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Heart Problems

Congenital Heart Diseases are functional cardiac problems that are present at birth. Your first indication of a defect may occur at the time of the puppy's initial veterinary examination. Heart failure may also present itself at an early stage.

One form of Congenital heart defect is patent ductus arterisus. This refers to the presence of a vessel, which should ordinarily close shortly after birth, connecting the pulmonary artery to the aorta. The vessel gives blood a way to bypass the lungs, so there's less oxygenated blood going to the body. A distinct heart murmur is noticed upon listening to the chest. The only effective treatment is surgical repair.

Defects also occur in newborn puppies. These are small opening in the muscular wall separating the two major pumping chambers of the heart. The hole can vary in size. Surgical correction is possible at specialized veterinary institutions.

A constrictive abnormality that obstructs the passage of blood out of the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery is known as pulmonic stenosis. This defect increases the workload of the heart and may cause heart failure. Some types of this can be partially relieved by surgery.

Congestive Heart Failure occurs when the heart cannot deliver a sufficient quantity of oxygenated blood to meet the body's demands. The term "congestive" refers to an abnormal amount of fluid accumulating outside the vessels, as in the lungs. When this happens, for example, the dog may begin to cough and show shortness of breath. he may be unable to tolerate excitement or exercise, and the abdomen may begin to enlarge as fluid accumulates in the body compartment as well. Congestive heart failure, once diagnosed, may be treated with drugs to strengthen contractions of the heart, expand the vascular capacity and promote excretion of the retained fluids through diuresis. Feeding a special low salt died is usually recommended to help lessen problems of fluid retention.