How Common Heart Murmurs In Dogs Could Result In Future Canine Cardiac Disease

Published by doggie health care on Tagged Keep Them Healthy & Safe!, Health

It may be a sign of canine cardiac disease if your dog is diagnosed with a common heart murmur problem.

The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine states a heart murmur is caused by abnormal blood running through the heart. Although some heart murmurs are quite normal, others often heard in aging dogs, may well be a sign that heart disease is prevalent. Listed below are the most common cardiac diseases in dogs :

1. Congenital birth defects - often obvious when the puppy is very young.
2. Degenerative valve disease - when the heart valves leak and this is found mostly in older or middle aged dogs.
3. Loss of heart muscle tissue - typically seen in young dogs or middle-aged dogs of the larger breeds.

Spotting The Disease

Quite often the disease may not be apparent until the point is reached where your dog collapses, suffers heart failure, or even sudden death. Checks can be made by your veterinarian who can use a stethoscope to listen for heart murmurs. However, as the dog owner, you are the one responsible for your animal and you should be aware of any significant changes such as difficulty in breathing, coughing, fluid retention causing the dogs abdomen to swell, and the dog not wanting to exercise.

The possibility of canine cardiac disease can be checked for by specific information regarding your dog’s breed type, age, chest x-rays, blood pressure measurements, and EKG. For total diagnosis, an ultrasound scan of your dog’s heart is necessary.

Treatment

The treatment your dog needs to nurse him back to good health will depend upon the stage the disease has reached and how severely it has affected other parts of the body. A congenital defect in a puppy can be removed by surgery.

Lifestyle management and changes in living are required when heart disease is found in an older dog. A healthy body weight, along with additional or reduced exercise, (depending on the condition of the dog), special diets, and specific medications to reduce the stress put on the dogs heart because of his condition are just some of the things to take a serious look at.

The prognosis for dogs suffering with canine heart disease will vary from dog to dog. Some may be lucky enough to have successful long-term care, while others may have a lifespan ranging anywhere from a couple weeks to a few years. Bear in mind, the earlier the heart disease condition of your dog is discovered, it will be easier to treat the dog, and he is more likely to enjoy a long, happy and healthy life.

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