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How to Detect and Treat Heart Problems in Dogs

Dogs can suffer from various heart conditions which are very important to recognize when they are still in an early stage because they are easier to treat and the prognosis is more likely to be good.

In general, the dogs that are most likely to suffer from this type of problem are elderly dogs, purebred dogs, small dogs and dogs with a genetic predisposition to heart problems. If you are concerned that your dog is suffering from heart problems, this article will help you detect it from early symptoms which will be very helpful for every dog owner.

We will discuss below the 5 alarming symptoms that allow you to identify them quickly. Remember that for a complete and exhaustive diagnosis you will have to go to the veterinarian.

Cardiac arrhythmias in dogs

Arrhythmias are one of the most evident symptoms of cardiac pathologies and consist of an irregularity in the heartbeat. They can be caused by numerous factors and can be very different (very slow or very fast beats, for example) but they are indicative of health problems in the dog. Take it to the vet to find out exactly what it is.

Respiratory problems in dogs

It is difficult for a master to recognize cardiac arrhythmia because it is not normal to measure the heartbeat of the dog. For this reason, the main symptom, thanks to which it is possible to understand that the dog possibly has a heart disease are respiratory problems, such as those listed below:

  1. Accelerated breathing
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Cough
  4. Heart murmur
  5. Panting breath

Even just one of these conditions can indicate that the dog has cardiovascular problems or has other health problems. Cough is one of the most common symptoms.

The dog does not want to exercise

Dogs who have heart problems feel unwell and weak when exercising: This is why they often refuse to move and start adopting a very sedentary lifestyle. Fainting, uncharacteristic lethargy, and weakness are alarm bells not to be overlooked. A healthy dog ​​accustomed to intense or moderate exercise should have no problem exercising.


Another sign that can be an indication of heart issues is frequent vomiting, even yellow (because it contains bile). Vomiting can be a symptom of numerous diseases, but it is common in animals suffering from heart problems.

A weak and lethargic dog

Finally, the last of the alarming symptoms that can indicate that the dog has heart disease is seeing that he is apathetic, lethargic and weak. We advise you to take it immediately to the vet.

Pet medications for heart problems in dogs

Enalapril for dogs with heart problems, also known as Enacard or Vasotec, Enalapril is used in dogs and cats for the treatment of heart disease and hypertension. However, it can also cause some side effects. Enalapril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (or ACE inhibitor) inhibitor, which means that Enalapril inhibits the production of angiotensin-II, which is a vasoconstrictor. These vasoconstrictors cause the blood vessels to narrow which ultimately leads to an increase in blood pressure and the need for the heart to work harder to pump blood through the body. This causes the muscles of the heart to get overworked and enlarge as a result, constricting arteries and the space inside the chambers.

Enalapril is prescribed by vets to manage or treat heart conditions and hypertension and high blood pressure. Enalapril and other ACE inhibitors are thought to likely reduce the amount of protein that is allowed to escape through the kidneys and urine.


Dogs can suffer from several health problems that affect the heart, among which we highlight the dilated cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. To know exactly what your dog’s heart problem is, you will have to take it to the veterinarian who will carry out a diagnosis with the electrocardiogram, an ultrasound and possibly also an X-ray.

It depends on each case. Depending on the diagnosis, the veterinarian will give you the corresponding drugs and recommend any changes in the life of the dog: it all depends on factors such as the age, breed and physical strength of the dog. In severe cases, surgery may be required. To prevent or recognize dog diseases when they are still in an early stage, it is important to take them to the vet every 6 or 12 months to get the situation under control.

Originally posted 2020-01-28 21:37:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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