Heart disease in dogs is common. Dogs with heart disease and heart failure may cough, tire easily, and have a loss of appetite. Learn to recognize the signs of heart problems in dogs, various causes, diagnostic and treatment options, and how to manage your heart patient dog at home.
Related: Heart Disease in Cats
Heart disease is dogs is commonly encountered. There are many potential causes of canine heart disease and, depending on the severity of the disease, any form of heart disease can lead to heart failure.
Signs of heartworm disease are caused by damage to the heart and blood vessels as a result of the heartworms living in them. In addition, the body's attempt to rid itself of the worms results in chronic immune stimulation, which further complicates the disease.
eart failure is a common complication of heart disease in dogs. Though canine heart disease includes many different types of conditions, all forms of heart disease can ultimately cause heart failure.
Diagnosing heart disease and/or heart failure in the dog and cat requires a combination of several different testing methods.
There are many different drugs that are used to treat heart disease and heart failure in dogs and cats. The medications chosen will depend on the type of heart disease present, the overall health of your dog or cat, and the severity of the heart disease.
Dogs that have heart disease need special care and monitoring at home. Proper care and monitoring of your dog at home can help delay the onset of heart failure and help alert you if your pet's condition worsens.
Heart disease is commonly diagnosed in both dogs and cats and the diagnosis can be disturbing and confusing for pet owners. The differences between heart disease and heart failure are important to recognize.
Typically, the normal dog heart makes a characteristic "lub-dub" sound as the heart beats. When a heart murmur is present, there will be an abnormal whooshing or swishing noise made during the course of the beat, rather than a crisp "lub-dub" sound.
One of the most common types of heart disease seen in dogs is degenerative valvular disease, where the heart valves fail, causing blood flow to back up. It is estimated that degenerative valve disease accounts for approximately 75% of all heart disease in dogs.
Learn about heart anatomy, valve function and about the different types of valvular heart disease in this article.
Proper diagnosis of any illness begins with a thorough physical examination and history, although other testing may be required for a definitive diagnosis.
Dogs diagnosed with degenerative heart valve disease need to monitored for progress or worsening of the disease. While your veterinarian will want to continue to monitor your dog with periodic examinations and radiographs of the chest, you should also monitor your dog at home.