Four Signs of Dog Congestive Heart Failure

The following symptoms indicate congestive heart failure in dogs, but there are also signs that heart disease has advanced to CHF. Among them:

Rapid breathing is the most visible indicator of dog heart failure. Doctor Aherne explains, “Seeing how fast they're breathing when they're at rest is the most sensitive indicator we have.”

He recommends a dog breathe less than 35 or 40 times per minute at rest and 15 to 20 per minute while sleeping. After several minutes of inactivity, your dog may have trouble breathing. Call a vet.

Dogs with heart problems cough softly and dryly. Heart failure dogs have fluid buildup in their lungs. Their cough may sound wet. Sometimes they cough up froth. 

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Dogs with CHF may have swollen bellies due to fluid buildup from insufficient blood flow. “This is ascites,” explains Dr. Elfenbein. If your dog has a bloated tummy and hard breathing, consult a vet immediately. Dog legs, especially the rear legs, may enlarge.

We know that dogs with certain heart disorders faint owing to missed heartbeats. Heart failure causes dogs to faint or collapse because their heart can't pump blood.

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