Since February is Heart Health Month, I’m curious to know more about my dog’s risk for heart problems. What are some signs of heart disease in my dog?
– Heart-Healthy in The Heights
What a timely question for this month, starring hearts and love and how lucky is your dog that his owner loves him enough to care about his heart health? Heart disease is scary and the quicker you can identify it the better. Vets have compiled a list of the 5 most common signs of heart disease in dogs.
• Elevated respiratory rate: The most subtle (but the most reliable) sign of a heart problem is a faster-than-usual respiratory rate at rest. This can be very hard to notice if you are not looking for it. If you know your dog has a heart problem, your vet may recommend that you learn your dog’s normal character and rate of breathing at rest, so that you may recognize a problem in the future if you become concerned.
• Cough: The most common reason a dog with heart disease is seen by a veterinarian is due to the development of a cough. The cough may be a dry hacking cough that sounds like your pet gags after coughing. Some describe it as if their pet is “trying to hack up a hairball” at the end of the coughing spell. Others describe an occasional moist cough. Coughing is never normal in a dog. So, if your pet does develop a cough for any reason, especially if you have been told that your pet has a heart murmur, you should seek veterinary…