What Does A Heart Attack Look Like In Dogs?

Apr 9, 2022 | 0 comments

4 min read

What Does A Heart Attack Look Like In Dogs?

Heart attacks in any breed of dog are thought to be extremely rare and risky and must be treated with extreme caution. If a heart attack happens, the heart is depleted of oxygen and nutrients and is at risk of dying. The damaged chamber of the heart can cease to efficiently provide blood flow through the blood vessels to nourish the body. Suppose your dog is suffering from an abnormality in the heart that is congenital or heart disease or has a genetic predisposition to heart disease. In that case, he’s at greater risk of heart attacks.

Heart attacks require immediate medical attention and may result in the sudden unlucky loss of the pet.

Signs of Heart Attack in Dogs

Heart attacks can happen abruptly and without any warning. If your dog exhibits any indications, It could be one or all of these:

  • A slight fever (over 103deg Fahrenheit/39.4deg Celsius)
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal breathing or apprehensive panting
  • Heart rate increased (over 100 beats per min for giant breeds) (over 140 beats per minute in petite breeds)
  • Lethargy
  • Head tilt
  • Confusion/Anxiety
  • Immobility
  • Rigidity
  • Seizure
  • Collapse
  • Sudden death

What causes Heart Attacks in Dogs

The following could trigger heart attacks:

  • Tumor: Tumorous masses growing around or in the blood vessels or around the heart can hinder blood flow towards the heart.
  • Thyroid gland: The thyroid glands are responsible for converting food into fuel that the body needs. If it’s not producing the hormone thyroxine, it could cause heart attacks.
  • Nephrotic Syndrome: Kidney damage causes loss of the protein responsible for stopping blood clot formation. Blood clots can be a reason for a canine heart attack.
  • The infection is Bacterial: Infections in the body could cause inflammation and obstruction of the blood supply circulation to the heart’s muscle.
  • Vasculitis: inflammation of blood vessels caused by inflammation, infection, or other trauma to the blood vessel linings. It results in a narrowed vasculature.
  • Atherosclerosis: Plaque forms within the arteries, restricting blood flow or even rupturing blood vessels. The condition is uncommon in dogs; however, it has been observed in certain breeds.
  • Coronary artery disease is highly uncommon in dogs. Only occurs in dogs with severe hypothyroidism, and it’s associated with high cholesterol levels in the blood.
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Diagnostics of Heart Attack in Dogs

If your dog is showing signs of heart attacks, be calm and cover him with blankets to help keep him quiet. Be calm and put your hand onto the right side of his chest to gauge the heart rate. Take your beats per 15 seconds, and then multiply that by four – that’s the heartbeats in a minute. The typical heart rate for dogs is 60 to 140 BPM. Bring your dog to the vet.

If your dog is prone to collapsing and falling over, don’t bother to look for BPM or heart rate. Just put your dog in blankets and take it straight to the vet.

Don’t try to perform CPR unless you’ve been certified in pet CPR and are sure that your pet needs it. CPR can do damage that is more harmful than beneficial if not done on time. Don’t give food or water because there’s the possibility that your dog will vomit and possibly asphyxiate. Do not let children play with your dog because pain and fear could trigger him to run screaming in terror.

The vet will want to be aware of the causes that led to the signs, symptoms, or even collapse. They will examine your dog’s heart for unusual heartbeats, murmurs, or arrhythmias. The lab tests can provide information regarding how your dog’s heart functions and other possible causes for his symptoms.

  • Electrocardiography (EKG): The test determines electrical impulses in the heart and determines arrhythmias.
  • Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC): determines white and red blood cell counts and will detect any infection.
  • Biology: The study examines liver and kidney functions.
  • Urinalysis: examines the kidney and metabolism.
  • Thyroid: Tests thyroid gland’s functions.
  • Echocardiography: detects liquid or mass-like structures in the heart, the heart valve function, heart muscle, and pericardial health.
  • Chest X-ray: Determines the size of the heart, the amount of fluid around the heart, and potential masses.
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A Holter monitor could be recommended for monitoring heart health at home. It looks similar to the kind of sleeve your dog might wear for 24 hours, with electrodes taped onto the chest. The heart rhythms are recorded throughout exercises, rest, and stress and then analyzed to detect abnormal heart rhythms.

Treatment for Heart Attack in Dogs

Depending on how severe the incident was, the initial treatment could be resuscitation or assistance. The aim is to restore normal heart function. It is possible to use medication to thin blood and enable the blood to flow. Your dog might require hospitalization to monitor the heart’s activity until the veterinarian staff is sure they are in good health.

There are many medications your veterinarian could prescribe for the heart issues of your dog, dependent on the root cause. Additionally, pacemaker implants are available for dogs with a predisposition to heart ailments. Surgery may be necessary to eliminate any tumor that obstructs blood flow into or out of the heart. The thyroid replacement medication can be prescribed if a heart attack is due to a thyroid problem. A vet can prescribe medications or a change to diet for dogs suffering from kidney disease. Antibiotics may prevent further damage to the heart’s vessels and line because of inflammation or infection.

The possibility of repeat incidence will be determined by the heart attack’s cause and extent.

The Recovery of the heart Attack within Dogs

Many animals live long, joyful lives after heart attacks, mainly if they are detected and treated in the early stages. Your pet may require care for the remaining time, especially those suffering from hypothyroidism and renal or heart diseases. Your pet could require frequent medical monitoring of his heart by a veterinarian to ensure that he is stable.

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Your physician may want to limit his activities as he recovers his regular heart functions. You might want to become acquainted with his breathing and heart rate areas; it will be easier to spot problems if they occur.

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