Can Dogs Have Heart Attacks and What Should You Look Out For?
The answer to this question depends on your definition of “heart attack”. A dog’s life may depend on it! If you are worried about your pet having a heart attack, then you need to get answers fast. I am going to give you some advice so that you will not be left wondering what to do if your furry friend does indeed suffer from such a condition.
What Is Heart Attack?
Heart attack is a medical emergency when there is damage to the heart muscle due to abnormal blood flow or pressure. Damage occurs within minutes, but often takes hours before the patient dies. The most common cause of death in humans with heart problems is cardiac arrest (the cessation of breathing). Other causes include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a buildup of fatty deposits), pulmonary edema (fluid build up inside lungs) and other conditions affecting the heart.
Dogs Are Not Humans!
Although dogs have similar characteristics of human heart diseases, they are not humans. They cannot develop these conditions. Some breeds are more prone to developing certain heart diseases than others. Therefore, the risk of your dog suffering from a heart problem is much higher than it would be for a person. Your best bet is to consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions regarding treatment options.
How Long Does It Take To Die From Heart Disease?
Heart disease is a slow and painful way to die. Sadly, it often results in death within weeks or even days. If your dog has been diagnosed with heart disease, make the necessary arrangements to have it put down as soon as possible. If you don’t want to do it, maybe find an owner that doesn’t love their pet very much and pay them a little to do it.
What Are the Most Common Types of Canine Heart Disease?
The most common types of canine heart disease are the following:
-Arrhythmias: Atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, ventricular tachycardia.
-Valvular disease: Mitral valve disease, aortic valve disease, tricuspid valve disease.
-Myocardial Disease: Dilative cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy.
-Other heart problems: Pericardial Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Infectious Endocarditis.
It is possible for your pet to suffer from more than one condition at a time.
What Are the Symptoms of Canine Heart Attack?
Heart disease symptoms in dogs are very similar to that of humans. You may experience some or none at all. Some of these symptoms include:
-Labored or difficult breathing.
-Fainting or loss of consciousness.
If your pet is suffering from any of the above conditions, take them to a veterinarian right away. Time is of the essence, so don’t waste any!
How Much Does Treatment for Canine Heart Disease Cost?
Treatment for canine heart disease can be very expensive, especially if the dog needs surgery. Depending on the condition and the required treatment, you can expect to pay several hundred or even several thousand dollars out of pocket.
As we all know, pets are considered part of the family. So unless you want your dog’s life to end prematurely, you’ll be willing to pay anything to keep them around a little longer.
What Is the Average Cost of Treating Heart Disease?
Here are some examples of the average cost of treating heart disease:
-Arrhythmias: This is one of the cheapest forms of treatment. The cost can range anywhere from $100 to $2,000, depending on whether your dog needs medication or surgery. Most dogs will receive drugs or undergo catheter ablation. This involves placing small tubes in the heart to burn off problematic tissue causing abnormal electrical rhythms.
-Valvular disease: Surgery is usually required for this condition and can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. A less invasive method of correction involves placing medication into the arteries. This method is less expensive ranging anywhere from $400 to $4,000.
-Myocardial Disease: This condition is more expensive to treat and can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000. Medication is the main form of treatment, and surgery is rarely needed.
-Other heart problems: There are too many types of other heart conditions to accurately give a price range. It really depends on what is causing the ailment and how advanced it is.
As you can see, the price of treating this condition can really add up. Make sure you have pet insurance to help with the cost.
What Is the Average Cost of Pet Insurance for Canine Heart Disease?
The average cost of pet insurance for your canine family member is around $50 to $70 a month. This may seem like a lot, but it has been known to save people money in the long run.
If your dog needs to go under the knife, it can easily cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000. Without insurance, this would have to be paid in full at the time of service. This can be very difficult for someone who does not have that kind of money to spend all at once.
You can choose to pay for pet insurance monthly or pay for the entire year in advance, which usually results in a discount. Also, most companies will give you a discount if your pet is older or has a pre-existing condition.
What Do I Need to Know About Pet Insurance for Canine Heart Disease?
When it comes to pet insurance, there are a lot of factors that go into determining whether you qualify and how much you have to pay. Here are some things you need to know about pet insurance in general and then we will get into specifics on canine heart disease later.
Sometimes private insurers, such as those that offer pet insurance, will not accept certain breeds of dogs for coverage. Dog breeds that are more likely to get a certain disease or have certain health issues are less likely to be accepted for insurance. They base this decision on probability. If they think that you and your dog have a greater chance of filing a claim for this or any other reason, they will not cover you or they will charge you more.
What does this mean for you if your dog has heart disease?
It means that you may not be able to find private insurance coverage. This is because heart disease is very common in some breeds of dogs. If your dog has a congenital heart defect, he or she may not be accepted for private insurance at all.
What this means for you is that you will have to pay out of pocket for treatment. Depending on the condition, this could get very expensive. This is where pet insurance can help.
What do pet insurance companies look at when deciding whether or not to approve your claim?
The first thing that they look at is the specific disease or condition. If it is common in certain breeds, such as in the case with heart disease, then you will almost certainly not get approved. Also, the older your dog is, the less likely it is that the company will agree to cover any treatment.
If your dog has a congenital defect, such as a heart problem, then it will more than likely be considered a pre-existing condition. This means that you will not get approved for coverage. If your dog has developed heart disease due to poor diet or other reasons, then you may still be able to get approved.
What this all comes down to is how much the insurance company trusts you to take good care of your dog and not abuse the system by approving claims that should not be covered.
Even with all of these issues, it is still always best to apply. You may be pleasantly surprised that you get approved for something.
How Do I Find Affordable Treatment?
Even if you have pet insurance, it is important to find affordable treatment for your dog’s health condition. You want the best medical care available for your dog without going broke in the process. Here are some ways to accomplish this:
Referrals – Talk to your vet and ask for referrals. Your vet probably works with a few specialists in the area that they can refer you to that will take your dog’s insurance.
Ask Other Pet Owners – Other pet owners in the area may know of less expensive but still reputable treatment facilities in the area.
Check Online – You can always do an online search for low cost clinics in your area. Some of these clinics are charities or offer payment plans to reduce the costs.
Ask your friends and family – You may know someone else who has had to deal with this before and can recommend something to you.
How Do I Pay For My Dog’s Treatment?
If you do not have insurance, or if your insurance won’t cover the cost of your dog’s specific treatment plan, then you may be wondering about the cost and how you are going to pay for it. Here are some ways that you can find the money you need:
Sell Anything of Value – You may own something of value that you can sell in order to get the money you need.
Do you have any collectibles, jewelry, electronics, tools, or anything else that you can sell?
Be sure to take it to a reputable pawn shop or a place like Ebay or Amazon to get the best price for these items.
Take Out a Loan – You can take out a loans from the bank or another lending agency. These are going to have to be paid back by you no matter what, so make sure you take this seriously and only borrow what you know you can pay back.
Ask for Help – Perhaps you know someone that could help you out.
Do you have friends or family that could lend you some money until you get back on your feet?
Even asking a former employer for a loan could be helpful. Of course you wouldn’t want to do this too often, but in a situation like this you may have no other choice.
Sell Your Home – This is a big step, but you may be able to sell your home for enough money to live on and pay for your dog’s treatment. Of course this is a big sacrifice, but if you really love your dog then you may not have a choice.
Carefully Consider Options – You may have to carefully consider some of these options. For example, if you take out a loan then you’ll have to figure out a way to pay that back. You may not be able to get the treatment your dog needs if you don’t.
Always make sure you weigh all of your options before making your decision as this is a big decision and can effect you and your dogs well-being for years to come.
Does My Dog Need An EKG?
There are a few different reasons that a veterinarian may suggest an EKG. The most common reason is because the dog is showing some signs of cardiac disease, such as difficulty breathing, or fluid in the lungs. Other reasons an EKG may be ordered is if your dog is hyperactive, or has some other medical condition that needs to have a proper diagnosis.
When the EKG is performed, it will help your veterinarian determine if your dog needs medication. There are many different types of drugs that can help with conditions that involve the heart. Some of these drugs include:
Beta-blockers – These drugs relax the muscles in your heart and help it to beat more efficiently. They reduce the blood pressure in your cardiovascular system, as well as slowing down your heart rate.
Calcium-Channel Blockers – These drugs act by relaxing the muscles of your heart, as well as slowing down your heart rate.
Diuretics – These drugs help your body get rid of excess fluid that may be building up.
Eicosanoids Inhibitors – These drugs block chemicals in your body that may cause an inflammatory response in your cardiovascular system.
Digoxin – This drug is more commonly used in humans to treat heart disease and it helps the heart muscle to contract properly.
Many of these drugs are only available with a prescription from your veterinarian, while others can be purchased over the counter. You should never give your dog any medication without first consulting with your veterinarian.
No matter what type of treatment you and your veterinarian decide upon, you should make sure that you get your dog’s EKG reading at the same time every day. This will help you and your veterinarian to see if the treatment is working or if you need to try something else.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Is In Pain?
If your veterinarian thinks that your dog may be feeling some discomfort, then he or she may suggest additional testing, such as an EKG.
When getting an EKG, your dog will be asked to lay comfortably on his or her side on a table. Once in place, a technician will place several leads on your dog’s body and attach them to a machine. The machine will then be able to read the electrical activity of your dog’s heart through the leads, and record it for your veterinarian.
The EKG reading will not show if your dog is in pain, but it can help your veterinarian to determine if there is a possibility that your dog is feeling any discomfort.
When Should I Get My Dog’s EKG Reading?
You can ask your veterinarian to perform your dog’s EKG reading at any time, however, there are certain times when it is more important to do so than others.
The most common reasons that a veterinarian will request an EKG reading is if your dog is:
Experiencing difficulty breathing
Suddenly becomes weak in the hind legs
Collapses for no apparent reason
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, then you should contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will want to see your dog as soon as possible and an EKG reading will most likely be ordered so that he or she can check for any abnormalities with your dog’s heart.
What Is a Dog Heart Attack?
A dog heart attack is essentially the same thing as it is in humans, where the organ stops working properly and, in turn, doesn’t send enough oxygen to the brain and body.
A dog may experience a heart attack for a variety of reasons, however, the most common include:
Arrhythmia (Irregular Heartbeat)
How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Having A Heart Attack?
If you think that your dog is having a heart attack, then it is important that you get him or her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
While it is possible that your dog could just be displaying symptoms of a common illness such as the flu or something more benign, you need to get a professional opinion right away in case it is a heart attack.
The more you know about the symptoms of a potential heart attack in dogs, the better you’ll be able to discern what could be wrong and whether or not your dog needs to see a veterinarian right away.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, other common symptoms of a heart attack in dogs include:
Discomfort or pain when touching the chest area
Unusual behavior such as quietness or hiding
If you notice any of these symptoms, do not wait to call your veterinarian, because time is of the essence and your dog could potentially die if you leave things too late.
What Is an EKG Reading?
An electrocardiograph, commonly referred to as an EKG, is a medical device that records the electrical activity of a human or animal’s heart.
The device works by attaching electrodes to the limbs and chest area, which records small changes in the heartbeat.
These changes are recorded onto a graph for the veterinarian to analyze and assess whether or not there are any irregularities with your dog’s heartbeat.
An EKG is a quick, easy, and non-invasive way for your veterinarian to detect potential heart problems with your dog.
Do I Need to Do Anything to Prepare for the EKG?
There’s really nothing that you need to do in order to prepare for your dog’s EKG reading, other than making sure that he or she is fit and healthy going into the test.
If your dog is nervous or afraid of the sound of the machine, then you may want to reassure him or her before the veterinarian starts the procedure.
A Rewards-Based Approach
Dogs tend to respond well to a rewards-based approach when it comes to dealing with unfamiliar situations such as this one, so make sure that you praise and reward your dog for being brave during this test.
That way, your dog should associate the EKG with something positive, which makes it less likely to cause any unnecessary stress.
It’s also a good idea to ask the veterinarian ahead of time if you can be in the room during the test so you can comfort and reassure your dog in person.
Do Dogs Get Heart Attacks?
Dogs can get heart attacks for many of the same reasons that humans do.
As dogs age, their arteries tend to harden, which reduces the blood flow throughout the body, which can put a significant amount of stress on the heart.
Even if your dog is young, there’s no guarantee that they are free from arterial sclerosis (the medical term for hardening of the arteries).
Dietary choices such as eating a lot of fatty foods can also contribute to the likelihood of your dog experiencing a heart attack.
If your dog is significantly overweight, he or she is more likely to suffer from a heart attack at some point in their life.
That said, many dogs experience heart attacks for no discernible reason. Although there are many similarities between dog and human anatomy and biology, they are still different species with unique differences.
Your veterinarian will be able to assess your dog’s health and give you their professional opinion on why your dog is experiencing heart problems.
What to Do if Your Dog Is Experiencing a Heart Attack
If you believe that your dog is having a heart attack, then it’s important that you remain as calm as possible and get them to the nearest emergency veterinarian clinic as quickly as you can.
You can place your dog’s favorite blanket or item in the car, turn on the heater so it’s nice and toasty, and put them in the car as you normally would, making sure that they are comfortable.
It’s also important that you don’t put a muzzle on your dog before taking them to the veterinarian. There have been instances where dogs have died from choking because owners were too panicky and put the wrong kind of collar on their pet.
Why Do They Need to Use the Machine When They’re Going to Cut Open My Dog Anyway?
You may be wondering why your veterinarian needs to use this machine when they are still going to open up your dog and operate on them anyway. The answer is that the EKG machine is more than capable of detecting minor changes in your dog’s heartbeat. Any irregularity or abnormality can be detected by the EKG.
This may not always be accurate in determining whether or not your dog is about to have a heart attack, however, it’s better than cutting them open and finding out that they actually were on the verge of having a heart attack!
The device is able to pick up on many types of heart problems, not just coronary attacks. Using an EKG in dogs is much like taking a human’s electrocardiograph.
What Should I Do if My Dog is Having a Heart Attack?
If you have a dog with any of these symptoms, then you need to get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible:
1. A rapid or irregular heartbeat
2. Trouble breathing
3. Difficulty walking or moving
4. Panting for no reason after mild exercise
5. Drooling excessively
8. A decrease in appetite
The term “heart attack” itself is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s not actually the heart that’s “attacked.” This is just a layman’s term for a cardiac arrest. The heart muscle has simply failed to receive enough oxygen, which is what actually kills the cells in this type of situation.
When this happens to people, they usually go into sudden cardiac arrest and die instantly. Fortunately, dogs can survive a heart attack, but it’s going to require quick attention. The longer your dog goes without treatment, the higher the chances that they’re not going to pull through.
The longer you wait to get professional help, the lower the chances that your dog is going to make a full recovery.
As a pet owner, it’s very important to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack in your dog and get them to medical care as quickly as possible if you see any of these signs.
You may think it would be easier just to take your dog to the veterinarian, as opposed to calling emergency services and dealing with that, however, you need to remember that every minute counts!
The longer you wait to get them help, the less likely they are to survive this type of situation. Even if you’re not exactly sure what’s wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
With any luck, your dog will pull through and you’ll be able to avoid the high cost that comes with veterinarian visits.
In general, many heart attacks in dogs are a lot more serious than those that affect humans. In fact, the prognosis for dogs is rarely ever as positive as it is for humans.
If your dog does suffer from a heart attack, there’s a chance that they may not make it. If you take them to the veterinarian and it turns out that they’re not able to make a full recovery, the vet may suggest putting your dog down to avoid any unnecessary suffering.
It’s important to recognize the signs of a heart attack in dogs so you can get them to the veterinarian as quickly as possible if you see any of these signs. Every minute counts in a situation like this!
It’s also important to try to recognize the risk factors of heart disease in dogs. Many of these are the same for humans, including obesity, lack of exercise, and smoking.
It’s believed that more than half of all dogs over the age of ten have some sort of coronary calcium, which is a good indication that they have some sort of heart disease.
The type of treatment recommended for your dog will vary depending on their specific situation. One thing that may be suggested is taking them off some of their medications.
Your veterinarian may also prescribe a drug that strengthens the heart muscle, but this is generally only prescribed for certain breeds with a particular type of MVD.
One of the most common treatments is to administer drugs that help to prevent blood clots from forming in the coronary arteries.
There are also certain procedures that may be able to help with the flow of blood within the heart.
However, there is evidence that this type of surgery doesn’t necessarily prolong the life of a dog and it may even shorten their life span. This is especially true if they’re put under general anesthesia, which carries its own set of risks.
As with humans, there are certain factors that may increase the chances of a dog experiencing a heart attack. Recognizing these risk factors is important because it will allow you to try to avoid them as much as possible.
The risk factors for dogs are similar to those for humans and include:
Anyone who owns a dog knows that they’re like a member of the family. It can be very difficult to watch them get sick or hurt in any way. If your dog does suffer from a heart attack there are certain steps that you should take in order to try to save their life.
In the case of an emergency, it’s important that you remain calm and collected. Panicking will only make things worse for you and your pet.
Some of the steps that you can take include:
After following the above steps, it would be a good idea to get in contact with a 24 hour animal hospital or your family veterinarian as soon as possible.
If your dog survives the heart attack, then they will likely have to undergo emergency surgery in order to repair any damage done by the attack.
There’s no guarantee that they’ll make a full recovery, but even if they do there’s still a chance that the surgery won’t be successful and their heart condition will eventually get the best of them.
This is, unfortunately, a problem that can’t be cured and will only continue to worsen as time goes on. The best thing that you can do is try your best to keep up with their medication so that any potential problems can be avoided.
If you live in the area, then you may want to contact a company like All Creatures Veterinary Hospital or Animal Hospital of Northview . By getting to know a few vets who are familiar with your pet’s case, it will make it easier to get them the treatment that they need.
Sources & references used in this article:
- A century of cholesterol and coronaries: from plaques to genes to statins (JL Goldstein, MS Brown – Cell, 2015 – Elsevier)
- I had a black dog (M Johnstone – 2012 – books.google.com)
- How to Prevent a Dog Heart Attack (D Brown – topdogtips.com)
- Syndrome X: overcoming the silent killer that can give you a heart attack (GM Reaven – 2000 – books.google.com)
- The Dogs of Winter (K Nunn – 2013 – books.google.com)
- Author Archives: homeopathyginatyler (…, NHF Lobbyist, E Watson, S Tips, Y Can’t Sue… – homeopathtyler.wordpress.com)