Heart disease is an unfortunate but tolerable condition for your dog. Although treatments cannot reverse heart disease, your dog can live a relatively normal life. Aging is the most common reason dogs develop heart conditions, but other factors like heartworm can also lead to heart disease.
If your dog exhibits the following symptoms, take him to your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis:
- A low-pitched cough that sometimes leads to gagging
- Breathing difficulties that include shortness of breath
- Reduced ability to exercise
- Noticeable weight gain or loss
- Swelling in the abdomen
- A stethoscope exam can reveal murmurs and fluid in the lungs
- Palpation can reveal unusual pulses
- X-rays reveal heart enlargement
- An EKG can identify heart enlargement and irregular rhythms
- Blood and urine tests can reveal heartworms and the condition of other internal organs
For an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian.