Understanding Heart Diseases in American Bulldogs

Article by Ricardo Lumbardo

What Heart Diseases Can Affect Your Dog?

Just as there are several heart diseases that can affect human beings, dogs are also vulnerable to a wide variety of canine heart diseases. Some heart problems in dogs are inborn, some are developed through their growing years, and some are developed when the dog gets older. The frequency of dog heart disease in older dogs is higher than those in younger dogs. Some heart problems in dogs are minor, but some are large-scale and can lead to complete heart failure. One of the most common heart disease that can affect your dog is patent ductus arteriosus. This occurs when the blood from the heart is returned to the heart, instead of being distributed all throught the dog’s body. In essence, this has to do with abnormal blood flow. This happens when there is an abnormality in the functions of the ducts that connect thee heart to the rest of the organs. There are also common heart diseases such as enlargement of the heart. On the other hand, the most serious kind of heart problem in dogs is CHF, known as Congestive Heart Failure, which basically refers to the weakening of the heart and inability to perform its functions. This can completely take the life out of your dog, not only through death, but also by limiting its abilities to engage in certain exercises.

Symptoms of Dog Heart Diseases

Symptoms of heart diseases in dogs can vary based on the type of disease. The usual symptoms include rapid or shallow breathing, coughing, and weakening during strenuous activities. Your dog may also suffer from a loss of appetite, and can even experience fainting in extreme curcumstances. If there are already basic symptoms, you can check if your dog’s gums are paler than usual. If you detect any symptoms, you should immediately get your dog diagnosed. There are many ways to do so, one of which is through cardiac ultrasound.

Treatment and Prevention of Canine Heart Diseases

Heart problems in dogs can be prevented through regular checkups and consultation with your veterinarian. Don’t wait for symptoms of any kind of disease to start showing. Remember to get regular checkups, and always ask your veterinarian about heart diseases. This way, the veterinarian can properly check. In case a heart problem is detected, the time of detection is very crucial. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better chances your dog has of fighting it through normal treatment options. Another reason why heart problems in dogs should be diagnosed early is that any kind of heart problem can also cause problems to other organs, due to the lack of enough blood, or abnormal blood flow. Aside from regular vet visits, you can also prevent canine heart diseases with a proper diet plan for your dog, which will keep away obesity, which actually plays a role in causing heart diseases in dogs. There are also available heart medications for dogs, but you have to be cautious when using them because most causes negative side effects to dogs. However, in severe cases, the only thing that can save a badly affected dog from a fatal heart problem is surgery. But since heart problems in dogs are very common, surgeries to treat canine heart diseases are often practiced and have a high rate of success.

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