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Sign Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

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What Are The Types Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Congestive Heart Failure & Enlarged Heart 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:

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.

Your Veterinarian May Recommend One Or More Of The Following Medical Treatments:

  • Diuretics, are medications help to remove excess fluid buildup from the lungs or abdomen .
  • ACE Inhibitors, or inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme, are a group of medications that open up constricted blood vessels and are used primarily in the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure as a way to help the heart pump blood more effectively. .
  • Inodilators, are medications that both increase myocardial contractility and open up constricted blood vessels, reducing the workload on your dogs weakened heart .
  • Beta-Blockers, in some cases, vets may also prescribe beta-blockers to support efforts to control the heart rate.

These medical interventions effectively treat the symptoms of the disease, vastly improving the quality of the animals remaining life, but do nothing to prevent the progression of the illness.

Its likely that your dog will be put on long-term medication after being diagnosed with compromised heart function, so your visits to the veterinarian may need to be more frequent at first, but once your dogs condition has stabilized with treatment, you can expect to resume a more regular and potentially less frequent visit schedule as your dog shows improvement.

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Future Outlook On Canine Congestive Heart Failure

Canine Congestive Heart Failure has many possible causes with just as many potential treatment solutions. But with early detection, by focusing on proper diet & nutrition, and by providing appropriate support therapies like CBD-rich hemp extracts, many canine patients with Congestive Heart Failure can experience a preservation of life and total restoration of health.

This article was originally published February 16, 2019. Accumulating evidence now suggests that CBD is beneficial in the cardiovascular system and has direct action on isolated arteries causing both acute and time dependent vasorelaxation.

CBD protects against the vascular damage caused by a high glucose environment, inflammation or the induction of type 2 diabetes in animal models and reduces the vascular hyperpermeability associated with such environments.

A common theme throughout these studies is the antiinflammatory and antioxidant effect of CBD. In the heart, in vivo CBD treatment protects against ischaemiareperfusion damage and against cardiomyopathy associated with diabetes. Similarly, in a different model of ischaemiareperfusion, CBD has been shown to reduce infarct size and increase blood flow in animal models of stroke, sensitive to 5HT1A receptor antagonism.

Taken together, these preclinical data appear to support a positive role for CBD treatment in the heart, and in peripheral and cerebral vasculature.

Natural Treatment For Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Watch out for these signs of heart disease in dogs

Conventional veterinary medical practitioners consider congestive heart failure and other circulatory problems to be progressive and irreversible, but there are natural, holistic treatment options available for pet owners that show promise in slowing, reversing and even preventing CHF in the first place. Cannabidiol, a primary constituent of Canine Support Formula, can reduce heart rate & blood pressure associated with stress and anxiety.

The goal of any treatment is to improve whatever underlying imbalances or deficiencies the dog may be experiencing, which may help to slow or stop the progression of disease.

Since all drugs used to treat symptoms of CHF have some adverse effects, another goal is to facilitate the safe reduction or even elimination of the dogs conventional prescriptions. Of course, treatment outcome depends on the type, severity, and duration of the dogs illness, but many veterinarians and dog owners have seen great improvements in their patients by taking a more natural, holistic approach to canine heart disease.

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Emergency Management Of Congestive Heart Failure

Patients with congestive heart failure are, unfortunately, common in small-animal practice. Some patients present with acute exacerbation of previously diagnosed and treated cardiac disease. Other animals may present with vague and nonspecific clinical signs and have no known history of cardiac problems.

Patients with congestive heart failure are, unfortunately, common in small-animal practice. Some patients present with acute exacerbation of previously diagnosed and treated cardiac disease. Other animals may present with vague and nonspecific clinical signs and have no known history of cardiac problems.

Elisa M. Mazzaferro, MS, DVM, PhD

Depending on the primary cause and severity of the cardiac disease, clinical signs can vary from patient to patient and are by no means pathognomonic for cardiovascular disease. Clinical signs may include weakness and exercise intolerance, cough, lethargy, inappetence, vomiting, diarrhea, tachypnea, respiratory distress, syncope, or collapse. CHF is often presumptively diagnosed based on a patient’s primary presenting complaints, signalment, a thorough history, and physical examination findings.

Important concepts to remember in managing any patient with CHF are to minimize patient stress and to do no harm. This discussion focuses on patients with CHF that present in cardiogenic shock and require emergency lifesaving treatment.

Chronic Treatment Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

Chronic treatment of patients with CHF shifts from trying to control pulmonary edema to trying to negate deleterious effects of neurohormonal stimulation. The aim of chronic CHF treatment is to increase longevity of the patient, as well as improve quality of life. As a result, treatment for chronic CHF generally involves the use of 4 medications: furosemide, pimobendan, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, and spironolactone. These drugs are usually continued indefinitely. Other drugs may also be required.

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Signs Of Congestive Heart Failure

There are a number of common signs and symptoms that can indicate congestive heart failure in its different stages:

  • Difficulty settling down before bed
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fast breathing, even when resting
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Distended abdomen

If you notice your dog showing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet.

The earlier CHF is caught, the better. Even if your pup is only showing a few of the minor symptoms, its worth a call to the vet. It could point to a larger problem that needs treatment, even if it turns out to not be congestive heart failure it may be dilated cardiomyopathy , valve disease, or another heart problem. Plus, its always better to be safe than sorry.

Is Chf Due Mainly To Heart Valve Disease

Congestive heart failure in pets

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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What Are The Different Stages Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

The stages of congestive heart failure in dogs are classified into 4 groups. It is worth noting that certain clinical signs are more common at each stage.

Stage 1

This is the beginning of a dogs heart degeneration. Clinical symptoms of the condition are yet to show themselves.

Stage 2

Early symptoms of congestive heart failure start to take place. Affected dogs in this stage often have breathing difficulties, low energy, and slow respiratory rate.

Stage 3

What are the final stages of congestive heart failure? Stage 3 is one of the final stages of congested heart failure in dogs. Around this time, dogs with CHF become tired more quickly. Chronic coughing and severe difficulty in breathing may arise too.

Stage 4

What are the last stages of congestive heart failure in dogs? Stage 4 is the last stage of CHF in dogs. Pooches that are in this stage will experience breathing difficulties even when at rest.

Other symptoms to be aware of are a bloated abdomen, swollen limbs, and blue-coloured gums.

Treatment For Heart Disease In Dogs

Since heart disease is an umbrella term for any number of conditions that interfere with heart functions, treatments are wide-ranging and broad. Heart disease can be treated or managed through prescription medicines and supplements, dietary adjustments, and even surgical intervention depending on the condition and level of severity. As always, your first step should be to schedule a visit to your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

With many acquired heart diseases, your vet is likely to recommend an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, otherwise known as an ACE inhibitor, to help reduce the amount of stress on the heart. ACE inhibitors work to reduce pressure and blood volume. Additional drugs may also be prescribed to help manage heart disease.

Beta blockers, nitroglycerine, and digitalis can help reduce symptoms and improve your dogs quality of life. A diuretic may also be prescribed to manage any fluid accumulation around the lungs.

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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.

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Signs Of Heart Failure

Signs Symptoms Of End Stage Canine Congestive Heart

Signs associated with heart failure depend on the causes of the heart failure and the heart chamber that is affected. With left-sided congestive heart failure, signs are associated with a backup of pressure in the vessels delivering blood to the left ventricle. This causes fluid to accumulate within the lungs . Coughing, difficulty breathing, and exercise intolerance are the most common signs. Many dogs with left-sided congestive heart failure faint due to lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. They may also have a low heart rate and low blood pressure and may collapse. Dogs with left-side congestive heart failure often breathe faster than healthy dogs. Your veterinarian may direct you to count the number of breaths your dog takes within a minute when it is sleeping or resting. This sleeping respiratory rate can then be regularly monitored to identify early heart failure and assess whether your dog is responding to treatment.

Right-sided congestive heart failure results in increased pressure in the vessels delivering blood to the right atrium and the bodys veins and capillaries. This may cause fluid to build up in the abdomen , the chest cavity, liver, and the limbs.

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What’s The Prognosis For Dogs With Congestive Heart Failure

Unfortunately, congestive heart failure in dogs is not reversible. The prognosis depends, in part, on the underlying heart disease. For example, only about 50 percent of dogs with mitral valve disease will live beyond about 10 months.

Treatment can improve quality of life and even slightly extend life expectancy, but dogs with CHF usually do not live beyond one year of their diagnosis. Your veterinarian will be able to help come up with the best care and treatment plan for your individual dog.

What Is Heart Disease & Heart Failure

The heart is divided into different parts to pump blood throughout the body. The right side, made up of the right atrium and ventricle, directs blood to the lungs so that the blood cells can pick up oxygen, which is then delivered back to the heart. Then the left side, which contains the left atrium and ventricle, pumps the newly oxygenated blood throughout the rest of the body through the circulatory system.

Just like with heart disease in humans, when heart disease develops in a dog, their heart must adapt or change in order to continue to work efficiently and bring oxygen to the rest of the body. These changes typically occur slowly over timeoften yearsand cause enlargement of the heart. This timeframe is known as the preclinical form of heart disease, considered as such since dogs show no obvious outward signs of heart disease.

But over time, heart disease can progress to heart failure. This stage of the disease is called the clinical stage, because this is when dogs begin to exhibit signs of heart failure . At the core, heart failureincluding congestive heart failuretypically involves a back-up of blood in the lungs or other organs, which makes it difficult for the heart to do its job efficiently.

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Preventing Dog Heart Disease

There is no surefire way to prevent heart disease in dogs, especially since several common types are congenital. But you can take steps to help your dog live a healthy life.

Its always important to feed your pooch a healthy diet that includes Taurine and Omega-3 Fatty Acids . Exercise is also a key part of having a healthy dog. While every dog requires exercise, if your pal has been diagnosed with heart disease, make sure to limit strenuous activity and carefully monitor your pooch afterward.

If you have a breed thats prone to heart disease, be vigilant and aware of the symptoms that accompany heart disease in dogs. The sooner you catch a potential symptom, the better the prognosis is for treatment.

How Dogs Can Help Prevent Heart Disease In People

Congestive Heart Failure Update | Canine CHF

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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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.

What Treatments Are Available For Dogs With Congestive Heart Failure

During an acute congestive heart failure crisis, your vet will give your dog injections of various medications such as furosemide to help remove excess fluid from the body. They may also apply nitroglycerin ointment to help dilate the veins. Pimobendan is a pill that helps the heart contract better. Occasionally, dopamine or dobutamine are needed in severe cases. Sedatives or stress reducers are also often given to help your pup relax and breathe easier as the other medications start to take effect.

Long-term treatments to continue at home once your dog has been stabilized include:

  • Furosemide or spironolactone pills given multiple times per day to reduce fluid overload
  • Pimobendan to help the heart contract more efficiently
  • Enalapril or benazepril to reduce blood pressure
  • Appropriate medications to treat any arrhythmia that may be present
  • Low sodium diet!

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