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Heart Failure in Dogs
Congestive heart failure in dogs it is said that roughly 1 out of 10 canines are diagnosed with this condition every year. It is caused by the gradual weakening of the heart muscle which results in its inability to pump adequate blood. The organ then tries to balance this out by beating faster, which eventually just makes it worse.
While it is highly unlikely that your pet completely recovers from congestive dog heart failure, there are treatments that can be done so that he can still enjoy a relatively good quality of life. Visit the vet for a thorough check-up so you will get an accurate diagnosis of your dog’s sickness. You don’t know if he has underlying health conditions that need to be factored in when deciding on what treatment he should have.
Treatments for Heart Failure in Dogs
Common treatments for congestive heart failure in dogs are the employment of diuretics, ACE-inhibitors and Inodilators. Diuretics are prescribed medications that function to get rid of excess fluid that has built up in critical organs like the lungs and abdomen. ACE-inhibitors like enalapril, benazepril, and ramipril and Inodilators are used to treat hypertension by opening up constricted blood vessels. Again, you need to keep in mind that your dog’s treatment is largely dependent on the current health status of your dog, his age and the severity of his heart condition. You must never attempt to treat his condition yourself.
What are some of the symptoms of dog heart failure? Coughing, difficulty in breathing, lack of appetite, fainting spells, fatigue, unwillingness to move about, lethargy and bluish/grayish gums are positive signs that your dog is suffering from a heart condition. Many times, sufferers also have distended abdomens due to fluid build-up in the abdominal cavity. These symptoms will not be obvious at first but as his condition worsens, the symptoms will progress as well.
Heart Failure in Dogs – Birth Defect or Acquired Disease?
While congestive heart disease is due to a birth defect in the animal, there are also instances wherein heart failure can be acquired. They are also more common so you need to be very vigilant about some of the possible causes of acquired canine heart failure. These include heartworms, parvovirus, bacterial infection, thyroid complications and deficiencies in the diet. A lack of essential vitamins, namely vitamin E can bring about heart problems.
You can avoid acquired canine heart failure by providing him with a nutritious and healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Look for supplements that specifically target to improve cardiovascular health in canine stores online. Regularly engage your pet in light exercise to enhance his heart performance, and always make time to visit the vet for periodic check-ups to detect early signs of heart disease.
Heart failure in dogs is not the best news you want to hear for your pet, but it should not define his life. Do the best you can and enjoy each other’s company as often as possible. When you do, you will have no regrets only a stronger relationship built on amazing memories for years to come.