How to Manage Heart Disease in Your Dog
Unlike humans, dogs don’t develop heart disease because of poor diets and lack of exercise. Instead, dogs are more prone to developing congestive heart failure, which can then progress into heart disease.
Heart disease in a dog is considered an acquired disease because it is most commonly found in middle-age and older dogs. However, injury or trauma can also be a factor, as are congenital defects, though these tend to be rare.
As a dog owner, it is important for you to be able to identify the signs and symptoms of heart disease, especially if your pet is getting “up there” in age. By knowing what to look for, you may be able to get your dog the treatment she needs before the disease progresses too far.
When to Take Your Dog to the Vet for Issues Related to Heart Disease
If you notice your dog displaying any of the following symptoms, then you should take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible:
- Coughing (after exercise or worsens at night)
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen abdomen
- Edema in the limbs
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss or gain
- Behavioral changes
- Fainting spells
- Isolates herself
What to Expect From the Veterinarian Visit
Before you take your pet to the vet, you should write down all the symptoms your dog is displaying so you don’t forget anything. Also be sure to include a timeline of the onset of the symptoms.
At the vet visit, the vet will perform a thorough physical examination of your dog. Comprehensive blood and urine tests will also be performed. Depending on your vet’s office, your dog may also receive an echocardiogram, x-ray, and/or echocardiograph ultrasound.
If your vet’s office isn’t equipped to perform these tests, then the vet will recommend you take your pet to a veterinary cardiologist to have them done. The cardiologist will also take over the treatment portion of your pet’s heart healthcare.
Treatment can include medications such as an ACE inhibitor like enalapril to help ease the stress on the heart and a diuretic like furosemide or spironolactone to help manage fluid accumulation in the lungs, limbs, or abdomen.
Other meds often included in heart disease treatment plans include a positive inotropic like digoxin, a calcium channel blocker like diltiazem, a beta-blocker like atenolol, and in some cases, nitroglycerin in a topical ointment formulation.
High Risk Breeds for Heart Disease
Certain breeds are more at risk of developing heart disease then others. These breeds include, but are not limited to:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Great Danes
- Doberman Pinschers
- Irish Wolfhounds
Buy Your Dog’s Heart Meds From Diamondback Drugs and Save!
If your dog is diagnosed with heart disease and she is prescribed medications to help manage the condition, then administering that medication as directed is important. One way to help ensure your pet takes her medicine daily is to get your scripts filled by Diamondback Drugs.
We can custom-formulate your pet’s heart meds into tasty, pet-friendly treat-like doses. Your pet will love them so much she’ll look forward to her “medicine,” and this means less stress and worry for you.
Get a free quote for your dog’s heart medications today and see how much you can save with Diamondback Drugs. We can help you get your dog the medicine she needs to help her heart – try us today!
Author: Giano Panzarella