4-General Dog Heart Problem Signs

Dr. Weihow Hseuh, assistant professor of cardiology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, stresses that “heart failure is the end stage of heart disease” in dogs. 

Not all dog heart murmurs are alike. Many puppies have a mild “innocent” cardiac murmur that fades away with age. These murmurs aren't heart disease-related. Heart murmurs caused by disease are called “pathologic” murmurs.

Other murmurs may indicate danger. Dogs with mitral valve disease (MVD) often have pathologic cardiac murmurs. MVD is typically inherited. Small breeds, notably King Charles Spaniels, are more prone to MVD, explains Dr. Hseuh. 

Dr. Michael Aherne, clinical professor of cardiology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, believes these are two of the easiest-to-miss symptoms, especially in older dogs.

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Lethargy, malaise, and exercise intolerance can indicate canine DCM. DCM causes thin heart muscles and enlarged heart chambers. DCM-affected hearts don't pump blood well.

Coughing is another heart disease symptom that might be misinterpreted. Kennel cough or pollen or dust irritation can cause dogs to cough.

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