Dog Congestive Heart Failure
From Pet Health Learning Center
Dog Congestive Heart Failure
It is common for older dogs to suffer with what is known as congestive heart failure. It is said that this is a condition that is more common in larger dogs but it can happen to smaller dogs as well. It has been proven that congestive heart failure or CHF can be genetic which increases a dogâ€™s chance of having CHF as it gets older. When your dog has congestive heart failure its heart stops working properly and it no longer pumps the blood correctly and this can cause all sorts of problems.
Signs and Symptoms
You will see the signs of congestive heart failure when he or she starts to have trouble with the valves. Damage to the heart can cause the valves to become weaker over time and when this happens the heart can become enlarged. This means that the right amount of blood is not getting to the rest of the body and the oxygen that the dogs body needs is decreased. The lack of oxygen to the rest of the body can lead to other complications to your dog's health, as it with most cases of Dog Heart Disease.
When it comes to the types of symptoms each dog has for congestive heart failure, they are all pretty much the same. The first thing you will notice is that your dog will become less active. Their appetite will also usually start to slow down as well and your dog will eat less and less by experiencing Dog Loss of Appetite. You may also start to notice that your dog is panting most of the time no matter what he or she is doing; and you may also think that your pet has a cold as it begins to develop a cough, similar to Dog Kennel Cough.
Missing the Signs
If the diagnosis hasn't been made at this point, you may notice that your dog's abdomen is swollen and because of the lack of oxygen in the body, his gums will start to look a grayish color just as lack of oxygen in humans changes the color of our skin tone. It is common to see the symptoms of CHF start once the dog turns 5 years old but you can see it happen earlier in their life as well.
The sad part about this condition is that if the diagnosis is not made early on, the chances of the dog living a longer life are not good. This is why it is important for you to take your dog to the vet regularly for a full check up. Early detection is the best defense with congestive heart failure. Once your dog has been diagnosed with CHF, the vet will most likely prescribe medications to make the heart beat stronger. If your dog is bloated and retaining excess fluids the vet may prescribe a diuretic. This will help to get rid of the excess fluids.
If you suspect that your dog may be suffering with congestive heart failure then you need to get him or her to the vet as soon as possible so you can get a proper diagnosis and possible treatment plan for your dog.