Three Health Problems That Could Cause Your Dog's Heart To Fail

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Understanding Pet Health Conditions

Hello, my name is Selena. Welcome to my site about pet health. When your pet is feeling under the weather, all you can do is take him or her to the vet for a checkup. The vet uses diagnostic equipment and knowledge to find out the cause of your pet’s distress. Vets can perform treatments or prescribe medication that helps your pet to quickly heal from the illness or injury. There are so many different pet health conditions, so I decided to create this site to go over them all. I invite you to come along on this journey and learn more about pet health conditions. Thanks.


Three Health Problems That Could Cause Your Dog's Heart To Fail

24 May 2016
 Categories: Pets & Animals, Blog

True "heart attacks" in dogs is very rare. For one, dogs metabolize fats differently than humans, so plaque build up and blockages in the arteries are not usually a problem. This doesn't mean that your dog can't suffer from a heart blockage or other problems that could cause, fainting or even sudden death. Here are some types of health conditions that could cause your pet's heart to fail.

Mitral valve disease:

The mitral valve controls to flow of blood between the lower and upper left ventricles of the heart. This valve works under high pressure and can wear out as your dog ages. This causes problems with blood flow and the heart has to work harder. Eventually, this can lead to heart failure. One of the first things your veterinarian may notice when checking for this problem is a heart murmur. Usually, it can be left untreated until your dog starts showing signs of heart trouble. Treatment usually involves drugs which alleviate some of the pressure on the heart.

Adrenal and thyroid diseases:

Your dog's adrenal and thyroid glands have a direct effect on the heart. Adrenal problems can cause blood pressure issues and electrolyte imbalances as well an an irregular heart rhythm. Thyroid problems can cause the heart to beat too slowly causing it to lose efficiency. Dogs with these types of issues will usually exhibit appetite problems, lethargy and changes in the skin and mucous membranes. The only way to get a true diagnosis of these types of gland issues is through specialized tests.


Heartworms are parasites that directly affect your dog's heart by entering and attaching to the interior chambers of your dog's heart. They can also affect the lungs and other organs in your dog's bodies if left untreated. Dogs get them from mosquito bites and it often takes months before the parasites become problematic. At first, your dog may not seem sick at all, but as the infestation worsens, he or she will begin to show signs of heart problems such as problems breathing, lethargy and swelling in the abdomen. Eventually, cardiovascular collapse will happen and your dog could die. Fortunately, this issue can be easily prevented through regular doses of preventative heartworm medication.

Many owners will say that their dog seemed perfectly fine before they suddenly died from a heart condition. Therefore, it's important that your dog gets a regular checkup by your veterinary services professional to check for these types of issues. If caught early, many problems can be treated or even cured giving your dog a chance at a longer, healthier life.