Dogs Dogs and Heart Disease

Published on February 7th, 2014 | by Debbie Martin


The Common Causes of Heart Disease in Dogs

If you have a canine companion, it is important to know about heart disease and the risks that it carries with it. Unfortunately, heart disease is very common in dogs and this condition has a number of different causes.

There are two types of heart disease in dogs – acquired or congenital. An acquired heart disease will occur because of wear and tear on the structures of the heart over the years. Also, it could be caused by an injury or an infection. In contrast, congenital heart disease will be present at birth and can inherited from the dog’s parents.

Common Causes of Congenital Heart Disease

Vet Checking Dogs HeartWhat are some of the most commonly seen types of heart defects that are congenital in dogs? Here are a few examples of congenital heart problems in dogs:

·         Patent Ductus Arteriosus occurs when the blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery and the aorta in the developing fetus doesn’t close properly after birth.

·         Atrial Septal Defects are abnormal openings between the right and the left atria.

·         Aortic stenosis is another heart defect commonly seen in large dogs – which is a narrowing of the aorta as it leaves the left ventricle.

·         Pulmonic Stenosis is another common problem, which is a narrow valve that allows blood to flow from the heart to the lungs.

Common Causes of Acquired Heart Disease

Acquired heart disease is also a major heart problem that you should look out for. Here are some of the common reasons why dogs acquire heart disease:

·         Small breed dogs are particular susceptible to valvular disease, which can damage the mitral valve.

·         Myocardial diseases can affect the muscle of the heart and are more common in large dogs.

·         Injuries or infections of the heart can increase the risk of acquired heart disease, including parvovirus infection or heartworm.

·         Pericardial disease can affect the sac that surrounds the heart, which is called the pericardium. This can restrict the heart from being able to beat properly.

·         Diseases that affect the electrical system that regulates the heart and make it beat irregularly can cause abnormal heart beats and rhythms.

It is important that you take your dog to the vet if you suspect that it is suffering from any type of heart disease. Many of the different types of heart disease cause similar symptoms and proper diagnosis is important, so that the problem can be treated.

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About the Author

Debbie has worked for Beeston Animal Health for a number of years and although generally involved with the marketing these days she has a great deal of knowledge on many things to do with small animals.

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