Recently, more and more attention is being paid to the issue of cardiac diseases, since the life span of dogs has been extended, and the attitude of the owner towards the pet has changed for the benefit of pets.
Heart diseases are divided into congenital and acquired, where the highest percentage are still those that develop during life. For the owner of the animal, the most important thing is to recognize the signs that indicate that something is wrong with their pet, in order to start the treatment as soon as possible.
The symptoms are:
– cough – expulsion of contents from the trachea and bronchi
– difficult and rapid breathing – taking a specific position (bent forward)
– rapid fatigue of the animal after less physical exertion
– weakness and lethargy
– restlessness at night
– sudden onset of cough
– enlarged abdomen due to accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity
– thickened extremities of doughy consistency
When making a diagnosis related to heart problems, the veterinarian uses an external examination of the animal, and from the diagnostic analyzes, the following are available to him: ECG, X-ray and ultrasound in order to make the correct diagnosis as accurately as possible.
The most common heart diseases in dogs are:
– Heart valve insufficiency
– Heart muscle diseases as a consequence of the disease
– Pericardial diseases as a consequence of inflammatory and non-inflammatory processes
Heart valve insufficiency
– after 5 years of age
– more common in men
– common in some breeds, as a trapping factor (dachshund, schnauzer, terrier).
Heart muscle diseases as a consequence of the disease
– inflammation – myocarditis, parvovirus in puppies
– sec. myocardial damage (trauma and diseases eg uremia, pyometra)
– ischemic myocarditis of senile changes in cardiac blood vessels.
Pericardial diseases as a consequence of inflammatory and non-inflammatory processes.
– accumulation of fluid in the heart sac (serosa, blood)
– blood trauma, tumors.
Parasites – heartworm immitis – a heart parasite transmitted by mosquitoes, which creates worms in the animal’s body that travel to the heart, and thus prevent the heart from working normally.
TREATMENT: depends on the correct diagnosis
– drugs that facilitate breathing, strengthen the work of the heart muscle, improve circulation, restore normal heart rhythm
– adequate food for dogs with heart problems (special food: Royal, Hills)
– controlled physical load on the dog (avoiding stairs, long walks, running)
– regular control in agreement with the veterinarian