Unfortunately, heart problems in dogs are relatively common.
A heart murmur can be caused by abnormal blood flow within the heart, usually involving the heart valves. Murmurs can also be caused by problems in communication between the left and right sides of the heart.
Murmurs can be present at birth (congenital). They can also be acquired due to disease or the aging process.
Heart murmurs in puppies tend to be pretty innocent… but with older dogs it should be looked into. Heart issues can be difficult to detect but there are some signs that should not be ignored
- Coughing that does not go away after 4 to 5 days
- Blue or Bluish appearing tongue ( this is serious so vet asap.)
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue, weakness, loss of stamina, decreased exercise endurance
- Too fast or too slow heart beat; increased respiratory effort, including increased respiratory rate
- Heart rate depending on size of dog.. little guys beat faster 60-140 beats per minute
- Breaths per minute you can count these but make sure your pup is at rest 10-35 per minute the full up/down motion is considered one breath.
Certain breeds are more prone to heart problems:
|Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dachshund, Small breeds||Acquired mitral valve disease|
|Bull Terrier, Rottweiler||Congenital mitral valve disease|
|Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Labrador Retriever||Myocardial failure|
|Cocker and English Springer Spaniels, German Shepherd, Maltese, Poodle||Patent ductus arteriosus|
|Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Mastiff, Miniature Schnauzer, Samoyed, West Highland White Terrier||Pulmonary stenosis|
|Boxer, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Newfoundland, Rottweiler||Subvalvular aortic stenosis|
|Labrador Retriever||Congenital tricuspid valve disease|
|English Springer Spaniel||Ventricular septal defect|
The good news is, if your pup is diagnosed with any if the above in most cases there is a lot you can do to keep them happy and healthy.
Diet and supplements play a big role in your dogs heart health, along with good dental health. Sometimes just dealing with an oral infection can clear up some of the heart issues.
There are some great acupressure points that can also help if your dog has been diagnosed, or can be used as preventative to keep the heart strong and functional especially if your dog is on the list above.
LI4 Lu11 is on either side of the dew claw of his front paw just hold on to it lightly for a bit or lightly move your fingers in a circular motion if tolerated. LU11 is a Jing well point is a great way to tonify and strengthen the entire lung meridian
PE6 Inside of the front limb between the tendons three cun above the crease in the wrist ( transverse carpal crea
Ht 7 Pe 7 in the depression between the tendon and the ligament it is a natural depression and pretty easy to find just above the bend in the wrist. Your fingers will slide in the groove on either side. Hold bold sides that is actually 2 points Ht7 and Pe7
Liv3 between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal (back legs)
Please click on the link below from Dr Karen Becker for even more information on what to look for and how to treat and prevent heart disease in dogs.