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PetPlus Condition Center

Select Pet Type & Condition

What is Heart Disease?

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Fainting
  • Inability to exercise
  • Restlessness/Insomnia
  • Depression-like symptoms
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Excessive stretching
  • Chronic valvular disease, where the heart degenerates over time, is the leading cause of canine heart failure. Dilated cardiomyopathy (an enlarged, weakened heart), congenital heart disease (heart defects) and heartworms (parasites that inhabit the heart) are the next three most common causes of heart disease, respectively.
  • Canine heart disease is different than human heart disease and isn’t typically caused by a buildup of cholesterol.
  • Heart diseases affect about 10 percent of all dogs. The risk of heart problems rises as dogs grow older. The risk of Canine Heart Disease risk increases about 10 percent for dogs between 5 and 8 years of age and can be as high as 75 percent for dogs older than 16.
  • Dogs may be predisposed to heart trouble if they have a condition like an enlarged heart or a heart murmur. These are more common in large dogs, such as Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Danes, and should be screened for early-on when canine heart disease symptoms present themselves. Tests include X-rays, an electrocardiogram or other veterinary tests.
  • Unfortunately, sometimes dogs exhibit very few symptoms prior to having a heart incident. Although not structurally like a human heart attack, these abrupt events can have fatal consequences.
  • Heart disease is incurable in dogs and its causes are largely unknown. Early detection can help dogs live with this condition, however, so please don’t hesitate to take your dog to the veterinarian if you suspect a problem.
  • Medication is the most common treatment for dogs with heart conditions. Veterinarians can give your dog prescriptions to treat the heart disease symptoms as well as reduce the likelihood of a future cardiac event.
  • Dietary changes can be a big part of heart disease treatment. Not only is it important to reduce sodium consumption, some dogs become anorexic when they develop heart disease, and it’s important that they still get all necessary nutrients. Certain specialty foods on the market are Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d and Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Early Cardiac
  • Because the main issue with heart disease is the weakening of the heart muscle, some pet parents opt to use natural supplements like Hawthorn berry extract to strengthen the heart. Consult with your veterinarian prior to the use of any supplements.
  • Your dog will not be able to exercise to the same standards as before developing heart disease. Short walks and mild exercise can be healthy, but anything too strenuous may trigger an arrhythmia or cardiac event.
  • Even after treatment has started, your dog’s coughing may not improve immediately. If it starts to worsen, this is a sign of too much fluid and you should bring your furry friend to the veterinarian.
  • While treating your dog’s chest fluid buildup, veterinarians may prescribe diuretics, which can make your dog urinate more. This may cause a well trained dog to have more frequent accidents in the house or to need extra bathroom breaks.

a PetPlus Member's story

When I found out how many different medications Wil needed, I was bowled over. PetPlus helps make the cost much more manageable. Lil’ Wil uses Enalapril, Salix and Vetmedin to treat heart disease image description SAVED $228 in 3 months Barbara + Lil' Wil Floral City, FL Read More

How PetPlus Can Help You

 
Diet save $138

Top Prescription Foods for Heart Disease

Lower sodium foods help minimize fluid retention and promote healthy cardiovascular function.

 
Medication save $450

Top Prescription Medications for Heart Disease

Treat heart disease and help your dog's heart pump more efficiently.

 
Supplements save $114

Top Vitamins and Supplements for Heart Disease

Essential omega3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA support heart health.

 
Treatment save $50

Professional Treatment for Heart Disease

PetPlus offers wholesale prices on prescription food, medications, and supplements that can help treat your pet’s condition and save members significant amounts. Dogs with high blood pressure benefit most from a two-pronged attack: treating any underlying issues and taking prescription medication that deals directly with high blood pressure. Prepare to make minor dietary and behavioral changes with your dog during treatment to effective manage the disease and its side effects.

Savings $150

SAVE 25%

Popular Products

Top Prescription Foods for Heart Disease

Lower sodium foods help minimize fluid retention and promote healthy cardiovascular function.
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$36/ $50

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Top Prescription Medications for Heart Disease

Treat heart disease and help your dog's heart pump more efficiently.
Product Member / Retail Cost Savings
$1/ $1

SAVE 37%

$0/ $0

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$1/ $2

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Top Vitamins and Supplements for Heart Disease

Essential omega3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA support heart health.
Product Member / Retail Cost Savings
$16/ $22

SAVE 27%

$14/ $21

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image description

Professional Treatment for Heart Disease

PetPlus offers wholesale prices on prescription food, medications, and supplements that can help treat your pet’s condition and save members significant amounts. Dogs with high blood pressure benefit most from a two-pronged attack: treating any underlying issues and taking prescription medication that deals directly with high blood pressure. Prepare to make minor dietary and behavioral changes with your dog during treatment to effective manage the disease and its side effects.

Member / Retail Cost Savings
$200

SAVE 25%

What To Expect

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    Prescription Medication

    You can expect your veterinarian to prescribe furosemide if your furry friend has heart disease. It’s a diuretic that helps expel chest fluid that’s causing his cough. When the cough is caused by an enlarged heart, a vet may prescribe hydrocodone and butorphanol too. Positive inotropic medications can strengthen the heart while vasodilator medications work to open up blood vessels and inhibit the natural ability to constrict.

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    Food

    If your dog is diagnosed with heart disease, you should expect to feed him/her a new diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which may help your dog fight the disease. Vets may recommend you reduce your dog’s sodium intake in food and treats to change the blood’s viscosity and make the heart’s job easier. Maintaining a healthy weight and correct level of nutrients is also important for heart disease management.

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    Nonprescription Options

    Although there are no physical or behavioral treatments available for heart disease, you may want to consider natural supplements. Some PetPlus members may pour flaxseed or fish oils over their dog’s food. Coenzyme Q-10, Hawthorn Berry Extract and Taurine may also strengthen and improve the heart’s healthy function. Please consult with your veterinarian prior to the use of any non-prescription options.

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    Professional Treatment

    Because there’s no cure for canine heart disease, you need to monitor your dog's condition as part of the treatment. Regular visits with your veterinarian can help you follow your furry friend’s current condition and make changes in medication or behavior accordingly.

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I love that PetPlus will deliver Wil’s meds to my home OR let me pick up in store. It makes my life so much simpler.
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