Flying Paws
Signs of Heart Disease in Dogs

Signs of Heart Disease in Dogs

Taking care of your pet’s health is essential to guarantee an appropriate quality of life, therefore learning to detect different pathologies from home will be vital in this case.

We show you some signs of heart disease in dogs, so you learn what are the symptoms that you should pay attention to.

Heart problems are one of the leading causes of pet death, and what makes these kinds of problems so fatal is that in general they are not detected in time, therefore, by the time the obvious signs of illness occur, this has advanced too much.

What makes it difficult to detect is that the initial symptoms do not usually present as alarm symptoms, therefore it is very difficult to identify them from another class of pathologies.

However, there are some aspects that you should keep in mind :

Differences between large and small dogs

Something that many pet sitters ignore is that the size of the dog has a great impact on the appearance of heart conditions.

For example, smaller dogs are those that tend to develop damage or deformations in the valves of the heart, while in large dogs the problem is to be able to pump enough blood to the entire body of the dog.

In the case of small dogs, the bacteria present in the mouth of the dogs end up affecting the heart valves, which are responsible for controlling the entry and exit of blood during cardiac pumping.

This condition is called valvular insufficiency and, if not treated, can be fatal, so you should pay attention to infections in the mouth, as this is usually the origin of the disease.

In the case of large dogs, due to the weakening of the organ resulting from aging, it becomes difficult to pump the amount of blood that the body requires to keep the organs, muscles and others functioning properly.

Similarly, in dogs of the giant breed, the heart is so large that the valves do not touch each other, therefore a badly called dilated cardiomyopathy is generated.

Signs of care

Heart failure causes deficiencies in the transport of oxygen and nutrients that are necessary for the proper functioning of the can’s organism. Pay attention to the following symptoms:


A dog that becomes excessively fatigued after doing some kind of physical activity, for example, running, playing or walking, without having exercised too much, is a risk sign, as it can mean that the can’s organism is not being properly oxygenated.

Constant cough

Because the heart struggles to pump the amount of blood necessary to maintain a normal blood supply, respiratory problems can occur that will initially be evident through a dry and constant cough.


Taking into account the above, respiratory failures will generate irregular inhalations, which will increase their rhythm as the insufficiency becomes more severe. In more severe cases, fainting may occur.

Take the pulse of a dog at home

Because the dog’s heart is working poorly it will increase the pulsations to compensate for the lower arrival of oxygen to the body. A good way to detect conditions in the heart organ early is to take the pulsations.

On average, a small or mini-sized dog (under 13 kilos) should have between 100 and 160 beats per minute.

For medium and large-sized animals the pulsations will be reduced to between 60 and 100 pulsations in the same interval.

With this in mind, make your dog lie on its side and remain relaxed. Place your fingers (except the thumb) in the middle of the upper thigh, near the chest, and count the pulsations you feel for 15 seconds. Then, multiply the number by four and this will give you the number of beats you have per minute.

Be sure to follow up for several days, to be sure that the count has been adequate. In case you have measures lower or higher than those indicated according to the weight of your pet, it is best to take it to the veterinarian immediately.

Remember not to medicate your dog with medicines for humans, you can generate more discomfort than relief and generate an adverse reaction. Before providing any type of treatment, it is best to consult with the veterinarian.

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