The Irish wolfhound is a relatively healthy breed of dog, but is occasionally affected by heart disease. There are different heart problems that may affect the Irish wolfhound, but the most common heart disorder is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Until recently, many Irish wolfhounds (as well as other dogs) died because there just wasn't enough research available for a local vet to correctly diagnose the problem as DCM. DCM is now much better known, so veterinarians will usually run tests to rule out this disorder, especially in breeds that are prone to developing DCM, such as the Irish wolfhound. [...]
Among the many diseases that can strike the human and canine heart is a disease of the heart muscle itself. Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, causes the walls of the heart's four chambers to become enlarged and thus not function properly, and it usually is found in larger breeds of dog. [...]
There are many types of heart disease that can affect your dog, and one of the more serious of these is a condition known as cardiomyopathy. There are several types of this fatal disease, and they are a major cause of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), congestive heart failure and sudden death. The two most common include a condition known as arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM) and a second known as idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM. In many cases, the dog will develop ACM first, and then the condition will develop into DCM.
The term cardiomyopathy literally translates to "sick heart muscle." It occurs when the walls of the heart muscle become thin, weak and unable to contract properly. The left side of the heart is normally affected the most, but both sides can become enlarged. [...]
Feline Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart muscle. There are three forms of Cardiomyopathy.
[-]In Restrictive cardiomyopathy the heart fails to adequately pump blood due to scar tissue found on the heart muscle.[/-]
[-]In Hypertonic cardiomyopathy the hearts does not pump blood properly due to a thickening of the heart walls.[/-]
[-]In Dilated cardiomyopathy the walls of the heart swell to such an extent that the heart becomes enlarged and changes shape; it takes on a rounded shape, while the walls of the heart are severely are weakened because of it.[/-]
In all three forms, cats will suffer from improper oxygen distribution and eventually this disease will lead to death by heart attack. [...]
As with any breed of dog that has a huge surge in popularity there is always the risk that poor breeding practices will occur as everyone tries to get in on breeding the most in demand type of dog. Unfortunately this is what did happen with the Boxer breed, particularly in the United States, in the years immediately after World War ll. During this time the small number of puppies and dogs brought over from Germany were used in almost all American breeding programs, leading to some inherited genetic conditions becoming pronounced. Through selective breeding by responsible breeders most of these issues are now well managed, however backyard breeders and puppy mills are still cashing in on the breed popularity and breeding genetically inferior puppies. [...]