Causes and treatment of cardiomegaly in dogs

Our pets, and especially the dogs, are so much in love that in the end they are part of the family. That's why we always want them to be and live as best they can, buying them a good feed, a good bed to sleep in and giving them all the long walks we can and more. However, sometimes there are things beyond our control, such as diseases or, in this case, cardiomegaly in dogs.

Cardiomegaly is a problem that causes the hearts of dogs to enlarge, which can lead to a series of problems if a solution is not made as soon as possible. If you suspect that your dog has this disease and you want to know how to help, do not miss this article about causes and treatment of cardiomegaly in dogs .

Why dogs grow hearts

The increase of the heart in dogs is not a disease in itself, but it is a disease caused by other health problems, such as:

  • Hypertension : that is, high blood pressure, which means that the pressure of the blood supply is continuously triggered.
  • Worms of the heart : it is a parasitic disease. This happens when a worm called Dirofilaria immitis is filtered in the dog's organism through the blood supply and ends up parasitizing the heart and lungs of our pet. As a result, the pumping of the dog's heart is accelerated because it is forced to make an effort to continue working normally.
  • Valvulopathies : the valvulopathies are all those diseases that affect the heart valves, either by dilating or shrinking them.

After reading the above, we can deduce that cardiomegaly occurs for two main reasons:

  • By dilation : this usually occurs when the heart muscle weakens. In these cases, dogs have more blood than their heart is capable of pumping, which ultimately causes the dog's heart to grow.
  • For ventricular hypertrophy : in these cases, the heart valve of dogs is damaged or mutated, which is unable to function properly, causing an overload of the volume of blood in the heart and, consequently, the heart ends up growing size.

Both options can cause serious health problems and can cause heart failure. So before any anomaly in our pet we must go to the vet urgently .

What are the symptoms of cardiomegaly in dogs

The main symptoms of cardiomegaly in dogs are the following:

  • Fatigue and malaise : like any other ailment, when something goes wrong in our body or in that of our pet, the first thing we notice is fatigue and malaise.
  • Difficulty breathing : especially after running or doing some exercise, because the heart, having a larger than normal size, stops working properly.
  • Dizziness : Dizziness usually occurs when not enough blood reaches the brain. In the case of cardiomegaly in dogs, it can happen because, when the heart enlarges, the valves can narrow due to the pressure of the organ in constant growth.
  • Irregular heartbeats: if the heart does not work correctly, the heartbeat will not be normal either.
  • Puffs in the heart : it can happen if the problem of our dog is not quickly solved.
  • Lungs in the lungs : this happens in the long run, since our pet's lungs begin to pool.
  • Cough : for the same reason as before, when the cardiomegaly advances enough in our animal so that its lungs are flooded, the dog begins to cough frequently because it can not breathe normally.

Therefore, it is important to pay attention to this type of signals that our pet can give us. Before any anomaly that you detect in your dog, the best thing is that you go to the vet without fail. If you want to expand this information, you may be interested in this other article on How to know if my dog ​​has heart problems.

How to detect cardiomegaly in dogs

When the veterinarian suspects that our dog may be suffering from cardiomegaly, he will perform a series of tests that will consist of:

  • Ultrasounds : although it is one of the most common tests, it is not the most reliable. With this test you can see if the dog's heart is larger than normal, but it is only the next test that confirms it at all.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) : with this test you can detect and interpret the electrical impulses of the heart of the animal, providing information about the state and function of your heart.

According to recent studies, the first stages of this condition may not be detected, but in the later stages they are easily seen on the electrocardiogram. Hence one of the main problems: it is difficult to detect cardiomegaly with certainty in its early stages, which could pose a danger to the animal if the dog's heart continues to grow without stopping.

Treatment for cardiomegaly in dogs

If the heart of your dog grows, do not worry, because once it is detected it has treatment. However, this treatment will vary depending on the disease that caused it.

As a general rule, along with the treatment for the disease that causes cardiomegaly, diuretics are prescribed to reduce inflammation of the dog's heart. Since the heart is very delicate, we do not recommend trying to reduce the inflammation of home remedies, since depending on the disease of the dog's origin, we could make the situation worse.

In any case, it will always be the veterinarian who recommends applying home remedies with the rest of the medication the animal needs.

If you liked this article of causes and treatment of cardiomegaly in dogs, you may also be interested in this other article on How to care for a dog with heart problems.