Understanding Heart Disease

If your dog has been diagnosed with heart disease, there is no need to feel down-hearted. With your care and suitable medication from your Vet, a better, longer life for your dog is now achievable.

An important thing to understand is that your dog's heart condition is not uncommon. Heart disease affects around 10% of all dogs.

A heart problem can have been present at birth; this is termed Congenital Heart Disease. Or it develops during the course of the pet's lifetime, often in middle age, and is called Acquired Heart Disease. Acquired Heart Disease accounts for 95% of all heart conditions in dogs.

There are two principal causes of acquired heart disease:

  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Both of these diseases result in heart failure. Heart failure in dogs is not like a heart attack in people. The term "heart failure" comes from the heart's inability to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. This causes the dog to show signs or symptoms and the heart's performance declines over time.

While there is no cure for heart failure, it can usually be managed with medication and care.

Close window