Canine Heart Disease
Canine heart disease basically means heart disease in dogs. If you are a dog owner, you probably know this concept, but if you don’t, just remember that as a dog owner you have the responsibility of keeping your dog’s heart healthy.
Keeping the dog’s heart healthy is not a hard thing to do. The key here is regular visits to veterinarians, and awareness of the fact that canine heart disease is one of the biggest causes of death in dogs.
Canine heart disease can be present at birth or acquired. The disease may develop at certain points in your dog’s life, commonly during the middle age, and it may occur regardless of the sex and age of your pet. Well, this is also true in humans, and since canine heart disease can be life-threatening, dog owners must do something to avoid it.
But before knowing the steps to take for a healthy heart, it is best to know first the types of canine heart disease. According to some studies, dogs develop heart disease in two different ways. On one hand, canine heart disease occurs when the heart valves are damaged, losing their ability to close properly then causing an abnormal or irregular flow of blood to the heart. On the other hand, canine heart disease may occur as a result of the thinning and weakening of the heart’s muscular walls, also causing an abnormal blood flow to the organ.
Well, it’s interesting to know that both of these mentioned types of canine heart disease develop gradually over time. If they become severe, chances are a serious condition like heart failure may occur.
Heart failure is basically one type of canine heart disease that affects dogs to a greater degree. Statistics have shown that 3.2 million of dogs around the world have developed this complication. It basically results in the incapability of the heart arteries and muscles to pump blood at a rate the body requires for the heart and other organs to function properly. This may also result with the continuing attempt to pump blood further.
Canine heart disease develops with certain signs or with no signs at all. Also, canine heart disease may manifest itself with varying symptoms. Because of this, it is then wise to bring your dog to a veterinarian to diagnose and evaluate the case. Usually, dogs with mild to moderate heart failure show symptoms such as coughing, lethargy, shortness of breath, and enlargement of the heart. Those that experience severe cases of canine heart disease are said to develop difficulty in breathing even at rest, loss of appetite, weight loss, fainting, and intolerance to exercise.
Given all those types and symptoms of canine heart disease, there’s really nothing best you can do but to approach a veterinarian and let your dog be checked for whatever problem there may be. It is also best to follow the recommendations of the veterinarian and make sure that your pet gets a moderate amount of exercise on a regular basis to help him or her live longer and healthier life. Add these tips with a balanced diet. Note that an obese dog is more likely to develop canine heart disease than those that maintain a normal weight.
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