Degeneration of the heart’s valves, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), and cardiac muscle illness are a few of the many causes of heart disease in dogs, just as in humans. Although many different kinds of cardiac disorders may affect dogs, most of them have basic symptoms that might serve as early warning indicators for their owners.

6 Signs of Heart Disease in Dogs

Heart disorders have many causes, but poor diet is often a key one. Most cases of canine heart disease are associated with old age, but other causes, such as heartworm, should not be discounted. There are options for treating heart disease, like vetmedin for dogs, but the best course of action is to be proactive and watch for symptoms. Some of your dog’s symptoms may indicate heart disease, so be on the lookout for the following.

1. Long-Lasting Cough

Dogs with persistent coughs that don’t improve after a few days may suffer from heart disease. There are several causes of coughing in canines with heart disease. An accumulation of fluid in the lungs is a possible symptom of a heart not functioning correctly in a dog. Coughing may be caused by fluid spilling out of blood vessels and collecting in lung tissue due to pulmonary edema. However, some dogs may get an enlarged heart due to a cardiac condition. Coughing may be prompted by the increased pressure on the airways caused by the enlarged heart. If your pet has a cough that won’t go away after a few days, it’s best to take them to the doctor.

2. Breathing Problem

Pets with heart failure have trouble breathing as the condition worsens. When your pet breathes, you may see her sides heave in and out, or you may hear her wheezing when she sleeps or is at rest. She may also breathe through her lips more frequently or pant.
Having trouble breathing is often an indication of a more serious health issue in dogs. But if your pet has been diagnosed with heart failure, this symptom is probably related to that condition.

3. Shifts in Behavior

Poor appetite, isolation, and a lack of interest in once enjoyable activities are just some of the behavioral changes dog owners would notice if their companion is suffering from heart disease.

Heart disease symptoms may resemble other conditions, including arthritis, epilepsy, and chronic lung illness. With a thorough history and a battery of diagnostic tests, your veterinarian can narrow down the possible causes.

4. Weakness And Lethargy

Lethargy and weakness are additional signs of heart failure in canines and felines. Weakness and weariness may be symptoms of various health issues in cats and dogs. If your pet suddenly becomes weak or sluggish and shows other particular symptoms on this list, heart failure may be the reason.

A gradual decline in energy and activity level is to be expected after a diagnosis of heart failure in your cat. Your pet’s condition is deteriorating rapidly as the sickness advances. It is your responsibility to make her as comfortable as possible and to control her symptoms for the remainder of her life.

5. Collapse or Fainting

The brain can run out of oxygen and other nutrients if the heart isn’t pumping as efficiently as it should be. Dogs with cardiac illnesses are more likely to faint (syncope) or collapse due to a lack of blood supply to the brain. Exercise is the most common precipitating factor for syncope and collapses in dogs with heart disease, while coughing has also been linked to episodes.

6. Bloated Stomach

Some dogs with advanced heart failure may have a bloated stomach. They were leading to heart dysfunction and consequent fluid retention. A bloated belly indicates that a pet has reached the latter stages of heart failure, and although it may still survive, it is a bad indicator.

If your dog is obviously in a lot of pain from her swollen stomach, it may be time to talk to your doctor about euthanasia. A veterinarian can help you decide when the time is right to put your pet to sleep, a choice that no pet owner ever wants to make.


Sometimes, when your pet’s time on earth draws close, you may worry that she is entering a heart failure stage. Although the danger of heart failure in aging pets grows, it does not affect all senior dogs. Learn the symptoms of heart failure in dogs and cats so you can help your pet if they are suffering from any of these conditions. Don’t hesitate to contact and chat with emergency veterinarians if you find your pet displaying any of the signs mentioned above of heart failure in dogs.


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