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There are several medical conditions that can affect your dog and a heart attack is one of them. Yes, dogs and a lot of other animals are susceptible to heart attacks, especially in the later stages of life. But, how can you know if your dog is having one?
Well, that’s what this blog is for. So, make sure you read up because information can save lives.
What is Heart Attack?
A heart attack, medically referred to as a myocardial infarction, takes place when the muscles of the heart do not receive adequate blood supply. This causes the heart to become deprived of blood, which, in turn, causes a deficiency in oxygen and nutrient.
As a result, the heart fails to function and stops pumping blood to the rest of the organs in the body. Heart attacks in dogs are rare. However, they can and do occur among various breeds.
It’s actually quite difficult to notice the symptoms of a heart attack in dogs, since they come without warning. However, do watch out for a collapse. A collapse is one of the first signs. Other than that, a fever of over 103° Fahrenheit/39.4° Celsius, increase heart rate (over 100 beats/minute for large dogs and over 140 beats/minute for small dogs), head tilting, immobility, anxiety, vomiting, confusion, and abnormal breathing are some of the symptoms.
There are several factors that cause heart attacks in dogs.
Tumors that grow in or around the heart can end up blocking blood flow, which leads to heart failure.
Hypothyroidism, which is characterized by the thyroid gland’s inability to produce enough thyroxine, can also cause heart attacks. This is because the hormone plays a key role in the conversion of food into fuel.
Nephrotic Syndrome, a condition where kidney damage leads to protein loss, can also cause heart attacks. Protein is necessary for preventing blood clots, which are one of the major causes of heart attacks.
Bacterial Infection is another. Such infections can cause inflammation, which leads to the blood flow getting blocked.
Vasculitis is also known to cause heart attacks. The condition is characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels, which inhibits the flow of blood to the heart due to narrow vasculature.
Then, there is atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition characterized by the build up of plaque within the arteries. However, this is one of the rarer causes. In fact, it is known to occur only in dogs diagnosed with extreme hypothyroidism and high serum cholesterol levels.
What to Do
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, rush your dog to the vet immediately. Timely interference can save his/her life.