Canine Heart Disease:
Heart disease affects an estimated 15% of dogs. Thus making it the second most common cause of death after cancer in Dogs. The common problem is Congestive Heart failure in canines this can lead to death.
Heart disease in dogs, as in Human, can be either present at birth or acquired. Acquired heart disease is more common, affecting many older dogs.
Types of Heart disease:
There are two common types of heart disease in dogs:
1) In one of them, a dog's heart valves lose their ability to close properly, causing reduce blood flow.
2) In the other type, the walls of a dog's heart become thin and weak thus reducing blood flow.
Both types develop gradually over time and result in the same serious condition called heart failure.
Symptoms of Heart Failure in Canines:
When Heart is not pumping at healthier rates blood tends to accumulate in blood vessels. Some of the blood can ooze out of vessels. If this happens in lungs, Dog will have bouts of cough, will get tired easily with mild exercise. Dog may experience difficulty in breathing. Count respiratory rate while dog is resting. Usually this is less than 30 breaths per minute. If this rate seems to be higher consult Vet doctor. A visit to Vet will tell it has an Enlarge heart. Thus regular visit to Vet may help in early detection of problem.
Treatment: Although there is no cure for most heart disease in dogs, new treatments with surgical and Non-surgical options are available.
Drugs, which are commonly used: Diuretics, Nitroglycerines and Vasodilators etc.
Dogs can also undergo Cardiac Surgery.
Keeping Your Dog Healthy: Make sure that your dog gets regular moderate amount of exercise and is given a balanced diet. An obese dog may have a harder time staying healthy.
Low Salt Diet: Diets reduced in salt (sodium chloride) are usually recommended for patients with heart failure because of the tendency to retain salt and water with this condition. Homemade low salt diets should be provided.
Exercise: Encourage an activity level that does not cause excessive panting, shortness of breath, or weakness. Your pet should not be forced to continue exercise.
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