We like to believe that our pets are invincible. They fit so seamlessly into our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time without them. Unfortunately, issues like heart disease in dogs can significantly impact their lifespans. Spotting and treating health issues early helps you ensure that you can continue to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life with your beloved dog. Talk to your veterinarian if you see any of these signs of heart disease in dogs:

Extreme Fatigue

If your normally energetic pup is having problems staying awake, it could be a sign of a heart health issue. This might be especially evident on walks or during playtime. Dogs suffering from heart disease might fatigue very easily from any kind of physical activity. They might also spend much more time sleeping than they ever have before. If your dog suddenly seems plagued by fatigue, it might be time to schedule a wellness check. If heart disease is present, fast action can lead to a successful outcome.

A Regular Cough

While certain coughs in dogs are normal, there are signs that a cough might be from a heart issue. Heart disease in dogs could cause a prolonged cough. If your dog has a cough that lasts more than a few days, you should call the veterinarian. When the heart isn’t pumping effectively, it might lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs. Other times, the heart is enlarged enough to press on the airways. Either of these scenarios can cause your dog to cough persistently. As soon as you notice a prolonged cough, schedule a wellness visit for your pup.

Fainting Spells

Fainting or collapsing is not normal for a healthy dog. Sometimes heart disease can deprive other vital organs (like the brain) of important elements like oxygen and blood. Dogs with heart disease might suddenly collapse after exercising or after a bad coughing spell. If you see your dog faint or collapse—even if it’s just one time—it is very important to visit your vet. Pay attention to when fainting spells occur so you can give your veterinarian as much information as possible.

Trouble Breathing

Any heart issues could affect your dog’s ability to breathe. Sometimes this will present as more rapid, forceful breaths. Other times, it might cause difficulty breathing when lying down. If you notice that your dog is sitting up more than normal or extending his neck while on the ground, it could be a sign of heart disease.

Behavior Changes

Any significant behavior changes should always warrant a visit to the veterinarian. Our pets can’t verbally tell us when they aren’t feeling well, but they can show us. Dogs with heart disease will often lose their appetite, spend more time alone, or avoid activities they once enjoyed. You should always reach out to your vet when you notice behavioral changes—even if you feel like you are worrying over nothing. You never know when you can help spot a health issue early.

At Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we offer cardiology services to treat heart disease in dogs. With early detection, we have plenty of effective treatment options to control the heart disease, and help them continue to live long lives. If you think your dog might be suffering from heart disease, please call (248) 363-1508 to schedule an appointment with our caring team.