Is There A Certain Age When Dog Owners Should Become More Concerned About Heart Disease
Gordon says that heart disease in general is rare in dogs less than 5 years of age and increases in frequency as dogs age. But in some cases it can be earlier or even later in life, she says. And as in so many diseases and conditions, you might wonder if heart disease is more prominent in certain dog breeds. Gordon says that some purebred dogs have higher risks for specific heart diseases, but in general all older dogs have a risk of developing heart disease.
Recovery Of Heart Attack In Dogs
The life of your pet after a heart attack will depend on the severity of the attack and its cause. Lifelong treatment may be required in the case of hypothyroidism, renal or heart disease. Regular heart monitoring in the veterinary clinic or with an ambulatory EKG recorder may be necessary to ensure stabilization over the first few weeks or months, possibly a few times per year for younger pets.
Activity restriction may be necessary for the first month while the pet stabilizes. Owners may want to become familiar with normal heart and breathing rate of their pet so rates can be taken after various times of high activity or stress. Change of diet or dietary supplements may be suggested by the veterinarian depending on the cause and severity of the event.
Dog Heart Disease Treatment
Treating heart failure is essential to improve muscle strength, control possible arrhythmia, and maintain normal blood pressure and adequate blood circulation.
It is also imperative to manage to heal excess fluids from the lungs, chest, and abdomen.
Again, treatment depends on your dogs specific condition.
If he is in respiratory distress, your dog must be hospitalized urgently.
He will then be placed under oxygen to be stabilized.
If the heart failure is due to mitral damage, your dog may be treated with Pimobendane , a positive inotrope that strengthens the contraction of the heart and improves blood circulation.
Prescribing a diuretic like furosemide significantly reduces fluid buildup in the lungs.
Finally, an ACE, an angiotensin-converting enzyme, like Enalapril is added to relax blood vessels and reduce hypertension while helping the heart to pump more efficiently.
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The Symptoms Of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs can range from mild to severe as the condition progresses.
Often, it is very difficult to diagnose in its early stages. However, your vet may be able to detect subtle or hidden signs of this condition in the course of a complete physical examination. Because of this, it is very important to bring your four legged companion in for regular routine exams to provide as many opportunities as possible for your Matthews vet to uncover early signs of dilated cardiomyopathy.
The following are the some of the most common symptoms of an enlarged heart:
- Muffled breathing or crackling sound while breathing
Managing Your Dogs Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure can be a scary diagnosis to receive from your veterinarian. Sadly, many small breeds as well as some large breeds, are prone to developing this condition later in life. The good news is that with proper treatment and lifestyle management this diagnosis is containable. However, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of congestive heart failure in dogs so that you can begin treatment promptly, giving your beloved pup the best chance of a longer life.
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How To Help A Dog With Congestive Heart Failure In Canton Ga
Heart failure in dogs is more common in some breeds than others. Any dog could fall victim to congestive heart failure during their lifetime. This can sound like a tough disease to treat, but there are some ways that you can help your dog to have a good quality of life with this disease.
This is a progressive condition, but there are treatments that can help support better heart function and give your dog some extra years of happy times and good quality of life. You will want to explore your options as soon as your dog has been diagnosed since most dogs fare very poorly without any medical intervention. This is a condition that requires that you take it seriously both for your benefit and for your dogs benefit.
Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
There are many possible causes of congestive heart failure in dogs but the most common is myxomatous mitral valve disease , also called chronic mitral valve disease, degenerative mitral valve disease, mitral insufficiency, or endocardiosis.
The mitral valve, also known as the bicuspid or left atrioventricular valve, is on the left side of the heart and acts as the doorway between the left atrium and the left ventricle. MMVD occurs when the doorway fails to close, which results in blood leaking through this valve. Over time, it results in left-sided congestive heart failure due to a decreased ability for the left side of the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood to the body. The cause of mitral valve disease is unknown, but there does seem to be a strong genetic component. Many small-breed dogs have a genetic predisposition for mitral valve disease as a cause of congestive heart failure.
In large-breed dogs, the most common inherited form of heart disease is dilated cardiomyopathy , characterized by the heart muscle becoming weak and unable to properly contract. This causes the heart to dilate. Some examples of dogs predisposed to DCM include Doberman Pinschers, Boxers and Great Danes.
Other causes of CHF in dogs include:
Heart valve disease
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How Is Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs Diagnosed
Your veterinarian can listen for a heart murmur to diagnose heart disease. Heart murmurs are graded from 1 to 6, with 1 being the least severe and 6 being the most severe.
If your vet is concerned your dog might have congestive heart failure, she will suggest taking X-rays of the dogs heart and lungs to look for heart enlargement and fluid in or around the lungs.
Although your primary care veterinarian can treat your dog for Congestive Heart Failure, she might refer you to a veterinary cardiologist for further treatment. Board-certified cardiologists are heart specialists who only treat pets with cardiac issues, so they are experts at diagnosing, treating and managing CHF. A cardiologist works together with your regular vet to implement a treatment and monitoring plan for your dog.
What Is The Smallest Artery
Capillaries, the smallest blood vessels, connect arteries and veins.
Which part of the heart is the thickest?
The left ventricle has the thickest wall out of all the chambers.
Where is the female heart located?
Your heart is located between your lungs in the middle of your chest, behind and slightly to the left of your breastbone .
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What Causes Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
CHF in dogs can be caused by different factors. Here are the most common causes of this condition:
1. Congenital Heart Disorders
Congestive heart failure is commonly the result of a severe canine heart problem. The types of heart diseases in dogs that are likely to induce this syndrome are:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Mitral valve disease
- Degenerative valvular disease
- Atrial septal defect
- Patent ductus arteriosus
Dog owners must note that cardiovascular disorders are present when heart failure in dogs occurs. But know that the presence of any type of heart disease will not always lead to heart failure.
2. Breeds Prone to Congenital Heart Defects
Some dog breeds are predisposed to certain types of cardiovascular problems. Thus, they are more at risk of having congestive heart failure.
These are the breeds commonly plagued with heart disorders:
3. Geriatric Dogs
As dogs reach their golden years, their heart valves will easily accumulate scar tissues affecting the blood flow and causing valve leakage.
This means their cardiovascular system will need to put in more effort in pumping blood. Hence, senior dogs become more susceptible to heart problems.
In turn, this increases their chances of developing congestive heart failure. Around 75% of geriatric dogs are suffering from this condition.
4. Other Canine Diseases
Certain health problems in dogs like the ones listed below can cause degeneration in different parts of the heart. This can, later on, lead to congestive heart failure.
Early Signs Of Heart Failure
Getting tired easily, or exercise intolerance, is one of the early signs of congestive heart failure. The typical picture that I see is a dog that loves to go out and is used to walking a certain distance, but starts to struggle on their walks. They may not be able to go as far, they get puffed and start panting by the time they get to the end of the street. Walking up hills may be too hard for them.
Your dog might refuse to go for a walk. Short periods of play might tire them out when before, they would play for as long as you were willing to.
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Schedule An Appointment With One Of Our Veterinarians Today
If youre worried about heart disease in your dog or cat, get in touch with our board-certified cardiologists here at CVCA. We love your pets just like our own and want them to live out the happiest and healthiest of lives. Our expertise and top of the line echocardiography equipment ensure an accurate diagnosis and the best outcome for your pet.
Congestive Heart Failure Can Be Treated
Treating congestive heart failure can be easier than you might think. Many dogs who are diagnosed with this condition experience good success with these treatment protocols on their side. Getting your dog to the veterinarian and getting a diagnosis is critical to treating congestive heart failure effectively. Your vet can help you to care for your pet and make their condition much more comfortable and their overall health much better.
If you think that your dog has congestive heart failure, your vet can confirm this diagnosis and help you build a treatment plan. Your dogs unique needs will guide this plan and you will often see a big improvement when you get your dog onto the right congestive heart failure treatment plan.
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The 5 Most Common Causes Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
- Heartworms. They can block heart valves or even an entire heart chamber, causing the heart muscle to thicken, heart enlargement, lead to valve disease, and cause other serious damage.
- Parvovirus. This highly contagious virus is preventable with a vaccine, but if your dog catches it, it could potentially infect the heart muscles.
- Bacterial infections. Bacteria that get into the bloodstream can cause swelling in the lining of the heart or heart valves. Luckily, good dental health and proper teeth brushing can help prevent this from happening.
- Nutritional deficiency. A good diet and regular exercise are incredibly important to a dogs overall health. Poor nutrition over the course of your dogs life can cause CHF or potentially make CHF worse when caused by other factors.
- Genetics. Some dogs are just predisposed to developing heart failure later in life due to their genetic makeup .
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 can affect one side of the heart or sometimes both sides. It can progress slowly and may take years to spot.
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What Are Heart Failure Symptoms
If you have heart failure, you may not have any symptoms, or the symptoms may range from mild to severe. Symptoms can be constant or can come and go. Heart failure symptoms are related to the changes that occur to your heart and body, and the severity depends on how weak your heart is. The symptoms can include:
- Congested lungs. A weak heart causes fluid to back up in the lungs. This can cause shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying flat in bed. Lung congestion can also cause a dry, hacking cough or wheezing.
- Fluid and water retention. A weak heart pumps less blood to your kidneys and causes fluid and water retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs, and abdomen and weight gain. This can also cause an increased need to urinate during the night as your body attempts to get rid of this excess fluid. Bloating in your stomach may cause a loss of appetite or nausea.
- Dizziness, fatigue, andweakness. Less blood to your major organs and muscles makes you feel tired and weak. Less blood to the brain can cause dizziness or confusion.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats. The heart beats faster to pump enough blood to the body. This can cause a fast or irregular heartbeat. Irregular heartbeats also can become more common as the heart weakens.
Treating Heart Disease In Dogs
Sadly, heart disease cant be cured, but with early diagnosis and treatment, dogs can still maintain a good quality of life. Several medications are available to manage and slow down the progression of heart disease and heart failure your vet will be able to suggest the best option for your individual dog.
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Can Heart Disease In Dogs Be Treated
Although treatments cannot reverse heart disease, your dog can live a relatively normal life if seen by a vet. Some treatments could include a new diet, daily medication or surgical intervention depending on the severity.The most important thing is to get your dog checked by a vet as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms so they can diagnose it quickly and start a treatment plan to allow your dog to live a happy, comfortable life.
If you have any questions or concerns about heart disease in dogs, please get in touch.
Symptoms Of Heart Disease
While there are several heart diseases that your cat or dog can contract or develop, the symptoms are all usually very similar. This is because heart disease doesnt necessarily mean one specific type of condition but encompasses a wide range of heart-related problems that can affect your cat or dog. If your pet is experiencing any of the following symptoms, we suggest taking them to your veterinarian straight away.
Prognosis Of Dogs With Congestive Heart Failure
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.
What Are The Types Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
3 types of congestive heart failure can happen to dogs: left-sided, right-sided, and biventricular. Here is how they affect a canines cardiovascular system:
1. Left-Sided Congestive Heart Failure
This term refers to the backup of pressure affecting the vessels delivering blood to the left ventricle. Fluid accumulates within the lungs as a result, which is known as pulmonary edema.
2. Right-Sided Congestive Heart Failure
There is increased pressure in the vessels transporting blood to the right atrium as well as the veins and capillaries. This leads to right-sided congestive heart failure and fluid accumulation in the:
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What Treatments Are Available For Dogs With Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Asymptomatic cases of dilated cardiomyopathy may be treated with medications to slow the progression of the changes leading to heart failure and as symptoms advance. Since the disease is irreversible and heart failure tends to be progressive, medications and dosages usually must be increased over time.
Is Chf Due Mainly To Heart Valve Disease
CHF is most commonly caused by valvular insufficiency. It is estimated that 80% of the canine CHF cases are caused by MVI. However, there are many other causes. Disease of the heart muscle , irregularities of rhythm, and narrowing of some of the major blood vessels can also cause CHF. Initially, MVI results in left-sided congestive heart failure. If left untreated, the heart failure may progress to involve both sides of the heart.
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Do Dogs Have Heart Attacks
In humans a heart attack usually refers to myocardial infarction . Myocardial infarction refers to death of the cells in an area of the heart muscle or myocardium. Cell death is usually due to oxygen deprivation caused by obstruction of the coronary blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscles. Heart attacks are rare in dogs but unexpected and sudden death in dogs diagnosed with any form of heart disease is possible.