Some people believe the heart is where the soul resides. While a dog’s heart may touch our lives in emotional ways, it is also the most important organ to a dog’s health. The heart pumps blood through the arteries, veins and capillaries delivering oxygen and other nutrients to all tissues of the body. The health of the heart can be compromised by age, infection, exercise level and weight.
Symptoms of Heart Disease in Dog:
- Labored Breathing / Shortness of Breath
- Loss of control in their rear legs
- Reduced Appetite
- Lethargy / Weakness
The most common type of heart disease in dogs is chronic valvular disease where the valves in the heart wear out as the pet ages. When the valves of the heart do not close all of the way, the heart becomes less efficient and through a stethoscope you can hear a murmur. Genetic defects are possible, but most heart disease is acquired in older dogs. Another common cause of heart problems in dogs is a parasite called heartworm where the worms actually grow in the heart blocking the blood vessels. Surprisingly, dental health is often linked to heart health. When a dog has a large amount of plaque and tartar on their teeth their mouth is full of bacteria. Ingesting that bacteria every time they swallow increases a dog’s risk of developing heart conditions. The best way to take care of your dog’s heart is to make sure they see the vet on an annual basis so the vet can listen to their heart and catch any disorders before they advance.
Morning surge of ventricular arrhythmias in a new arrhythmogenic canine model of chronic heart failure is associated with attenuation of time-of-day dependence of heart rate and autonomic adaptation and reduced cardiac chaos.