We made a video compilation of X-rays of an enlarged heart in dogs. These images were sent by our amazing Facebook followers.
Enlarged heart, or dilated cardiomyopathy, in dogs is a condition when the heart becomes enlarged enough to be unable to properly contract its muscle which results in blood back up in the chambers. When this happens the blood pushes at the walls of the heart chambers and this results in stretching and thinning the walls. This makes the heart unable to pump properly and unable to maintain the circulation throughout the body.
All tissues and organs need blood enriched with oxygen to function properly, especially the lungs and the kidneys.
This results in a build-up of fluid in the lungs, and as the heart becomes overloaded, heart failure will set in.
What are the symptoms of an enlarged heart in dogs?
– irregular or weakened pulse; muffled or crackling sound while breathing, weakness and lethargy, weight loss and loss of appetite, rapid breathing and shortness of breath, coughing, heart murmurs and arrhythmias, syncope, sudden death.
What is the treatment of an enlarged heart in dogs?
Dogs that suffer from respiratory distress because of the enlarged heart will need oxygen therapy and fluids in order to correct any fluid imbalances.
Sometimes if there is too much build-up of fluid in the chest cavity it can be drained with a needle.
There are prescription medications that can improve the condition and drain the excess fluid that builds up in the body but these medications help manage the condition, they are not definite treatment.