Dog Heart Disease

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Dog Heart Disease

by Kum Martin

Like people, dogs can get heart disease. Acquired heart disease is the most common form.

There are two main forms of heart disease in dogs. The first occurs when the valves in the dog's heart are no longer able to close properly, affecting blood flow. The second occurs when the heart wall becomes weakened and thin. Both types eventually result in heart failure.

A dog with heart disease will appear lethargic and without appetite. Weight loss is common. They will cough, appear generally weak and sick, and will probably have difficulty breathing. This is due to fluid buildup in the lungs, sodium and water retention in the kidneys, and restrictive blood flow in the dog's blood vessels.

It is important to take your dog to regularly to the veterinarian so that they can check for signs of this disease. They may ask for additional information and tests such as x-rays, blood tests, urine tests, or an EKG. Early detection is important to maximize treatment options.

Good preventative measures to ensure the health of your dog are to exercise frequently and make sure they eat a balanced diet. Like people, obese dogs are more likely to develop heart disease. Exercising with your dog can be good for you as well and strengthen the bond between person and animal.

There are some options your veterinarian has for treating a dog with heart disease, but you can help make sure they don't get in the first place and catch it early if they do.

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