Congestive heart failure in dogs

How to Recognize Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs


Unfortunately, congestive heart failure in dogs is quite a frequent disease just like in the case of people’s diseases. However, despite the absence of the cure, modern medicine gives dogs the opportunity to get good treatment and live many years without any problems.


In case your dog belongs to a breed that is inclined (for example, small dogs) to the disease or your dog already has it, it is important to know all the symptoms of congestive heart failure to help your dog and prevent fatal consequences. Here apart from knowledge of symptoms, an extremely important thing is time: as you know, the disease leads to an attack and it’s a matter of a few hours to escape critical harm to the heart tissue.


If you find that the situation with your dog with congestive heart failure is critical and you wonder when to put it down, then you should consult with a vet before making a decision, there are many factors needed to be taken into account.


It is really important to visit a vet in general if you even suspect any disease because symptoms may belong to absolutely different types of diseases. One more widespread heart disease is heart murmurs. If you’re looking for heart murmurs in a dog’s symptoms, the most right diagnostic is listening with a stethoscope. As for dog heart murmur treatment cost, the average cost is $2,500, but it varies approximately from $1,800 to $5,000.


  1. Rapid Breathing

Congestive heart failure in dogs

If you wonder “Why is my dog breathing so fast?” or “My dogs breathing fast and shallow” at some moment in the future, don’t rush to explain the process by physical activity in case you don’t know for sure that a dog was busy with activity because rapid breathing is one of the most important symptoms of congestive heart failure. The reason for the accelerated breathing is that heart valves leak blood into the dog’s body. As a result, the heart size increases as well as pressure on the lunges. To gain more oxygen, the organism starts the process of intensive breathing.


So, what should you do? Observe the behavior of a dog, ask other people if they played with a dog or not and if not, wait for some time and make a measurement of the dog’s breathing. It ought to vary from 10 to 35 breaths per minute. If breaths achieve 40 or more, call an ambulance.


If your dog sounds congested and you know that dog breathing problems are caused not by heart failure, home remedies, on the contrary, can be applied, google the methods according to the problem (overweight, asthma, seasonal allergies, old age, or blockage of the throat can call hard breathing). Reasons for hard breathing are also caused by features of each breed, for example, serious chihuahua breathing problems are mostly a result of pulmonic stenosis and tracheal collapse.

Congestive heart failure in dogs

Such a big pressure on the lungs may cause a lack of oxygen in organisms, so congestive heart failure leads to a necessity of an oxygen tank, an oxygen cage, or the other kind of oxygen therapy applied for congestive heart failure. Besides, an x-ray or other procedures will be made in the vet clinic to learn if there’s a build-up of fluids.

  1. Lack of Physical Activity

Congestive heart failure in dogs

One of congestive heart failure in dogs symptoms is a lack of physical activity. Since the owner is a person who knows a dog better than anyone else, it should be quite easy to notice the change in the dog’s behavior. Particularly, However, understanding may be complicated by the character of a dog. For example, a dog can be not really active in general, so it becomes harder to see the change, especially if an owner is not attentive. One more case when it is not easy to notice that something is wrong is when a dog has a changeable character – its activity may vary from day to day.


  1. Gum and Tongue Colors

Congestive heart failure in dogs

In the vet clinic blood tests and other tests to check the level of oxygen in the dog’s organism will be taken. In-home conditions you can find out it by the color of the gums and the tongue of the dog. Normally, the color of the gums and the tongue is pink. When there’s oxygen insufficiency, these arts of the dog’s body become blue. Oxygen insufficiency can be easily explained by the reasons mentioned higher.


Heart explosion caused by a leak of blood results in pressure on the lungs, there’s less space for the air. However, pay attention to the fact that some breeds, which are Chow Chow and Chinese Shar-Pei, have a blue tongue by nature. No matter if it’s congestive heart failure or some other disease in dogs, please, take a dog to a vet if you notice that the gums and the tongue of the dog turn blue. There’s not much time before consequences come as a result of lack of oxygen and build-up of fluids.


  1. Coughing

Congestive heart failure in dogs


One more sign of congestive heart failure in dogs is coughing. A dog starts to cough because of the liquid in the lungs, its amount increases and the liquid goes up achieving the throat of the poor dog. Check other symptoms of congestive heart failure in dogs, for example, check if your dog has congested breathing. Remember if a dog had problems with the heart or lungs before (such as COPD in dogs). Check if something is stuck in the dog’s throat by opening its mouth. However, you can’t be slow, give a dog some food and water and bring the dog to a vet clinic if coughing continues for more than an hour. If you don’t see any other signs of heart failure, you still should take a dog to the vet to find out the reason for a symptom.


  1. Previous Signs & Sudden Changes


Some diseases have a way to call congestive heart failure. Among them, there’s a heart murmur that strengthens and causes heart expansion and, eventually, heart failure itself. That’s why it is necessary to observe a dog’s behavior. Sudden, even small changes of behavior or physiological processes may be a sign of an approaching disaster. For example, a dog can lose appetite or not bark at night as it usually does. Change of breathing is extremely important here, too.


So, as you can see, if owners of dogs will be as attentive and aware of a disease enough as it is needed, then many dogs facing a dangerous disease will live a long and happy life.


That was all about congestive heart failure in dogs. We hope the information was useful and wish that your dog would not meet this awful illness ever.


author’s recommendations: Why is Your Dog Losing Weight?



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.