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Heart Disease in Dogs

Heart problems, signs, diagnosis and treatment of heart problems in cats

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11. Degenerative Valve Disease - Treatment

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Currently, there are no drugs available that can stop the progress of the heart disease. Some veterinarians feel that some of the medications available can slow the progress of disease. However, in most cases, the primary reason for treatment is to control the signs of congestive heart failure.

12. Mitral Valve Disease - Causes and Signs

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Heart disease in dogs is a common complaint. The most common cause of canine heart disease is degeneration of the valves within the heart.

The valve that is most commonly affected is the mitral valve. The mitral valve is the valve that is on the left side of the heart.

13. Tricuspid Valve Disease - Causes and Signs

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Degenerative valve disease in dogs accounts for approximately 75% of all cases of heart disease. While disease of the mitral valve (the valve located on the left side of the heart between the atrium and the ventricle) is the most common form of valvular disease in dogs, disease of the tricuspid valve is sometimes seen as well.

14. Dilated Cardiomyopathy - Signs

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Dilated cardiomyopathy essentially means that the muscle of the heart is diseased. In dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy, the heart is unable to contract effectively, which results in the heart being unable to pump the blood normally through the body.

15. Dilated Cardiomyopathy - Screening and Diagnosis

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One of the most common causes of dilated cardiomyopathy is a genetic mutation. As a result, screening a dog who belongs to a high risk breed is often desirable. The process is not as simple as it might sound, since evidence of the disease may not show up until later in life.

16. Dilated Cardiomyopathy - Causes

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Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs is by definition a disease of the muscle of the heart. Essentially, the muscle of the ventricle of the heart becomes weakened and is not able to contract normally. This inability to contract eventually leads to heart failure.

Some breeds of dogs are more prone to have dilated cardiomyopathy than other breeds. Dietary deficiencies, drugs and infectious diseases are also possible causes of this condition.

17. Dilated Cardiomyopathy - Treatment and Prognosis

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There are several medications that are regularly used to treat dogs suffering from heart disease and/or heart disease as a result of dilated cardiomyopathy.

The prognosis for dogs diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy depends on many different factors. These factors include the breed of dog, the specific type of dilated cardiomyopathy that is involved and the severity of existing clinical signs.

18. Readers Respond: Tell Us About Your Dog's Heart Disease

Little old Ricky by Umberto Fistarol on Flickr
by Umberto Fistarol on Flickr

The signs can be difficult to detect at first, but coughing, exercise intolerance, and difficulty breathing are common signs of heart (and lung) problems. 

What signs did you first notice, what was the diagnosis, and how is treatment going for your pet?

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