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My 10 year Bichon Frise Dog Has Enlarged Heart. What are the causes and treatments.

(November 3, 2011)

What causes an enlarged heart in a dog?

The condition of an enlarged heart in a dog can be very difficult to diagnose. Some of the main symptoms of a dog suffering from an enlarged heart include coughing, difficulty in breathing, an enlarged abdomen that is filled with fluid, and collapse. Unfortunately most of these symptoms surface during the later stages, when the scope of treatment is greatly limited. Although there is no known cure for the condition of an enlarged heart, there are treatments available that can help to prolong and improve the quality of life.

The main causes of enlarged heart in dogs are not really known. However it is a condition that is associated with taurine deficiencies and also adriamycin deficiencies. This disease of an enlarged heart is seen to affect middle aged, male dogs. This condition is particularly common among the larger breed of dogs like Great Danes, Cocker Spaniels, Saint Bernard’s, Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds. An enlarged heart condition is rather uncommon among the smaller breeds. An enlarged heart in a dog will not always cause visible symptoms. . This condition is usually diagnosed with the help of X-rays, an Echocardiography or an Electrocardiography. An enlarged heart is a serious condition that can be fatal, causing heart failure.

Submitted by N on November 3, 2011 at 12:02


What are the symptoms and treatment for enlarged heart in dogs?

A dog suffering from an enlarged heart can never ever really be cured. The disease is a lot more prevalent among the larger dog breeds, as compared to small dogs, but it could occur. Some of the larger breeds that are more prone to this condition of an enlarged heart include Cocker spaniels, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernard’s and German Shepherds. It is also more prevalent among large, middle aged, male dogs. This condition is linked to deficiencies in adriamycin and taurine. The real cause of this disease in dogs is not known.

Some of the main symptoms of an enlarged heart in dogs include cough, heart failure, difficultly in breathing and also presence of an enlarged abdomen, caused by the accumulation of fluid. These symptoms are exhibited in the later stages of this condition and are therefore indicative of the disease having progressed. It is not easy to diagnose the condition of enlarged heart in the initial stages. Cocker Spaniels are found to be most responsive to treatment as compared to most other dogs afflicted with the condition. Treatment can only help in prolonging the life of the dog. For many breeds of dogs, treatment will simply help to prolong the life of the dog for around six months.
Submitted by N on October 17, 2011 at 04:48


How to prevent heart disease in dogs?

A dog’s heart is not very different from the human heart, and it comprises of four chambers. A dog with a healthy heart should have a heart beat anywhere between 60 beats to 160 beats when the animal is at rest. In general, the larger dog breeds are seen to have slower heart rates as compared to smaller dog breeds. In fact, puppies are found to have very fast heart rates which could be around 220 betas per minute.

Heart disease in dogs is not uncommon. Congenital heart disease in dogs is normally due to hereditary factors. It is important for breeders of dogs to screen those dogs that are prone to this condition from 6 weeks to 8 weeks of age. When dealing with heart disease in dogs, treatment starts of with ensuring that the dog’s diet is a healthy and nutritious one. Another way to prevent heart disease in dogs is to ensure that they get adequate amounts of exercise and live healthy lifestyles. It is also vital to keep the dog’s teeth healthy and clean. If a dog is suffering from some periodontal disease which is untreated it can lead to liver, kidney or even heart diseases. Ensure that the dog eats quality food and not junk food. Try and include foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
Submitted by N on October 7, 2011 at 06:10


Today the clear distinction between pet and family is slowly vanishing and more and more families have begun to treat their pets very much as a normal member of the family – more often than not even doing more for the animal. Most pets make great companions and pets like dogs and cats are highly regarded not only for their sense of loyalty, but also for their high level of interaction. A pet owner will always cringe at the site of his or her animal in any kind of physical pain and the fact that most animals prefer to suffer in silence right up until the condition is almost completely out of control only means that any chances of early detection of even a very serious condition are highly unlikely. A dog having an enlarged heart is one of the more common dog heart disease and is prevalent primarily in middle aged canines or dogs from the larger breeds. The condition primarily involves the animals heart being unable to pump the blood properly because of enlargement – thereby also causing a distinct lack in the animals body to be able to move calcium ions along. Studies have shown that all pets that have suffered because of congestive heart failure have also been diagnosed with having enlarged hearts.

Because of the fact that the condition is rather common, the symptoms need to be looked out for – especially when the animal tends to reach middle age. The symptoms are few and primarily consist of coughing and heart failure with some dogs also facing a distinct difficulty in breathing while others may also suffer from a collapsed or enlarged abdomen. Dog with enlarged hearts will also suffer from certain intolerance towards exercise because of the added strain that the performance is placing on the already fragile heart muscle while others may even go into unconsciousness. While there are a few medications that have been developed to help the heart contract, no definitive cure has yet been developed to help fight dog enlarged heart. Diuretics will generally make up a significant portion of the animals treatment to help remove the excess fluid buildup in the lungs and abdomen. One must also accept the fact that in some cases, there is really not much that can be done as the condition could easily be the result of the dogs genes or be triggered by some unknown conditions that affect the animals health. Taking your bichon frise dog to your local veterinarian for a full checkup should give you a better insight into what the likeliest cause is and the treatment options available.
Submitted by N M on July 28, 2010 at 05:41


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