Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Dogs In Heart Failure

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Are There Warning Signs For Heart Failure In Dogs And Cats

Congestive Heart Failure & Enlarged Heart in Dogs

A warning sign, or precursor, of heart failure in your dog or cat is an enlarged heart. This is due to the fact that because of some sort of damage to the heart muscle it has to work harder and as a result the heart muscle thickens to compensate for the extra work. However, this is just a stopgap measure and if what is contributing to your animal’s heart disease is not controlled, over time the heart muscle will get weaker and chronic heart failure will result in your dog or cat.

What Does Heart Failure Look Like In Dogs

A swollen belly due to fluid buildup in Fainting due to blocked blood flow to the brain. Change in color of tongue or gums to bluish gray due to low oxygen flow. Weight loss as your dog loses its ability to store healthy fats.

Which dog breeds are prone to heart disease?

Commonly Affected Breeds

Should You Walk A Dog With Congestive Heart Failure

A dog with congestive heart failure doesnt need exhaustive physical stimulation. Overexerting by walking it over long distances can pile up more stress in the heart, triggering an aggravation in the heart condition and worsening irregularities in heart rhythms.

If your dog has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, avoid intensive exercises like lengthy running, long hikes, swimming, and ball chasing.

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How Common Is Heart Failure In Dogs And Cats

Unfortunately, heart failure is becoming more and more common in our pets. In our experience this is primarily a result of two things. The first is the increase in the use of low-protein, or poor-quality protein, pet foods. These kibble diets do not provide the proper amount of high-quality protein OR they provide protein sources that have inadequate, or incomplete, amino acid profiles. A good example of an incomplete protein added to pet foods would be pea protein and, much worse, is a poor-quality protein source called hydrolized chicken meal that can be comprised primarily of chicken feathers! Secondly, with the increase in the use of pharmaceutical drugs for animals and the use of topical flea and tick pesticides, comes the potentially serious side-effects. These side-effects can include changes in the heart and/or heart rhythm, and subsequent damage to your dog or cat’s heart valves resulting in chronic heart failure.

When To Put Down A Dog With Heart Failure

Understanding The Risk Of Congestive Heart Failures In Dogs

Heart trouble is a common issue among canines, especially as they age.

It can cause a lot of distress, both for the dogs and their owners, as it can be hard to watch.

Once they notice the signs, many dog owners wonder if the diagnosis is the end of the line.

Others begin immediately looking for ways to treat heart failure.

The question among most, though, is how to know when its time to let go.

To make that decision, its crucial to understand more about heart failure, how it impacts dogs, and what options are available.

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Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Written bySmall Door’s medical experts

Congestive heart failure is fairly common in dogs. Approximately 10% of all dogs, and 75% of senior dogs, have some form of heart disease. CHF itself is not a disease: it is a condition that is a result of heart disease.

In This Article

What Are The Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of congestive heart failure in dogs is a persistent cough accompanied by a difficult time breathing.

This is due to an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and the irritation produced by the enlarged heart pushing against the trachea.

Dogs that have CHF will tire easily and pant excessively while playing and exercising. Taking walks will become more difficult.

They may also show a persistent lack of appetite with a swollen belly. You should check your dogs gums for signs of paleness or bluishness.

If you see any of these signs consult your veterinarian immediately.

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Bring Your Pet To Veg For All Symptoms Of Heart Failure In Dogs And Cats

As you can see, there are many signs of heart failure associated with dogs and cats. If you have a senior pet, or any pet with a known chronic health condition, its a good idea to learn these symptoms. This way, youll know when somethings going wrong with your pet, and youll be ready to go to the vet.

Remember that there is no cure for heart failure. Although some pets may live a long time with early to moderate stages of heart failure, it will eventually advance beyond any treatment or management. Your vet will help you choose when euthanasia may be the best option for your pet.

If you notice your pet exhibiting any of the symptoms of heart failure in dogs and cats mentioned above, you should seek veterinary care as soon as possible. VEG has locations all over the country, with most of them being open 24 hours a day and all of them being open 24 hours on weekends and holidays. All of our hospitals are staffed with compassionate, caring professionals who always put the wellbeing and comfort of your pet first. So dont wait, make sure your pet gets the care she needs by calling and speaking to one of our emergency vets now.

Signs And Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Congestive heart failure in pets

The signs and symptoms associated with CHF may vary, depending on the underlying heart disease and whether the right or left side of the heart is affected. In some cases, symptoms will be the same regardless of side.

These signs should be taken seriously and addressed with your veterinarian at first notice:

  • Fainting

  • Change in gum and/or tongue color to a bluish gray

  • Increased heart rate

  • Crackling sound when listening to the lungs

Both right-sided and left-sided CHF ultimately lead to oxygen depletion in the tissues, and eventual heart failure.

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What Causes Chf In Dogs

Congestive heart failure can be caused by any heart disease. There are no specific genetic predispositions for heart failure, but there are some dog breeds that are more likely to develop heart disease than others.

Breeds that are genetically predisposed to heart disease include:

  • Beagles
  • Rottweilers
  • Shetland Sheepdogs

Heart disease, and therefore congestive heart failure, are more common in senior dogs. Scar tissue can build up on the heart valves over time, leading to turbulent blood flow and leakage from the valves. These changes require the heart to work harder, which can contribute to CHF.

Natural Heart Failure Protocol For Dogs And Cats

The goal of our Natural Heart Failure Protocol is to support and strengthen this very important organ that is responsible for distributing oxygen-rich blood throughout the body and returning carbon dioxide loaded blood back to the lungs. When medications are used to accomplish this alone, the heart will never get healthier because drugs are used to replace the body’s natural healing abilities.

If your dog or cat’s condition is serious enough where medication is required for their comfort, such as with congestive heart failure, our protocol can play an important supportive role. If medications can be reduced when using our protocol this must be done in conjunction with your veterinarian so your animal can be properly monitored.

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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:

How Long Can A Chihuahua Live With Congestive Heart Failure

How To Help A Dog With Congestive Heart Failure
  • Bottom Line
  • Are you worried about your chihuahuas congestive heart failure? Perhaps youre afraid that your furry friend doesnt have long to live. The good news is that, with proper treatment, many dogs with congestive heart failure can enjoy a good quality of life for months or even years. The key is to catch the disease early and to work closely with your veterinarian to create a treatment plan that will relieve your dogs symptoms and improve their quality of life.

    This article will explore how long dogs with congestive heart failure can live, what treatment options are available, and how you can make your chihuahua as comfortable as possible.

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    What Percentage Of Dogs Get Heart Disease

    About 10% of all dogs have heart disease. 20-25% of dogs 9-12 years old may be affected.

    Is congestive heart failure in dogs a painful death?

    If the animal is suffering from a disease such as congestive heart failure or incurable brain cancer a disease which, if left unchecked, will result in a painful death the recommendation may be for euthanasia sooner. only later.

    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.

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    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.

    How Can I Make My Dog Comfortable With Congestive Heart Failure

    Dog with heart disease showing improvements after switching from grain-free diet

    Encourage an activity level that does not cause excessive panting, shortness of breath, or weakness. Your pet should not be forced to continue exercise with he/she tires. Contact your veterinarian if your pet experiences collapse or sudden weakness during activity or a dramatic decrease in overall exercise ability.

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    What Clinical Signs Should I Expect

    The most common clinical sign of congestive heart failure is persistent coughing accompanied by difficulty breathing. This is due mainly to pulmonary edema or the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. The enlarged heart will also push against the trachea, causing irritation that can induce a cough.

    “The most common clinical sign of congestive heart failure is persistent coughing accompanied by difficulty breathing.”

    Many dogs with CHF will tire out more easily, have reduced stamina, and do not engage in playing or walking as they once did. Coughing when at rest or sleeping, excessive panting, persistent loss of appetite, a swollen belly, and pale or bluish gums are also signs associated with heart failure. The dog will develop generalized weight loss and muscle wasting due to the effects of CHF on other body systems. If any of these signs develop in a pet with a heart murmur, notify your veterinarian immediately.

    Causes Of Cardiac Arrest In Dogs

    Cardiovascular arrest in dogs can be caused by a variety of different causes. Some of them are medical crises that need rapid veterinarian attention and treatment. Chronic illnesses and even dormant disorders are among the other types of ailments. The result is determined by the degree of the damage to the heart and other organs, as well as the progression of the illness process itself, among other factors.

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    Diagnosing Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

    If your dog has symptoms of congestive heart failure, it is important to call your veterinarian as soon as possible. During your appointment, your veterinarian will listen to your dogs heart with their stethoscope to see if they detect a heart murmur or fluid in the lungs. At that point, they may recommend a few diagnostic tests.

    Common Symptoms Of Heart Failure In Dogs And Cats To Look Out For

    Understanding The Risk Of Congestive Heart Failures In Dogs

    Read through the list below to learn more about heart failure in dogs and cats. With the help of this guide, you can choose when its time to call the vet. If you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your pets health, you should always contact a veterinarian or emergency vet as soon as possible so you can quickly find the underlying cause of your pets behavior.

    Below are 6 common symptoms of heart failure in dogs and cats:

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    How To Recognize Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

    Congestive heart failure is a disease many dogs go through, especially smaller dogs. While there is no cure for the ailment, proper treatment and medication allows your pet to live a longer and comfortable life with the proper care.

    The key to proper treatment for congestive heart failure is timing. A dog would need oxygen, fluids, and proper medications to help the heart work properly while under distress. If your dog has heart issues or heart problems are common for the breed, then there are some specific signs to look out for with your own dog.

    Knowing these signs will help you make the decision faster and visit emergency care when needed.

    1. Rapid Breathing

    One of the biggest signs of congestive heart failure is rapid breathing. In these cases, heart valves will typically leak fluids into the dog’s body. The expansion of the heart and the fluid build-up puts pressure on the lungs, which then results in the rapid breathing.

    Typically, a dog should range anywhere from 10 to 35 breaths a minute. The quickest way to calculate this is by counting your dog’s breath for 15 seconds and multiplying the answer by four. So if a dog takes 10 breaths in 15 seconds, then they are around 40 breaths a minute, which is a little high.

    2. Lack of Physical Activity

    3. Gum and Tongue Colors

    4. Coughing

    5. Previous Signs & Sudden Changes

    For more information on our emergency services, contact us at South Seattle Veterinary Hospital. We are here to help you pet get the best care possible.

    What Is Heart Disease

    Heart disease refers to any type of disease that affects the heart. The heart is an incredibly vital organ, and if it is unable to function properly, multiple parts of the body will suffer. About 10% of all dogs examined by a veterinarian are found to have some type of heart disease and they often go undetected by their owners unless the disease is severe.

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    What Do You Do When Your Dog Dies Suddenly

    Your local veterinarian will be well-versed in dealing with dead dog disposal, and if you desire for them to take care of the situation, simply contact them as soon as possible. After that, your veterinarian should be able to arrange for the retrieval of the body and its subsequent burial or cremation, depending on your preferences.

    Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure

    FDA investigating link between grain-free food and heart failure in dogs

    The risk and progression of CHF in dogs is classified by stages similar to the way it is categorized for humans with CHF. The stages run from an initial risk for developing CHF but not showing any symptoms to severe symptoms .

    • Stage A: Dogs with a higher risk for developing CHF but currently show no symptoms or structural changes to the heart. Dogs with a genetic risk include small breeds such as Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Terrier breeds, and some larger dogs such as Great Danes or Dobermans.
    • Stage B: Dogs with a heart murmur that a vet can hear but does not show any symptoms. A murmur indicates turbulent blood flow within the heart
    • Stage B2: Dogs that show a structural change on an X-ray/radiograph or echocardiogram but are without symptoms.
    • Stage C: In this stage, symptoms of heart disease are present. Dogs in this stage will have current or historic clinical signs of congestive heart failure, but still respond positively to medications and treatment.
    • Stage D: This stage is referred to as end-stage disease. In this stage, a dog will typically have severe symptoms of disease that unfortunately no longer respond to medications or other treatments.

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    Heart Failure Therapy For Dogs And Cats Testimonial

    Update Charlie had his annual heart re-check and the Dr. said it looks great! Its actually smaller than it was last year, and no progression in anything. I have to think this is all from the heart glandular and tonic hes been taking for over a year now! Thank you so much for everything youve done for them! Just wanted to let you know again how much we appreciate you and all the advice youve given to us over the past year 🙂

    Core Recommendations Suggested products are included in the Core Heart Failure Package found below.

    Our “Core Recommendations” form the backbone of our Natural Heart Failure Protocol for dogs and cats. They consist of the supplement recommendations we feel are the most important to provide to your animal companion for this condition. They are displayed individually or as a package at the bottom of this page along with other helpful supplements for heart failure from which you may make additional selections. Pet foods can be purchased at your finer, local pet stores. If you desire more individualized attention please feel free to use our Consultation Form to provide detailed information about your dog or cat’s heart failure symptoms so we can better help you.

    Core Recommendation #1Daily Multi Plus

    Core Recommendation #2Heart Tonic

    Core Recommendation #2Heart Glandular

    Highly Recommended

    Whole Food Nutrition


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