Heart disease is common among dogs – almost as common as it is in humans. If you own a dog, and you have some concerns about your dog’s health, it is important to understand what type of heart disease complications your dog may experience, especially in response to infection, illness, diet, and lack of exercise. For many dogs the symptoms and complications of heart disease are similar to what you would expect to see in human symptoms.
Heart disease in dog’s can be attributed to congenital complications as well. Typically, when your dog is young, you will want to have your dog evaluated to determine if there are any congenital complications that may pre-dispose your dog to heart complications early in life. When compounded by heart disease development, due to poor diet or other infections, your dog will typically show signs of poor tolerance for exercise, have some swelling around the stomach and may even show signs of weight loss.
When evaluated, your dog’s veterinarian is going to listen for the presence of a gallop heart sound which is indicative of swelling in and around the heart. The gallop heart sound will be a sound that is similar to a third heart beat or echo and can typically only be heard with a stethoscope.
Heart murmurs in dogs are also quite common and while they can, to some extent, be corrected with surgery, most dogs will live a long time with heart murmur. But, when heart disease is a concern, you will want to address the heart murmur issues as well. In most cases, with proper diet and exercise, your dog’s heart disease can be improved and can be alleviated against other health complications that may exist, including murmurs, congenital heart disease, or abnormal gallop heart sounds.
Heart disease among dogs can be compounded by pre-existing health complications in your family pet. To ensure your dog has the best possible outcome, when living with heart disease, be sure to visit with your veterinarian regularly and obtain the correct recommendations for treatment your dog’s heart condition just as you would with a heart condition in yourself or a member of your family.
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