Heart Failure and Lung Problems
Quite like humans, the dog can also have heart failure and lung problems frequently. When a dog becomes sick, not only the heart gets affected but also blood vessels, kidneys and other critical organs.
Heart failure and lung problems are a condition caused by the abnormality in structure or functioning of the heart. The heart is not able to push the normal amounts of blood to the tissues of body. Heart works like a pump and when it fails, it leads to liquid preservation in the lung. The body cavities lead to the crowding heart failure.
The cardiovascular system is made up of arterial, heart, lymph and venous circulation is closely fixed to the lung and vice versa. The ailments that affect the lung also have deep impact the cardiovascular system.
There are so many causes of heart failure in dogs-
- Birth or congenital defects of heart
- Devolution of heart valves
- Heart muscle disease or cardio-myopathy
- Heartworm disease
- Diseases of pericardium or lining around heart
- Irregular electrical rhythms of heart or arrhythmia
- Dogs of all age or breed may have heart failure
- A predisposition for heart failure caused by cardiomyopathy in huge canine breeds
- Shortness of breath
- Difficult breathing or dyspnea
- Weight loss
- Old or small breed of dogs acquire heart failure due to abnormal function of heart valves with the degenerating of valve tissue
- By reducing the amount of blood pumped to the muscles
- Accumulation of fluid in the lungs or pulmonary edema, chest cavity or pleural effusion, abdominal cavity or ascites. Fluid accumulation can also lead to breath shortness and other problems as coughing and hard breathing.
- Increased activity of nervous system and increased assiduities of circulating hormones
Some of the first symptoms can go ignored till there is some special alertness and monitoring. Some symptoms on which the heart counts as compensation for cardiac disorders are tachycardia, dilatation of cardiac cavities, loss of sinuous arrhythmia, congestion of pulmonary system or congestion of circulatory system, liver, spleen, usually affected with ascittis in case of failure of heart.
With the suspicion of heart failure and lung problems, your veterinarian may examine your dog and will probably run many diagnostic tests to reassert the diagnosis and basic cause. The tests can be-
- General physical examination with emphasis on stethoscope examination of heart and lungs
- Chest radiograph or X-ray
- Measurement of blood pressure
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Ultrasound examination of heart or echocardiogram
Treatment for heart failure and lung problems may vary as per the particular cause. It may include one or more of the following treatments-
- Initial treatment requiring hospitalization with oxygen, diuretic and other drugs such as nitroglycerine paste.
- Diuretic or water-pill, such as drug Furosemide
- Pleural effusion, the fluid clogged around the lungs may need proper drainage using a small needle in a treatment known as thoracocentesis.