How to Spot Heart Disease in Your Dog

Heart disease is a very serious condition in dogs and it usually requires emergency medical care. However, in order to get your dog the required care, you will need to be able to spot the signs as soon as possible. Here are the signs that your dog may have heart disease and is in need of veterinary care.

Excessive Coughing

If your dog coughs for more than three days, then you should be concerned. While your dog may cough if they have caught a mild virus, hacking coughs that go on for a long period is often a sign of heart disease. If you see this symptom, then you should take your dog to the vet for a checkup.

Rapid Breathing

If your dog is older, then rapid breathing and breathlessness from time to time is normal. However, no matter the age of your dog, if they have consistent shortness of breath and heavy, rapid breathing, you should take them to the vet immediately because they may be suffering from heart disease.

Changes in Appearance

Watch your dog's weight. If your dog begins to lose weight rapidly while on the same diet, then you should suspect heart disease. If your dog is gaining weight and looks potbellied and bloated, then it may be also sign of heart trouble.

Intolerance of Exercise

If your usually active dog can't tolerate the level of exercise that they were once able to, then this is usually cause for concern. Observe your dog closely, if your dog has to stop halfway through regular exercise to pant and catch deep breaths, then this is a sign that they may be in need of a checkup.

Weakness and Lethargy

If any the four symptoms already listed are combined with weakness and lethargy then your dog may be having heart problems. In addition to having your dog's heart checked, you should ask the vet if a supplements are necessary to help restore your dog's energy level, especially if weakness and lethargy is combined with a loss of appetite.

Spotting the signs of heart disease in your dog early is the only way to prevent a major heart attack that could seriously damage your pet's quality of life or even end their life. If you spot any or a combination of the symptoms outlined, do not hesitate to take your dog to the emergency veterinary hospital as soon a possible.