Symptoms Your Dog is Having a Heart Attack

What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack (also known as a myocardial infarction) occurs when blood is unable to reach the muscles of the heart. When the heart is deprived of blood, it does not receive necessary oxygen or nutrients. In turn, the heart muscle dies, which affects how well the heart can pump blood throughout the dog’s body. While canine heart attacks are rare, they can occur in dogs of any breed.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Dogs

Unfortunately, heart attack symptoms in dogs can be very subtle. While there are numerous warning signs, the first recognizable symptom is usually collapsed. Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Pain in Front Legs
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Lethargy
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Immobility
  • Seizure

    Although these symptoms may result in sudden death, many of them can be spotted by our smart pet device and acted on in time.

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    Heart Attack Risk Factors

    There are three primary reasons a dog could suffer a heart attack. The first is a genetic predisposition. Second, congenital abnormalities of the heart can predispose a dog to experience a heart attack. The breeds most likely to suffer from congenital defects include Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Boxers, and Great Danes, among others. Finally, heart disease is the third common reason a dog might suffer a heart attack.

    By recognizing heart disease, pet owners can minimize the chances of their dog suffering from a heart attack. Symptoms of heart disease include:

    • Coughing
    • Difficulty Breathing
    • Heavy Breathing
    • Exercise Intolerance - easily spotted by the Actijoy smart dog activity tracker
    • Behavioral Changes - easily spotted by the Actijoy smart dog activity tracker
    • Loss of Appetite - easily spotted by the Actijoy smart dog bowl
    • Fainting
    • Weakness
    • Restlessness
    • Edema
    • Self-Isolation
    • Blue gums
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation

      If you recognize one or more of these signs in your dog, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

      What to Do if Your Dog is Having a Heart Attack

      If you recognize the symptoms of a heart attack in your dog, you must seek medical attention immediately. Heart attacks can be both mild and serious. For mild heart attacks, the veterinarian will listen to your dog’s heart and draw blood in to look for biomarkers that show the presence of heart disease.  

      Once the underlying cause of your dog’s heart attack has been determined, the veterinarian will stabilize your dog’s condition. The accumulated fluid will be removed from your dog’s lungs, and medications will be prescribed to prevent another episode from occurring.

      If your dog has a serious heart attack, such as one that results in collapse or sudden death, CPR can be performed. Ultimately, recognizing the signs and symptoms of both a heart attack and heart disease are important in preventing and treating a heart attack in dogs.

      Actijoy products help dog owners monitor their dogs‘ health around the globe. Check them out here and see how they can help you improve the life of your dog

      Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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