Is Your Dog Showing Signs of Heart Disease?

Heart disease affects dogs just like it does humans, and if the condition isn’t identified and treated early on, it can lead to more serious issues, including heart attack or death. Therefore, being able to identify the common signs of heart disease in your dog is critical for getting her the care and treatment she needs to reduce her risks.

In this guide, you will learn about the ten most common signs of canine heart disease and the treatment options that may be able to help improve your dog’s condition.

heart disease in dogs

#1: Coughing

While you might think coughing is a sign your dog might have allergies or a respiratory issue, it is often one of the first signs a dog may be suffering from heart disease. Coughing is something a healthy dog doesn’t do, so if your dog exhibits a dry, hacking cough or a moist cough, she needs to be taken to her vet immediately.

#2: Your Dog Tires Quickly

A dog that’s suffering from heart disease will start tiring quicker than usual. For instance, if you usually take your dog for a mile walk every day, your dog may start showing signs of being tired well before the end of your walk. This is a common sign that the heart muscle has weakened due to heart disease.

#3: Pot-Belly Appearance

Another sign that the heart muscle has weakened is a pot-belly appearance. The weakened heart can’t push blood through the body as effectively, and this results in a build-up of fluid that occurs in the dog’s abdomen.

#4: Difficulty Breathing

If your dog is having a hard time breathing, then she needs to see the vet because rapid or labored breathing and shortness of breath can also be potential warning signs of heart disease.

#5: Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite on its own isn’t an indicator of heart disease, but it does mean that your dog has something going on. When this symptom is displayed in addition to one or more of the others included on this list, then it should be considered one more potential sign of heart disease.

#6: Weakness in Your Dog

Weakness is a common sign of heart disease because when blood isn’t able to flow through the body as well as it normally does, it causes a dog’s energy level to drop, resulting in lethargy, sleepiness, and lameness.

#7: Mood or Behavioral Changes

A dog with heart disease will lose interest in things that used to bring her enjoyment. She may appear depressed, withdrawn, and reluctant to accept affection. If your dog is normally happy and she suddenly has a change in her mood, she should be taken to her veterinarian as soon as possible because she has something going on.

#8: Fainting

If your dog suddenly faints or collapses, then this is a sign that something serious is wrong. While fainting is a symptom for several health conditions, it is also one that’s associated with heart disease. Regardless of the cause, your dog needs to be taken to her vet immediately.

#9: Restlessness

Restlessness can be another sign of heart disease in a dog. In many cases, the restlessness tends to worsen at night.

#10: Weight Gain or Loss

If your dog starts gaining weight or losing weight, then her weight changes could be the result of heart disease. This is another symptom that is associated with several other conditions, so the veterinarian will use it and the others included here to help narrow down the cause.

How Is Canine Heart Disease Treated?

A veterinarian will develop a treatment plan for your dog if she is diagnosed with heart disease, and this can include several medications.

Some of the most common medications prescribed for canine heart disease include an ACE inhibitor like enalapril, lisinopril, or benazepril; a diuretic like furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide; a vasodilator like hydralazine or sodium nitroprusside; and a positive inotrope medication like digoxin, dobutamine, or milrinone. Your dog may also be put on a special low-sodium diet as well.

If your dog is diagnosed with heart disease and your veterinarian prescribes medications like those listed above, then you can get your medications compounded by Diamondback Drugs in dosage-precise, easy-to-administer formulations. Get a free quote today!

Author: Giano Panzarella