Your What are the signs of congestive heart failure in dogs? Let’s Explore

Signs and symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure in dogs

The signs and symptoms associated with CHF may vary, depending on the underlying heart disease and whether the right or left side of the heart is affected. In some cases, symptoms will be the same regardless of side.

These signs should be taken seriously and addressed with your veterinarian at first notice:

  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing / shortness of breath
  • Inability to exercise
  • Persistent coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Pacing before bedtime and difficulty settling down
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swollen belly (due to fluid buildup)
  • Weight loss
  • Change in gum and/or tongue color to a bluish gray (a result of poor oxygen flow)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Crackling sound when listening to the lungs
  • Both right-sided and left-sided CHF ultimately lead to oxygen depletion in the tissues, and eventual heart failure.

    Clubs Offering:

    We all want our dogs to live for as long as possible, so it can be scary to think of them developing an illness like heart disease, which affects their daily functioning and life expectancy. Heart disease is a condition that dogs are either born with (congenital) or develop (acquired) through a combination of factors like age, diet, illness, or infection.

    In some dogs, heart disease can lead to a condition known as congestive heart failure. This occurs when the valves, which regulate blood flow to and from the heart, stop working properly. Since congestive heart failure can be mistaken for other illnesses that accompany the aging process, it’s important for early detection and treatment to recognize when a dog is showing signs of this condition.

    ‍What’s CHF?

    CHF is the late stage of heart disease when your pet’s heart is unable to pump blood into the body adequately, Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch by The Dodo’s on-staff veterinarian, explains. There are two main types of CHF, and each comes with its own set of symptoms and treatments.

    “Of the common types of heart disease, small-breed dogs are more likely to develop mitral and/or tricuspid valve disease,” Dr. McCullough shares. “Large and giant-breed dogs and cocker spaniels are predisposed to dilated cardiomyopathy.”

    Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs | Everything You NEED To Know | Veterinarian Explains | Dogtor Pete