One of the more serious conditions that dogs face is congestive heart failure. It is caused by an abnormality in the structure or function of the heart. This article will discuss congestive heart failure in canines.
There are two forms of this disease. In one form of heart failure, the walls of the chambers in the heart thicken. Thicker walls causes the heart to pump less efficiently. The other form is characterized by the muscles that form the walls stretching thinner. This causes the heart to enlarge.
The heart also pumps less efficiently when the heart enlarges. The heart will have to work harder to make up for reduced blood pumping efficiency. Heart failure results when the heart can no longer work hard enough to compensate.
As your dog’s heart compensates in the early stages of this disease, he will show no symptoms. This can last for months or even years. It’s common for dogs in heart failure to drool excessively and get tired quickly. It’s also common for dogs to pant or cough a lot. The appearance of a bluish tongue and gray membranes in the mouth are common symptoms of heart failure in canines.
An electrocardiogram is used to diagnose this condition. The electrocardiogram will help the vet see if there are any problems with the heart. Since this condition causes the heart to enlarge, an ultrasound will also be useful. X-rays are also common diagnostic tests for heart failure.
If your dog is diagnosed with congestive heart failure, you will have to restrict his exercise and sodium intake. The heart muscles will also need extra calcium, so he will also need to take medication for this. This will help increase pumping efficiency and reduce the heart rate.
Diuretics may also be given to treat this disease. Diuretics will help reduce accumulation of fluid in the abdomen and lungs. The blood vessels can also be tightened using ACE inhibitors to increase blood pumping efficiency.
Dogs can be affected by many common canine illnesses. Fortunately for you, you can learn about a wide range of these conditions at dog-illnesses.com. So, come by right now to become informed.
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