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Heart problems in dogs: how to react?

Breathing problems, constant fatigue, loss of appetite ... Your dog may be suffering from heart problems. How to relieve it? Discover tips to prevent or limit the consequences of your dog's heart problems

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What Are Heart Diseases In Dogs?

Since the heart is a complex muscle, several heart problems can affect your dog. Here are the most common: 

  • Heart valve degeneration : this disease appears mainly in old dogs. It is the most common heart disease in canines (especially small ones). Since its role is to separate the atrium and the ventricle, degenerative valves cause the heart as a whole to malfunction.
  • Cardiomyopathies : it is a condition of the heart muscle. This is then smaller than normal, which makes the contractions more complicated. Unlike valve degeneration, this heart problem is more common in large dogs, such as the Great Dane, New Newfoundland or Doberman.. 
  • Congenital malformations : they can affect the heart valves, causing leakage problems and therefore blood circulation. Unlike previous illnesses, these malformations are present from the birth of the puppy. 

What are the symptoms ?

There are different signs that your dog has heart failure. For example :

  • Shortness of breath : if your dog is tired and short of breath after every effort, it may be a sign of a heart problem.
  • Irregular breathing : If you notice that your dog is not breathing normally, do not hesitate to see a veterinarian quickly. 
  • Weight loss : as a result of these disorders, your dog loses his appetite, which affects his weight. 
  • Cough : your dog is probably suffering from heart failure if he has regular coughing fits accompanied by a dry cough. 

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment with your veterinarian without delay. He will then be able to direct you to the most appropriate treatment to treat your dog's heart problem.

In some cases, a simple auscultation will allow your veterinarian to make a diagnosis (especially if there is a murmur). In other cases, additional tests are necessary, such as an X-ray or an EKG machine. 

What are the treatments ?

Surgery

In the most severe cases of heart failure, surgery is the only cure for your dog's condition.

Obviously, such operations will be considered depending on his age. If your dog is too old, surgery is often considered too risky. In this context, we will have to find alternative solutions to help him end his life as peacefully as possible. 

Medication 

If your dog's heart problems are mild, your veterinarian can prescribe appropriate medication.

Usually, lifelong, daily treatment will be required.

But depending on the case, these drugs can considerably lengthen the life of your dog.

As with humans, a healthy and balanced lifestyle can cure many ailments. Heart problems are obviously one of them.

It will then be necessary to start by taking care of its diet. Avoid giving him your leftovers, as human food is not suitable for dogs, and sometimes full of fat. For a special diet, ask your veterinarian for advice. It will guide you to the best dog foods.

Beyond food, try to keep it active, but in moderation. Replace your bike rides with walks. Reduce your walks from an hour to a half hour or fifteen minutes. These outings will allow him to feel good, without tiring him.

Food supplements

Some dietary supplements containing natural nutrients strengthen the heart. The goal then is to slow the progression of heart disease for a healthier dog for longer. And if your dog gets older, supplements like Coraboost can help prevent heart failure later on.

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For Dog and Cat Complementary food for heart failure in cats and dogs Supports your pet's cardiovascular system The benefits of Hawthorn on the heart, associated with herbal medicine, Olea Europea (olive tree) and...
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