Can My Dog Develop Heart Disease?

Q

Can my dog develop heart disease?

A

Certainly. Many of our older canine friends will struggle with heart disease. The most common symptom you may notice is chronic coughing particularly at night or early in the morning. This symptom occurs from fluid buildup in the lungs as a result of poor heart performance and is commonly called congestive heart failure. Often, a heart murmur also exists. A heart murmur is a whooshing sound heard through a stethoscope which indicates a heart valve problem. Because of the valve problem, the heart dilates and weakens.

Fortunately, dogs rarely have actual heart attacks. Dogs do not build up the dangerous plaque within their blood vessels as humans do. There fore, treatment for heart disease in dogs is very effective. Oral medications can extend their years comfortably and with few symptoms allowing for a gentle “senior” season.

If you suspect your older friend is having heart issues, let us know. We can help. An exam or an X-ray or ultrasound can furnish you with a diagnosis so that treatment can be started immediately. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, please call us at Hudson Veterinary Hospital, 330-650-2929.

Dr. Bob