How to care for a dog with heart problems

Heart failure is the inability of the heart to adequately pump the blood it receives from the lungs to the rest of the body. Although more and more dogs are affected, advances in veterinary science have made these animals can lead a normal life for many years. As we will see later, there are several causes that can cause it, although the care that the dog needs is similar in most cases. In .com we explain how to care for a dog with heart problems.

The diet

In dogs with heart problems a low salt diet is advised. Anyway, the change of diet should be gradual, because if the amount of salt in the diet is sharply reduced, the organism of the dog tends to accumulate the little salt that is provided and the objective is not achieved.

There are specific foods for dogs with heart problems, available at most veterinary centers. Sometimes feed for dogs with kidney failure can also be helpful; Your veterinarian will inform you on this point.

The exercise

The physical exercise should be soft, moderate. Dogs with heart problems should not be forced to make great efforts, especially if it is hot, to reduce the risk of syncopes .

The drugs

There are many diseases that can lead to heart failure in dogs, the most common are the murmurs, the weakness of the myocardium, which is the muscular layer of the heart that allows it to contract to pump blood, and arrhythmias .

Depending on the cause that causes it, the veterinarian will prescribe one drug or another. Still, there are many medications that are used in most cases to protect the heart or to prevent complications.

Furosemide, a diuretic, is used to help drain fluid that accumulates as a result of cranial work in the lungs, causing coughing, or in other areas of the body causing edema .

It is known as ionotropic drugs to those drugs capable of increasing the force of contraction of the heart, favoring its function. In the past, those from the digitalis group, such as digoxin, were used, but nowadays it is preferred, if necessary, the pimobendán .

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors), such as benacepril, are the basis of long-term treatment, and are usually given for life to prevent the mechanisms that the body and the dog's heart develop to try make up for the problem, end up hurting it.

The control of heart disease

Intolerance to exercise -the dog refuses physical activity-and, above all, coughing, are the main signs that the heart is beginning to fail. Therefore, we recommend that you pay attention to these symptoms and go to the veterinarian if you detect them.