Heart disease
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Heart Disease

Dog Health, Heart Murmurs

Humans don't have a monopoly on heart disease - our furry friends also are susceptible to a wide range of cardiovascular conditions. Smaller breed dogs, in particular, are more likely to develop heart disease, including heart "murmurs."Heart murmurs occur when the animal's heart function has deteriorated, creating an abnormal blood flow within the heart's chambers. The condition may be congenital, meaning the animal was born with the problem, or else it can develop as the result of disease and aging. Some conditions aren't very serious; others will progress rapidly, causing congestive heart failure and death. [...]

Inherited Portosystemic Shunts Damage Your Dog's Liver

Most people are either unfamiliar with the term "shunt" or are used to its application as a treatment to drain excess fluid from the brain following a stroke.There is another type, however, that can occur in animals, including dogs. Specifically, a portosystemic shunt is an abnormal connection between the hepatic portal vein and the rest of the circulatory system. This vein connects the gastrointestinal tract to the liver. This abnormal connection in turn causes blood from the gastrointestinal tract to bypass the liver, depriving it of oxygen and vital nutrients. When this occurs, the liver is unable to completely perform its own vital functions, including assisting with the body's metabolism and eliminating toxins from the system. The final effect is to expose the affected animal's body to toxic byproducts from its own digestive system. [...]

The Most Common Heart Disease In Small Dogs Endocardiosis

The most common type of heart disease in small and medium breeds of dogs is endocardiosis. It is not as often noted in large dogs; however, it can occur and be problematic in these breeds as well. There are some breeds that are more prone to endocardiosis and these include Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Miniature Poodles, and the Boston Terrier. As with many hereditary conditions, males are more prone to the condition than females and it tends to be more problematic in older dogs than younger dogs. [...]

Cardiomyopathy Frequent Cause of Heart Failure in Dogs

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. [...]

Heart Disease The Silent Killer

There are several different kinds of heart diseases that can affect puppies and dogs. Just like with people, some dogs appear more likely to get these disease based on their genetic make-up as well as their lifestyle and nutrition. In some cases heart disease are more problematic within the breed as a whole and reputable breeders continue to carefully select breeding pairs to avoid any problems with passing on the condition to future generations.One type of heart disease that can happen in almost any breed of dog is a congenital heart condition. This is a heart malformation or disease that is present when the puppy is born. It can be genetic or be caused by a birth defect or injury or trauma when the puppy was developing. Often females that are stressed through disease, poor nutrition or injury during pregnancy are far more likely to have puppies with congenital conditions. [...]

Endocardial Fibroelastosis

Endocardial fibroelastosis is a congenital heart disease. The disease is inherited and many kittens die shortly after birth.The heart has three layers of protective covering; the endocardium or outer most covering, myocardium or middle covering, and the pericardium or inner most (deepest) layer of the heart. The endocardium is a smooth layer which allows blood to flow effortlessly and is comprised of epithelial cells. This layer is a protective sac for the heart chambers and valves. The function of this protective layering also includes releasing an endocrine hormone (endocardin) to assist in other heart functions particular to the myocardium.Endocardial fibroelastosis refers to the presence of a fibrous elastic type of abnormal thickening of the endocardium layer of the heart. Endocardial fibroelastosis a common heart disease in cats and is particularly prominent in Burmese and Siamese cats. It is also a disease that is under diagnosed. [...]

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

The heart is organ responsible for pumping blood and distributing oxygen to the body's tissues. The right side of the heart pumps out blood which travels to the lungs and becomes oxygenated while the left side receives blood (already having oxygen from the lungs) and pumps it back into the aorta chamber of the heart. The pumping chambers of the heart are called ventricles.Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a disease where the heart muscle of the left ventricle thickens (hypertrophy). The interior of the left ventricle may get smaller and less blood can be accumulated because of it. If the ventricle walls stiffen and contract, they will impair the heart's ability to fill with blood. During the diastole (relaxation period), if the ventricle cannot sufficiently relax, a build up of blood will occur causing the backup in the blood vessels of the lungs. [...]


Dirofilaria immitis is the medical term for the infection we all recognize as heartworm. The first cases of feline heartworm were reported in Brazil in 1921, since then it has been reported around the world. It is interesting to note that feline heartworm is reported more frequently in areas where dogs with heartworm are reported as well. However the number of reported feline cases remains lower than canine cases in these high-risk areas. Furthermore, the male cat is more susceptible to this disease than the female. Also the presenting symptoms and diagnostic approaches are different in dogs and cats reported to have contracted this disease.Heartworm is passed on to cats by infected mosquitoes that carry the L3 Larvae. When the larvae mature and become adults they develop into worms and these parasites attach to their host and live within the body. [...]

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Congenital Heart Disease

The American Staffordshire Terrier is not among the unhealthiest of breeds, but it does unfortunately suffer from some serious genetic conditions; some of these conditions were not recognized to affect the breed in a serious manner until recently. For example, more and more reports have been coming in of American Staffordshire Terriers (also called Amstaffs) suffering from a variety of problems classified under heart disease, specifically congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease, or CHD, is a heart condition that is present when the pup is born; it is different from Acquired Heart disease, which is a heart condition that develops later in a dog's life. CHD is rare, but it can result in serious heart failure. [...]

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