An Overview of Heart Disease in Dogs
Two types of heart diseases may lead to heart failure in dogs. The most common type is caused by malfunctioning valve in the heart and the other type is caused by a defect in the muscles of the heart. The second type is called cardiomyopathy. Both the types lead to the same result - heart failure.
It’s true that mild heart disease may not show any symptoms often. However, as the disease progresses, the following symptoms may occur.
- Displaying disinclination to play, run or exercise for longer periods of time
- Coughing during activity and excitement may be at night and in the morning
- Rapid breathing or difficulty in breathing
- May have heart murmurs that can be detected by veterinarians
- May develop distended abdomens or be prone to suddenly losing consciousness
- Heart failure in dogs is believed to be largely hereditary
- Age is considered to be another risk factor
- As compared to female dogs, male dogs suffer from high rate of heart disease
- Heart disease and heart failure can be exacerbated by dental disease or chronic skin infections
Ultrasound of the heart, which is also known as echocardiography can be performed to diagnose heart disease in dogs. Although x-rays and blood tests can be performed for diagnosis, ultrasound results in accurate diagnosis of the problem for better and effective treatment.
However, the veterinarian must be cautious when using anesthesia or performing the diagnostic procedure on dogs with heart disease. This is because the dog may suffer complications during anesthesia.
Animal ultrasound has proved to be very effective in diagnosing any internal issue, without any discomfort or pain. So, if you find any of the above symptoms in your dog, you must immediately take him to the veterinarian for diagnosis.