Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM
Heart problems can happen to dogs of any age. Some can be congenital problems from birth all the way to acquired heart problems which typically develop over time. There can be many causes of heart troubles such as age, breed, diet, or obesity. Today I’m talking about a very broad and generalized overview of heart problems. Your veterinarian would be the best source of information regarding any specific heart related questions you may have for your pet.
Clinical signs of potential heart troubles can be exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing, lethargy, coughing, and weakness or collapse. If it is suspected that a dog has heart troubles, the veterinarian may want to perform tests such as bloodwork, blood pressure, and/or chest x-rays depending on the findings from the physical exam, history, age of the pet etc. Other tests for heart problems could include an ECG to look at the heart rhythm or an echocardiogram which is an ultrasound of the heart. There are many different treatment options depending on the diagnosis.
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Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.