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Check On Your Dog’s Heart Health During Heart Week

dogs, heart disease

They’re called man’s best friend for a reason. They’re always here for us to show us love, scratching the door as our footsteps approach the door. We love them and they love us back unconditionally, so it’s only right we do everything we can to keep them around for as long as possible. With heart disease affecting 10% of dogs, now during Heart Week is the perfect time to take your furry friend for a check up with your vet.

Heart Week encourages people to be more aware of heart disease and learn how to reduce the risk. We do this for humans, so why not also for our dogs? 60% of pet owners consider their pets as member of the family, wouldn’t you do the same for your children or parents?

“Early diagnosis and treatment when taken to a vet may give them more quality time with their furry friends,”

says Dr Adams.

According to Dr Adams, knowledge and awareness on heart disease in dogs has significantly increased over the past few years with more owners seeking earlier treatment. The truth is that dogs may not necessarily show signs of being unwell in the early stages of heart disease, which is why regular check ups are so crucial.

dogs, heart disease

“Dogs continue to be Australia’s most popular pets,” says Dr Adams noting that there are over five million in Australia with at least one dog per home on average. “It’s important that dog owners stay informed and know the signs to look out for when it comes to heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment when taken to a vet may give them more quality time with their furry friends,” he continues.

This is especially the case for dogs over the age of six and these breeds:

dogs, chihuahua
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Poodles
  • Schnauzers
  • Chihuahuas
  • Fox Terriers
  • Jack Russell Terriers

For all dogs, a check-up at least once a year is necessary, and even more frequently for those over the age of six. Your dogs should also be regularly monitored in regards to their breathing, behaviour and energy levels, exercise intolerance, fainting, restlessness, and changes in appetite.

There are four main stages of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD), the most common in dogs:

• A – Dogs at high risk for heart disease. No disease is present.

• B – A murmur is heard but there are no outward signs of heart failure

o Stage B1 – The heart does not appear enlarged on an x-ray or echocardiogram

o Stage B2 – The heart is sufficiently enlarged or changed on an x-ray or echocardiogram to warrant treatment

• C and D – Heart failure

o Once the dog progresses to Stages C and D (also known as heart failure), there are visible indications of disease as the heart fails to function properly

To learn more about heart health in dogs, visit www.healthyheartsfordogs.com.au

Written by Emeric Brard

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