Just like humans, unfortunately, dogs can develop heart disease. We can take a little comfort though in the fact that early detection and treatment makes a huge difference on how well and how long your furry companion lives.

Having said this, it’s important for all dog owners to know the signs that can indicate a heart problem.


dog heart disease

Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from heart problems.

7 Signs of a Heart Problem in Dogs

  1. Sudden persistent coughing – If your dog suddenly develops a persistent cough that gets worse at night or when she’s laying down or when she stands up from a sitting or reclining position, this can point to a heart problem.
  2. Exercise Intolerance – If you start noticing that your dog has become less active and suddenly does not want to play or exercise, your alarm bells should start ringing. Another indication is being easily worn out after a very short exercise or play session or heavy breathing after exertion.
  3. Pale gums – Purplish or pale gums is also another sign of heart issue.
  4. Respiratory Distress – A dog with a heart problem will often have increased respiration rate even when asleep. The normal rate is less than 32 breaths per minute. If your dog is taking more than 32 breaths per minute, this could mean a heart problem. A dog having an abdominal effort to breathe can also indicate a heart issue.To check your dog’s respiration rate, count the number of rises or falls of her chest for 1 minute.
  5. Changes in Your Dog’s Behavior – Dogs with a heart problem will usually show increased restlessness or restlessness in general. Observe your dog especially at night and if she’s restless and keeps moving around as though she can’t decide where to lie down, this can point to a heart problem.
  6. Fluctuating Weight – Weight loss is pretty common for dogs with long-term heart disease. However, weight gain is also possible due to fluids accumulating in the abdomen. Check your dog for a bloated or pot belly.
  7. Fainting – Dogs with severe or advanced heart problem may faint or collapse. Fainting or collapsing is a medical emergency, so bring your dog to the vet immediately when this happens.

Other Obvious Signs of a Heart Problem

Here are some more obvious, general symptoms that can mean your dog is suffering from a heart problem:

  • Coughing
  • Fatigue, weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body swelling
  • Bluish tinge on the tongue
  • Rapid or very slow heart rate

Watch out for these signs and symptoms. If you see your dog showing these signs, take her to your vet immediately.

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