Heart disease is a term that encompasses a variety of heart-related conditions and while many people know it is a serious condition in humans, those same people may not know that it affects their pets as well. The following are the most common forms of heart disease, and a little information on each.
Cardiomyopathy – This is a condition of dysfunction of the heart muscle, which results in the enlargement of the heart. This condition may be caused by thickened or thinned heart walls. Symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, panting, and coughing. Many pets die within six months of diagnosis, but quality of life can be increased with a variety of medications. Veterinary cost for treatment of this condition starts at $500.
Some of the most common breeds prone to cardiomyopathy are the Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, German Shorthaired Pointer, Great Dane, Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Siamese cat, and Siberian cat.
Stroke – A stroke is caused when the pet’s blood supply doesn’t get to the brain, usually due to a blood clot or a brain hemorrhage. Swelling can occur with this as well, which leads to additional problems. The most common symptoms include staggering, falling, circling, dizziness, and vomiting. Strokes occur very quickly and can be quite scary, but most dogs recover from strokes. Prevention is key and includes keeping the dog on a healthy diet and allowing for enough daily exercise.
Congestive Heart Failure – This is a condition where the heart does not sufficiently provide blood flow to meet the needs of the body. This leads to fluid buildup in other organs. This condition can be congenital or caused from heartworm disease, heart muscle disease, valve degeneration, or arrhythmia of the heart. Symptoms include panting, coughing, and trouble bleeding. Sometimes swelling in the abdomen and legs can occur. There is no cure for congestive heart failure, but it is helpful to reduce exercise and sodium intake. Medications may also be prescribed. Cost for treatment can run over $2,000.
The main breed prone to congestive heart failure is the Cocker Spaniel.
posted by (Heather Rey)
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