What Can Cause Canine Pericardial Disease? Know how you can help your pupper recover.

What Can Cause Canine Pericardial Disease? Photo by Josh Sorenson: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-brown-dog-lying-on-carpet-1739092/

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One of the most common heart conditions in dogs is Pericardial disease, which can affect any dog but is more likely to be found in large breeds or senior dogs.

Canine pericardial disease is a heart condition. The pericardium is the saclike membrane that surrounds and protects the heart. Pericarditis means inflammation of this membrane, which can lead to fluid collection in your dog's chest, i.e., pericardial effusion. The leading cause of Pericardial in 20-70% of dogs is primary idiopathic pericardial effusion.

If that fluid builds up too much pressure on your dog's heart, it can interfere with its ability to function properly. This condition is called pericardial tamponade. It's important to learn how to recognize signs of canines with pericardial disease so that you know what treatment options are available for your pet if they need them. 

The Pericardium Is Vulnerable

The pericardium (peri-card-e-um) is a thin membrane that surrounds the heart and protects it from injury. Pericardial disease can cause fluid to build up in or around this sac, which can leave your pet feeling bloated.

Pericardial inflammation causes pain for your dog when breathing and coughing, making it difficult for them to get their breath back after exercise. The pain may also lead to difficulty breathing at rest or even collapse due to fluid building up in the lungs.

A severe case of pericarditis can be fatal if left untreated; however, most dogs respond well to pet medications like antibiotics for dogs and other treatments if caught early enough on before serious damage occurs. 

Some Dogs Are Born With A Predisposition

Certain breeds of dogs are more likely to develop Pericardial disease. For example, doberman pinschers and German shepherds have an increased risk of developing the condition. Dogs that have been diagnosed with Pericardial disease are at risk of developing it again. However, there is no way to predict whether a dog will experience another episode. 

Can Be Contracted As A Result Of Trauma Or Infection

Pericardial disease can be contracted as a result of trauma or infection.

? The pericardium can be damaged by trauma, such as being hit by a car, which tears the connective tissue between the heart and its protective sack. Pet medications like Methocarbamol for dogs can be a viable solution for it.

? Bacteria can infect your dog's pericardium through a wound or surgical site, causing acute bacterial pericarditis. Therefore, it is important to treat the infection with pet medications like Cefpodoxime Proxetil, Otomax, or Clindamycin for dogs, etc., to treat bacterial infections. 

Predisposing Factors

Predisposing factors include age and breed. Some breeds are more susceptible to pericardial disease than others, including:

? Bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers, and Corgis

? Dogs weighing less than 20 pounds

? Senior dogs (older than seven years old) 

No Specific Treatment For Pericardial Disease

There is no specific treatment for Pericardial disease, but there are some things you can do to help your dog feel better. It’s important to keep your dog calm and avoid stressful situations. It is advisable to use calming treats for dogs to keep your dog calm and happy. 

Avoid exercising your dog if they are experiencing symptoms of pericarditis. Avoid laying on their right side because this can cause the heart to enlarge and put more pressure on the pericardium.

If you notice that your dog is getting tired or short of breath after exercise, stop immediately and contact a veterinarian before starting again. Your vet will be able to monitor their heart rate and breathing while they exercise so that they don't overdo it or become fatigued too quickly; however, it's important not to let them get out of shape by doing too much too soon! 


Understand that this condition is serious. If you suspect your dog has Pericardial disease or any other heart condition, it's important to see your vet as soon as possible. If they are not treated, it could lead to heart failure or death.

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