Heart disease in dogs is defined as anything that interferes with the heart’s normal behavior, including heart murmurs, blocked aortas, arrhythmia, and ventricular defects. Heart disease can be genetic or develop as a result of another disease or health problem.
Some of the common symptoms of heart disease are behavioral changes like lethargy and depression, as well as persistent and frequent coughing, fluid in the lungs, an increased heart rate, a decreased appetite, and difficulty breathing.
The treatment of your pet’s heart disease depends on your dog’s particular problem. Here are some of the common pet medications used for treatment.
- Benazepril Hydrochloride: This ACE inhibitor, which is also sold under the name Lotensin, restricts angiotensin, a chemical that causes the muscles of the heart to restrict, which allows blood to flow easily into the heart. This drug is used for the treatment of heart failure and hypertension. Other ACE inhibitors that can be used for treatment are enalapril and lisinopril. Overall, ACE inhibitors work by reducing the amount of work that the heart needs to do in order to pump blood.
- Amlodipine Besylate: For dogs with hypertension. This medication can help reduce the calcium buildup that causes clogged blood vessels and ensuing blood pressure problems.
- Atenolol: Used to treat arrhythmias, this medication is a beta blocker, and helps the heart work more efficiently.
- Diltiazem: This generic medication is used to lower blood pressure, as well as to treat cardiac arrhythmias and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It’s very commonly prescribed (although there are other medications that are more effective at lowering blood pressure) and works by preventing calcium buildup in a dog’s arteries, which allows the blood to flow smoothly. The non-generic form of this drug is also sold under the names Tiazac and Cardizem.
- Pimobendan: Also sold under the name vetmedin, this drug widens the blood vessels. For dogs with heart failure, this eases the heart’s struggle to do its job, pumping blood.
- Furosemide: A diuretic, this drug helps to treat heart failure and reduces blood pressure. Another diuretic that may be prescribed is spironolactone.
More on Heart Disease
Dogs With Congestive Heart Failure
Nutrition For Cats And Dogs With Heart Disease
4 Dangers Of An Enlarged Heart In Dogs