How to Know If Your Pet Is Having a Heart Attack

It is not easy to know if your dog has a heart attack. It’s because dogs may not show any common signs and symptoms associated with a heart attack in people, such as chest pain and discomfort. But you must be aware of the warning signs of an impending dog heart attack so that you can get the help they need immediately.

Heart Attack in Dogs

Also called myocardial infarction, a canine heart attack happens when blood supply to an area of your dog’s heart muscle stops. The loss of blood flow causes damage to the heart muscle. Also, heart attacks in dogs are not directly related to arterial plaque – the leading cause of heart attacks in humans. 

Signs of Heart Attack in Dogs

The signs depend on the type and severity of their condition. If your vet diagnosed your dog with cardiac problems, such as congestive heart failure, they might experience breathing difficulty or become weak all over since their impaired lungs can’t oxygenate their body efficiently enough.

Other signs include:

  • Anxious behavior, such as restlessness or pacing
  • Coughing, especially if it’s accompanied by vomiting, loss of consciousness, or collapse
  • Diarrhea or thinning stool
  • Drooling and swelling around the mouth from excessive fluid in the mouth and throat (The saliva may be foamy).
  • Weakness in a limb
  • Pale gums due to insufficient oxygen in the bloodstream. Gums may also appear blue since there isn’t enough oxygen for your dog’s body cells to function properly.

What Is Hyperventilation in Dogs?

This is crucial since it is a symptom of many other conditions than heart attacks in dogs.

Hyperventilation is when your pet breathes rapidly and heavily, typically after being startled. It’s a way for them to get more oxygen into their lungs and across their blood-brain barrier, which happens when humans hyperventilate.

The problem with this condition is that your dog’s body can’t handle it properly because they’re still developing mentally. Hyperventilation causes gasping, blue muzzles, and rapid breathing, but it isn’t normal for your pet to have these symptoms. No matter the cause of their hyperventilation, immediately bring them to the hospital.

Because heart attacks involve expertise, always choose a vet facility with experts who specialize in cardiology, such as Like human cardiologists, they are highly trained and knowledgeable in this area. Whether one of the people you trust recommended them or you found them online, always read testimonials or reviews about them.

What Causes Heart Attacks in Dogs?

Myocardial is the most common cause of heart attack in canines, occurring when there’s damage to the muscles surrounding the heart. Heartworms can also lead to a canine heart attack. These are parasites living in your dog’s heart that can cripple it over time.

Others are:

  • Aneurysm
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Poisoning or drug interactions
  • Infection
  • Lack of blood to a body part due to an accident or injury

What Your Vet Can Do

Most vets give dogs CPR or resuscitate them if they have already lost consciousness. Then they will figure out what caused the heart attack. Moreover, they prescribe medications to help their heart and other organs.

They might also recommend MRI if they think there are other issues with your dog. Make sure that you answer some questions about their symptoms and what happened. This way, they can find the severity of the damage.

You must ensure that your vet has diagnostic and lab tests services in the first place. So that you don’t have to take your pet to different clinics for the test check-up. Check out this page if you’re looking for a vet cardiologist Ventura area with complete services.

Treating Heart Attacks in Dogs

Whether or not your pet lives or dies, treatment for them after they’ve had a heart attack depends on what happened during and immediately before it. If it’s due to an infection, your vet can give antibiotics specific to that condition.

They will prescribe medications that reduce blood pressure or prevent further damage to the heart’s surrounding muscles with any other type of heart attack. They can also have surgery, depending on your dog’s condition. Visit this page to learn more about surgery options.

Ultimately, you need to understand how severe these attacks are for your pet, especially if they’re old or overweight. Like humans, canine heart problems can kill them if left untreated.