vet may also want to check for heartworms and bacterial infections of the heart. If any are found, then specific medications to treat those problems will likely be recommended.

Multiple vet visits will likely be necessary. A treatment plan will need to be created and your dog monitored. Changes may need to be made in medications.

Want to learn more about other dog diseases and ailments?

How Is Chf Diagnosed In Dogs

Bruiser needed an echocardiogram , which revealed degeneration of the mitral heart valve and subsequent heart enlargement. This is common in older dogs.

A full physical examination will be needed to determine the cause and whether there is an abnormal heart size, fluid accumulation, pleural effusion, and heart defects.

Steps toward a diagnosis of congestive heart failure in dogs:

  • Listening to the heart with a stethoscope
  • Chest X-rays
  • An electrocardiogram . Sometimes an ultrasound is done as well.

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What Is Heart Failure In Dogs

Heart failure is a complex condition that can develop from congenital or acquired heart disease in dogs. Depending on the specific disease process, it can affect the left and right sides of the heart, manifesting in respiratory signs and weakness due to:

  • Fluid retention: Congestion sometimes called backward failure
  • Pump failure: Low cardiac output sometimes called forward failure.

While the underlying heart disease can vary depending on age and breed, chronic heart failure management for degenerative mitral valve disease and dilated cardiomyopathy initially relies on a combination of a diuretic, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, and pimobendan, with additional medications added as necessary.

How Is Heart Failure In Dogs Diagnosed

Canine Congestive Heart Failure

The vet will check your dogs medical history and may conduct a physical exam. They will also run special diagnostic tests to definitively confirm that your dog is suffering from heart failure.

Here are the most common exams for heart failure in dogs:

1. Blood and Urine Testing

Heart diseases can affect the liver and kidneys of affected dogs. Both tests will help determine the type of medications appropriate to use on your dog. This also verifies if your dog has a taurine deficiency.

2. Chest X-Rays

This exam uses low radiation levels to acquire imaging of your dogs heart and lungs. Chest x-rays help the vet check the size and shape of his heart. It also aids in detecting fluid build-up in the lungs.

3. Echocardiogram

This exam makes use of ultrasound waves to observe the size and thickness of each heart chamber. The vet will also be able to note if there are abnormalities in the hearts contractions.

4. Electrocardiogram

It measures the electrical signals from your dogs heart. This test aids in confirming if there are any issues in his heart rate and rhythm such as heart murmurs.

5. Endomyocardial Biopsy

This is an invasive procedure done to gauge your dogs L-carnitine levels. It will figure out if he has L-carnitine deficiency.

6. Heartworm Antigen Test

Heartworms are one of the most common causes of heart failure in dogs. This type of test will examine your dogs blood to find out if your pooch has or has had heartworms.

7. Holter Monitor

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What Is Canine Congestive Heart Failure

At its core, congestive heart failure in dogs means that their blood is not being pumped adequately throughout the body.

Like a human, a dogs body survives by the blood that gets pumped through its veins.

Every part of the body relies on that blood to keep it alive, well, and healthy.

When the blood does not reach those parts, different parts of the body suffer.

Additionally, even if that blood does not go to the proper places, it still goes somewhere, leading to medical issues.

Where it goes and the problems it causes depends on the type of CHF the dog has.

What Causes Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

There are a number of factors that can result in CHF. Some dogs are born with congenital heart defects that contribute to this condition, but they can take years to present themselves. Congenital heart disease is rare, accounting for about 5% of all canine heart disease.

Common congenital heart diseases include:

  • Mitral valve insufficiency . While mitral disease can be congenital, we typically see it develop more in middle or old age.

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy

  • Atrial septal defect

  • Patent ductus arteriosus or PDA

Dogs that are born with healthy hearts can develop heart disease during their lifetime. Like humans, dogs can develop health issues that can lead to CHF as they age. Other causes of CHF in dogs:

  • Heartworms: Heartworms can block heart valves, or even clog an entire heart chamber. See our article on heartworm preventative.

  • Hormones: The thyroid especially can affect the hearts function and performance. For example, a dog with hypothyroidism usually has a slower-than-normal heart rate.

  • Parvovirus: This virus can potentially infect the heart muscles, and can even cause acute heart failure in dogs.

  • Bacterial infections: Bacteria from the mouth can get into the bloodstream and attach to the heart valves, causing inflammation in the lining of the heart or in the valves.

  • Nutritional deficiency: A lack of vitamin E or selenium can cause damage to the heart muscles.

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Make Recommendations For Home Care That Considers The Pets And Care Takers Quality Of Life

Involve owners in monitoring their dogs heart disease:

Set up a recheck schedule to monitor disease progression, potential adverse effects of medications, patient quality of life, and any challenges faced by the owner. Recheck evaluations for a dog in heart failure are often recommended every 2 to 4 months, or sooner, if medications are adjusted or clinical decompensation occurs.

Educate owners about clinical signs that indicate their dogs need medical attention, including cough , breathing difficulty, anorexia or vomiting, and lethargy or collapse.

Encourage owners to record resting or sleeping breathing rates at home. Many dogs have a resting breathing rate of less than 35 breaths/minute, often in the mid-teens to mid-twenties. An elevated breathing rate that is repeatable within the hour, especially if the dog has breathing difficulty or a decrease in appetite or activity level, should prompt medical attention.

Additional points to consider:

  • Ensure the dog is eating and taking its medications. Make recommendations for a palatable diet and advise the owner to avoid high-salt foods and treats when possible.
  • Set activity level expectations, which varies for each dog. Light activity is acceptable and encouraged, especially if it enhances quality of life, but strenuous activity needs to be avoided.
  • Consider the owners lifestyle when making treatment recommendations. For instance, therapy given more than twice daily may be difficult for some owners.

Change In Body Weight

Understanding The Risk Of Congestive Heart Failures In Dogs

As humans, we usually see weight loss as a good thing, but your cat or dogs rapid weight loss does not carry the same positive meaning. When your pet has heart disease and is losing a lot of weight quickly, its because there is a hormone-like substance produced at high levels during heart failure. This results in muscle and weight loss in your pet.

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How Dogs Can Help Prevent Heart Disease In People

The companionship of our puppy pals can put us at ease with all the tail-wagging comfort they bring. Whether its a few wet kisses, a cold nose, or warm snuggles, most pet parents can agree that the loyalty and companionship of a dog is good medicine for the heart. And now the medical field agrees!

In general, healthier people are just more likely to own pets. But according to the American Heart Association, pet ownership can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Here are a couple of reasons behind this belief:

  • Puppy parents tend to be more active and get more exercise because of their dogs
  • Pets provide social support to their pet parents, which helps them maintain healthy habits, like engaging in physical activities

Its important to note that pet ownership shouldnt be viewed as something done strictly for medical purposes. Instead, consider it one of the many benefits of developing a warm and trusting relationship with your furry family members.

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