Can Dogs Have Heart Disease?
Some pet owners think that heart disease only affects humans and that dogs are somehow immune, perhaps due to their sheer cuteness. Sadly, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Studies estimate that 7.8 million dogs in the United States suffer from heart disease.
That number is even more staggering when you realize that it accounts for 10% of the American canine population. However, it isn’t the end of the world if Fido is diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions. Food, exercise, and medication can all curb the effects of such issues.
Signs of Heart Disease in Dogs
A key indicator of heart disease in canines are coughs that don’t subside after a few days. This is usually due to the fact that fluid can accumulate in the lungs when the heart doesn’t function effectively.
This leads to ventricular back flow that makes blood gather in the lungs, thus causing the coughing. If your dogs have a persistent cough for a week or more, then you should get them checked up by a licensed veterinarian.
As the heart deteriorates and suffers from hindered performance, organs like the brain may struggle to get sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Blood flow to the dog’s brain can also be reduced, which will increase the odds of syncope — i.e., fainting — as a result.
Various things could trigger these blackouts, including coughing or excessive exercise. It’s important to get your dogs checked out if they suffer from blackouts so you can pinpoint the cause early on and nip the problem in the bud.
Behavioral shifts could also serve as a red flag that your dog may be suffering from heart disease. These changes could take the form of a sudden drop in appetite, trends of isolation, or refusal to engage in activities that they previously enjoyed.
If your dog is uncharacteristically reluctant to play with you, then it may be the result of a physiological problem. Early treatment can improve prognosis, which is why regular checkups are essential.
If your dog is displaying some of the signs we covered above, then you might want to get them checked up at the vet. That being said, some furry friends can get nervous when it’s time to visit the clinic.
Hence, you might want to consider reaping the calming benefits of hemp products to get your adorable buddies to chill out before the appointment.