Common Heart Problems in Dogs

Heart problems in dogs are just as serious as similar problems in human beings are. Unfortunately, however, many human owners of pets do not realize the potential dangers of these conditions. Because the symptoms of heart problems may be similar to those of many other, more mild conditions, it's oftentimes difficult to tell if your pet's heart is healthy just by observing him. Therefore, it's important that you familiarize yourself with the potential problems that might face your pet's heart so that you can be best prepared to deal with them as they come up. Roughly 15% of dogs will suffer some type of heart problem over the course of their lives.

Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

One of the more serious and immediately dangerous problems that dogs suffer from regarding their heart is a congestive heart failure episode. This occurs after many years of damage to the heart and consists of the heart muscle no longer being able to operate correctly. The progression of the condition may be quick, but it generally develops over time. As such, dogs suffering from congestive heart failure can have their symptoms mediated in certain ways and with proactive medication regimens. This condition is much more common in older dogs than in younger ones, and also in smaller breeds over larger ones.

Heart Murmurs in Dogs

Heart murmur is a relatively common heart problem that happens to many younger dogs. While in some cases these murmurs will go away on their own, in others they will not and will continue to require vigilant care for many years or even throughout the rest of the dog's life. A heart murmur is an electrical jumble that confuses the normal beating and pumping of the heart. In many cases they are not severe or life threatening, but it's important that you and your vet know your pet's status at all times, and that you closely watch for signs of trouble.

Arrhythmia in Dogs

An arrhythmia is similar to a heart murmur, but consists of a periodic irregularity in the way that your pet's heart beats. These are oftentimes quite serious issues, but can typically be remedied through medicines of various types.

Heart Valve Disease

One of the less common conditions on this list, though still relatively common in dogs, is heart valve disease. In this case, the valves of the heart become damaged and can no longer function properly. Without immediate treatment and modification of lifestyle, your pet's health and life are in great jeopardy when he's suffering from heart valve disease.

These are only a few of the many different types of heart problems that afflict dogs. Certain breeds and dogs with specific health conditions may be predisposed to heart problems, so it's a good idea to speak with your vet about what to watch out for and how to recognize the symptoms of a heart problem when your dog suffers from one of these issues.