Treatment of Heart Disease in Dogs
Dog heart disease treatment is needed for various canine heart
conditions such as
failure, congestion, degeneration and irreversible
pathological changes in cardiac features and functions. Since, heart
disease in dogs is mostly progressive and cannot be completely cured,
treatment is based upon supporting the system and enhancing its
functionality. All the treatment options for heart diseased dogs,
whether its medication, surgery or support and care is based upon
reversing the symptoms and enhancing the strength of cardiac features
and the immune system. Different dog heart treatment options are
and critical care is needed to improve chances of survival and quality
Principles of Treatment for Canine Heart Disease:
Heart disease in dogs is always treated specifically, according to
results compiled in light of a dog's history, a detailed physical
advanced procedures including radiography, electrocardiogram,
echocardiograms etc. Specific treatment may include medication,
surgery, support and critical care; selecting, combining and monitoring
of specific treatments in heart diseased dogs varies from case to case.
However, there are certain principles which are followed in order to
achieve the goal of reducing the effects of any symptoms and for
overall health of the dog heart.
These treatment heart disease dog principles in brief are;
- Chronic stretch or progressive stress over the cardiac
should be minimized. This stretch causes irreversible injuries and
irritation of cardiac fibers. Once the cardiac fibrous tissues die due
to stretch, these tissues are replaced by connective tissues. This
phenomenon in general is called “remodeling”, therefore through
medication and cardiac support remodeling should be minimized.
- In almost all dog heart diseases, fluid
accumulates in the chest
cavity, especially around the heart and pulmonary features. This edema
filled fluid should be removed, because this causes wetness and
stiffness in the lungs, which results in an inequality and fatigue of
muscles responsible for ventilation.
Treatment Heart Disease Dog Patient
Suffering from Fluid Accumulation in Dog Abdomen
- Overall cardiovascular strength and circulation should be
By improvement, not only blood circulation to vital organs, but also
the chronic stretch in the left atrium can be
effectively minimized. This is usually done with the help of specific
therapeutics, but those have severe adverse effects, therefore natural
remedies, vitamins and other supportive options are highly recommended.
- Heart rate and rhythm should be regulated as a priority.
Dog heart beats which are too slow
leaves the heart with an inability to evacuate its compounds,
while if the heart is functioning too, there isn't enough time to fill
compounds and it consumes more oxygen. Also, a dog irregular heart rate
can surely cause sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation or
Treatment Heart Disease Dog
No Visible Symptoms -
Veterinary Exam Showed bradycardia which is a slow dog heart rate
- Oxygenation or the pulmonary mechanism of the
system should be improved. Most of the arrhythmic symptoms (irregular
heart beat) in dog heart
disease are noticed due to inadequate oxygenation, therefore
can certainly resolve arrhythmia.
- The immune system should be supported and the release of
(especially adrenal hormones) should be regulated. This will help in
not only only fighting against heart disease, but also will minimize
secondary problems in other systems of the body.
- Chances of congestion, blockage and thromboembolism should
minimized. Blockage in any part of the cardiovascular system, for any
reason, can lead to sudden heart failure and ultimate death.
- If the blockage is caused by mature heartworms, these
should be immediately killed and/or removed. These causes severe
hindrance in pulmonary oxygenation and flow of blood from lungs.
Similarly, any anatomical deformity confirmed through advanced
diagnostic techniques should be addressed immediately (medically and
surgically) to minimize chances of congestion and damage to cardiac
All of the aforementioned principles are followed to ultimately achieve
goals of successful treatment heart disease dog therapy and treatment
heart disease dog, which is
indicated as the dog heart rate and respiratory rates are not increased
rest and a notable respiratory sinus arrhythmia is achieved. The status
of such animal;
after successful dog heart therapy is declared as “Functional Class 1”,
as long as
the condition remains controlled throughout any monitoring and
Specific treatment heart disease dog includes the
different systemic cardiovascular drugs. These drugs consist of
classes and kinds of dog heart medicines such as:
- Positive Inotropes; These drugs are used
improve cardiac muscular strength for heart contraction. Different
drugs such as
Glycosides, Beta-Adrenergic Agonists, Phosphodiestrase inhibitors and
ACE Inhibitors are used for this purpose in specific cardiac-myopathies
congestive canine heart failure.
- Vasoactive Drugs;
These drugs specifically treat the tension and load
on the vessels in body. In several congestive natured heart diseases in
dogs and arrhythmia, these drugs are administered. Arterial dilators
and Arterio-venous dilators are two different groups of vasoactive
- Antiarrhythmic Drugs; These
drugs specifically treat arrhythmia or
abnormal electrical activity in cardiac tissues. The irregular heart
rhythm or rate is specifically treated and regulated with these drugs.
These are divided into four different classes according to their effect
on the myocardial (cardiac muscular) cells.
- Drugs acting
on blood or related organs;
In treating heart disease in
dogs, some specific drugs, are used to not only accomplish the
aforementioned goals, but also to act on the blood directly or blood
forming organs to enhance the effectiveness of therapy.
Hematinics are drugs used for enhancing amount of
hemoglobin in blood.
Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Iron, Epoetin alfa and anabolic steroids are
some examples of hematinics.
Anticoagulants are the drugs used for reducing the chance
of any blockage
in the cardiovascular system caused by thromboembolism. In some cases,
hemostatics are required to control the thinning of blood, which leads
increased blood pressure.
- Surgery: Surgery is another
specific treatment plan, which is always
combined with the above mentioned medical plans for treatment heart
disease dog. Surgery is indicated only in medical emergencies,
where the anatomical deformities, blockages, congestion and any severe
cardiomyopathy leaves a dog with the risk of sudden death. Surgery is
therefore performed to save the life of the patient. Surgery should be
combined with the appropriate specific and supportive medical
approaches outlined above.
- Dog heart transplants: It
is becoming more common in veterinary medicine to transplant organs,
with an emphasis on the kidneys. Dog heart transplants are not
considered feasible for several reasons:
- The inability to collect a healthy heart from a brain dead dog.
The situation is further complicated by veterinary hospitals that do
not have the necessary equipment to detect brain death
- A lack of infrastructure to capture a heart at the time of an
accidental dog death
- Taking a living dog's heart would kill the donor
Supportive Treatment of Heart Disease in Dogs:
Along with specific dog heart treatment plans, i.e.
and supportive care is essential to achieve the goals of effective
canine heart care. The goals of strengthening the cardiovascular
of circulation, heart muscle support and strengthening can be
effectively achieved with supportive measures.
Natural remedies and multi –
vitamins ans nutritional supplements that are some of options for
care. In some cases, specific heart strengthening therapeutics may
have a risk of heart failure and worsening of cardio-myopathies,
(especially in older dogs with suppressed immunity). Natural remedies
have been proven to be an effective alternative with few or no side
effects. Natural Remedies to consider include:
and Circulation Tonic: These types of products are formulated
to help the body improve overall heart condition by strengthening the
veins, improving circulation and overall heart health.
and Liver Support: This product is formulated to boost immune
Tonic: This product in particular helps to boost energy
levels by supporting blood flow and oxygen in the body.
Natural remedies are not a dog heart cure, but a
way to help speed recovery and then live with a canine heart
condition. Consult your veterinarian about how this
can work along side specific treatments recommended.
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Veterinary Manual (Merck & Co.)
Washington State University - College