Heart disease in dogs is common. There are many different causes. Heart disease can lead to heart failure.
Note: this article has been provided for information only. A veterinarian is the only one who can give you advice about your dog’s health. It you have any concerns, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Outlined below are some of the most common symptoms of heart disease
Coughing will often be the first symptom you would notice if your dog has heart disease. Sometimes dogs will have a minor cough which will disappear in a few days. Kennel cough is a contagious disease which dogs often bring back from boarding kennels. It sounds really bad but is not a serious disease.
If your dog has a persistent cough which lasts more than 3 days, it is best to be on the safe side and take him to see a vet.
Shortness of Breath
Dogs pant when they are hot or after exercise. If you notice your dog panting at other times you should investigate further. As the heart gets weaker it is less able to pump fresh blood around the body. The lungs work harder to keep up the supply of oxygen and this causes the panting. When you are exercising your dog if he starts to pant earlier or harder than usual, this could also be a cause for concern.
Fainting is a sudden loss of consciousness. Your dog will recover by himself. It is caused by the brain not receiving enough blood from the heart.
If your dog is not as keen on exercise as he used to be this can be an indication of heart failure. As the heart starts to fail it will have a hard time keeping up the oxygen supply. Your dog may just find it easier to lay in his bed. Fatigue can be a symptom of other conditions and it is difficult for an owner to be sure what exactly is causing it. Of course, an older dog is naturally less energetic than a younger dog.
Your dog may start to behave differently if he is suffering from heart disease. He may lose interest in his ball or toys. Things that used to excite hime may have lost their appeal. They may appear generally depressed.
As the owner, these differences will be immediately obvious to you.
Loss of Appetite
One thing that has defined all my dogs has been appetite. They seem to be ready for food at all times. When this changes, it is a sure sign that something is wrong. The problem is, loss of appetite can be a symptom of conditions other than heart disease too.
If a dog has lost his appetite, then obviously he will lose weight
All the symptoms of heart disease can also be symptoms of other conditions. This makes it very difficult to work out what the problem is. The best piece of advice I can give you is if your dog has any of the symptoms outlined above, take him to your vet for a check up. It is better to be safe than sorry.