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This was sent to me this morning and I wanted to share it with all of you. The more informed we are the more equipped we are to help our animals in case of emergency.

Would You Know if Your Dog Had a Heart Attack
Thursday, April 1st 2010, 6:36 PM 48 0

Many dogs suffer from various heart diseases. The three major types of heart diseases found in dogs are heart murmur, enlarged heart and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The reasons for heart attack in dogs are similar to those of humans. Old age, diabetes and obesity are the main causes of heart attack in dogs. In young dogs, heart failure results from congenital abnormalities. While in case of older dogs, it is due to altered circulatory patterns. If the coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed due to hardened plaques of fats, then it prevents the blood flow to the myocardium. It results in myocardial infarction. Obese or diabetic dogs are at greater risk for coronary artery blockage. Dogs mostly suffer from a weakening of heart muscles, resulting in congestive heart failure.

Causes of Heart Attack in Dogs

Some most common causes of congestive heart failure in dogs include heartworm, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart defects, arrhythmia, degeneration of heart valves and inflammation of pericardium. Large breeds of dogs are more prone to heart disease than the smaller breeds. Some dog breeds such as Great Danes, Boxers, Dobermans, Scottish Deerhounds and Irish Wolfhounds are genetically more prone to this disease.

Dog Heart Attack Symptoms

Your dog is not able to explain the symptoms of its illness. Hence, it�s your responsibility to understand the symptoms of dog�s illness and get it treated immediately. When a dog has a heart attack, it experiences pain in the center of the chest, difficulty in breathing, sweating and pain in fore limbs. The dog tries to stretch and crane its neck sideways. There may be signs of unconsciousness such as drowsy eyes.

There are two types of congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs such as right-sided CHF and left-sided CHF. Some of the common symptoms of left-sided CHF are rapid breathing, coughing, intolerance to exercise, difficulty in breathing and fainting. If the dog suffers from right-sided CHF, then the symptoms are swollen abdomen due to fluid buildup, difficulty in breathing, intolerance for exercising, coughing and swelling of the limbs. If anytime you notice that your dog appears depressed, it displays consistent fatigue, constant coughing and body swelling, or difficulty in breathing, then it indicates the possibility of heart failure. You should immediately consult the veterinarian to seek an appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Heart Attack in Dogs

The veterinarian makes the diagnosis of congestive heart failure in dogs by checking its heartbeats using a stethoscope. Other procedures to diagnose the heart failure are measuring blood pressure, X-ray, electrocardiogram and echocardiogram.

Depending upon the causes of heart failure, the treatment plan is decided. The dog is hospitalized to stabilize its condition. Thoracocentesis is done to remove the accumulated fluid from the lungs. The dog is treated with nitroglycerine paste, digoxin and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor drugs. The dog is fed with low sodium diet and nutritional supplements.

By Reshma Jirage
Published: 8/25/2008
This is very scary, but very real. Thank you so much Linda for educating me ( Once again. xP ). I think we should do little health 'schooling' threads like this more often! It's better to know and never use it, then not know and need it.
Thanks!
[Image: BrightIdea_smilie.gif]

I just found this in the Archives...

This is important information...

So, I thought I would [Image: bump2.gif] it back to the top...
Your dog is not able to explain the symptoms of its illness. Hence, it�s your responsibility to understand the symptoms of dog�s illness and get it treated immediately. When a dog has a heart attack, it experiences pain in the center of the chest, difficulty in breathing, sweating and pain in fore limbs. The dog tries to stretch and crane its neck sideways. There may be signs of unconsciousness such as drowsy eyes.

This was Lucky right before he died. I ran and called the vet and he was gone before I hung up the phone.
Aw, geeze Kelly...
That must have been devistaiting... I'm so sorry... Sad
(11-28-2010, 09:06 PM)MySkip Wrote: [ -> ]Aw, geeze Kelly...
That must have been devistaiting... I'm so sorry... Sad

Thank you so much Bob. It was awful. I knew he was sick, but I never thought it was critical. If I had any clue I would have taken him to the emergency vet. It was Sunday night, and I had already taken the next day off from school to take him to the vet. All of a sudden he got really bad and Lauren's boyfriend said I think he is in congestive heart failure or something. He took my spot on the floor where I had been laying and holding Lucky. I ran to call the e vet and when I hung up he was gone. My consolation is he was home on his bed in Jonathan's arms.
Our old dog Samson, he basically died in my arms. It's the hardest thing a person will experience shy of it being one of their children.. I will never forget holding him in my arms as he struggled for air in the bed of dads pick-up truck. I just sat there and balled my eyes out into his vomit covered fur, I can never forget the look and feeling of his last breath.
Oh COME ON! I'm already a paranoid parent! Why did I have to read this!?!?
[quote='Apebrains' pid='63902' dateline='1305296603']
Oh COME ON! I'm already a paranoid parent! Why did I have to read this!?!?
[/quote

So you can be a more paranoid parent. Welcome to my world.
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