This Article is About
heart disease
cavalier king charles
heart murmur
types of heart disease
dry cough
loss of appetite
rest period
lack of energy
Canine Heart Disease - Can You Help!
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Canine Heart Disease - Can you help!

There is a fund that has been set up called the Million Heart Challenge to help dogs with heart disease. When the website has reached one million visitors, Boehringer Ingleheim Vetmedica Inc.are going to make a donation of $15,000 to the American College of Internal Veterinary Medicine for research into canine cardiology. Boehringer Ingleheim Vetmedica Inc. are also giving away one vacation to a pet owner and one to a veterinarian who takes part in the challenge.

10 percent of the 75 million dogs in the United States have heart disease. Knowing what to look out for could be the key to getting the early treatment needed to give your dog a healthy happy life. Some of the symptoms are:

  • A lack of energy and willingness to exercise
  • General fatigue, lethargy and sleeping more during the day
  • Increase panting or puffing
  • A dry cough especially during the night or first thing in the morning
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss

There are two types of heart disease. These are:

  1. Acquired Heart Diseases are those that are usually the result of normal wear and tear, infection or injury.
  2. Congenital Heart Diseases are those present from birth

With latest drug therapies the outlook is not all bleak. Early detection can mean your dog can live a healthy, happy life. That is why it is so important to ensure your dog has a physical check up with your vet at least once every year. Diet and exercise play a vital role in your dogs treatment of heart disease. Your dog may require an initial rest period but exercise will be encouraged as soon as possible. You should avoid salty food for your dog.

I myself have had experience of heart disease in dogs. My last dog, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel called Casper, had mitral valve disease. He was diagnosed with a heart murmur at the age of three. The vet kept an eye on him and for a few years he was doing fine. He started coughing quite a bit and seemed a little breathless. He was eventually put on medication and this seemed to help him. He also had epilepsy which meant he had to have more medication. By the age of seven, both his heart disease and epilepsy were getting worse. He was not very tolerant of exercise and eventually his quality of life deteriorated to such that we could not let him continue to suffer and he was put to sleep. Cavalier King Charles spaniels are prone to mitral valve disease so any research into these diseases will be welcomed by me.

With canine heart disease your dog will require close monitoring and you will need to have regular check ups with your vet.


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  about 6 years ago
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