Dog Heart Disease
No pet owner wants to find out that their dog is suffering from heart disease, but the experts at Germantown Vet are here to help. We can diagnose your pet and create a thorough treatment plan that is designed entirely around your dog’s specific needs.
Types of Heart Disease
There are two types of heart disease that are common in dogs:
- Mitral valve disease – this is when the mitral valve (which is located between the left atrium and the left ventricle) thickens and becomes distorted.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy – this is when the muscular wall of the heart becomes thinner than usual and the heart enlarges, meaning it can’t contract effectively.
You cannot be sure which type of heart disease your dog has without proper testing and a diagnosis from a trained professional. The experienced veterinarians at Germantown Vet can examine and diagnose your dog so a treatment plan can be created.
Call us today to set up an appointment (240-252-7467240-252-7467).
Symptoms of Heart Disease in Dogs
Early diagnosis is incredibly important when it comes to a serious illness, so it’s important that you are aware of all the symptoms of heart disease. Some symptoms your dog could be exhibiting include:
- Fainting or collapsing
- Changes in behavior
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased respiratory rate and effort
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss or gain
- Bloated abdomen
- Swelling of the legs
- Cyanosis (purple coloration of the gums), if the heart failure is severe enough
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s incredibly important to schedule an appointment with Germantown Vet right away! At our state-of-the-art facility, we have experienced veterinarians who are experts at identifying and diagnosing canine heart disease. Diagnosing the correct type of heart disease your dog has will be crucial in his or her treatment plan, and our highly skilled vets can combine a number of different testing methods in order to determine which type of heart disease your pet has.
Tests for Diagnosing Heart Disease
Physical examination – When it comes to accurately diagnosing canine heart disease (or any condition), the first step will always be a thorough physical examination. This allows our veterinarians the chance to uncover any symptoms your dog is exhibiting that may suggest which type of heart disease your dog is suffering from. For instance, they can check for heart murmurs, evidence of fluid in the lungs or abdomen, and other signs.
During the physical examination, we will check your dog’s medical history and ask about his or her recent behavior, including lethargy, heavy breathing, coughing, etc. This information helps us fully understand your dog’s symptoms and makes it easier to diagnose canine heart disease.
X-ray – One of the most important diagnostic procedures when it comes to canine heart disease is a chest radiograph (x-ray). The x-ray can show if there are any abnormalities in the size or shape of your dog’s heart, large blood vessels, or evidence of fluid in the lungs.
EKG or ECG – An electrocardiogram will measure the electrical activity of the heart, and it is the only type of diagnostic test that can detect heart arrhythmias.
NT-proBNP blood test – The NT-proBNP blood test can help determine whether the symptoms your dog is experiencing are due to canine heart disease or respiratory disease.
Identifying underlying cause – If testing is required to determine the underlying cause of canine heart disease, we may perform:
- Thyroid testing
- Heartworm testing
- Bacterial infection testing
- Taurine level testing
Schedule Your Physical Exam Today
If you believe your dog is exhibiting signs of dog heart disease, schedule your physical examination immediately. In most cases, a combination of testing will be required to accurately diagnose canine heart disease, and the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin. At our state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, we have all the tools and diagnostic equipment necessary to identify your dog’s heart disease and begin treatment right away. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.