There are several reasons a dog may have heart disease. In some cases heart disease is actual genetic, meaning that a parent also had the issue and passed it on. In most cases heart disease actually forms later in the dogs life due to several causes. One of the leading causes of heart disease is improper nutrition.
In other words the dog owners have not supplied a healthy diet, they gave the dog human fatty food, or the dog didn't get enough exercise to counter act the diet they were on. You will find that cancer is usually genetic or a result of a mutation in the dog's blood cells that form a mass on the heart. This is the worst type of heart disease in a dog and is often deadly. There are symptoms to help you diagnose the early stages of heart disease and we will be looking at the different heart diseases and their treatment below.
As mentioned heart cancer is one of the worst diseases a dog can contract. The cells in the heart mutate forming a tumor mass either inside the heart or around the heart. When this occurs there is a blockage of blood flow, usually resulting in dizziness, clumsiness, fainting, lameness, and seizures. You will find with heart cancer the best treatment is usually surgery. Some masses are too big for surgery and in this case radiation is used to kill the cells, reduce the mass, and prevent other mutations from occurring.
If left untreated the dog can die from the cancer. The dog may also die from the blockage of the blood before the cancer cells spread. With heart cancer it can form directly in the heart or it can form elsewhere in the body first. In some cases liver cancer, stomach cancer or lymphoma forms in the body, the blood cells that are mutating flow into the heart and then attach themselves in a mass. Another form of heart disease is of course the heart attack or stroke.
Though they are two different diseases there are some of the same causes as well as treatments. A heart attack is usually a blockage in the heart due to fatty oils, over taxing the heart, and blockages in the aorta. A stroke goes a little further in that it is a nerve reaction that can affect the brain and muscles of the dog, ending in partial paralysis. The signs of heart disease are usually weakness, loss of appetite, coughing, fainting, breathing issues, bloating, pale gums, and an irregular heart beat. You will find that the treatment for heart disease can be medication or surgery.
Surgery is usually an option when there is a blockage that must be removed. This surgery usually removes the fat that has formed from the aorta and opening up the bloodstream to flow properly. Medications are also meant to help reduce the blockage as well as lower cholesterol. The medication usually is given once a day and will help regulate the heart to beat correctly.
If, left untreated these two heart diseases could cause death. It will depend on the size of the blockage and of course the patient. To prevent this heart disease you need to have your dog on a healthy diet, with plenty of enzymes and protein that will help breakdown the food. You also want to avoid any food that is fatty, filled with oil, or carbohydrates. You also need to make sure your dog is exercised properly each day. Any dog breed can be susceptible to heart disease, although there are certain breeds more inclined.
Gerry Ronson is an article writer from the UK. He writes for the websites dog accessories and dog collars.