Congestive Heart Failure : Must Know

Congestive Heart Failure : Symptoms to Look Out For

Introduction

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a condition in which the heart loses its ability to pump enough blood throughout the body. It can be a precursor to congestive heart failure in people, and the symptoms of CHF in dogs are not as severe or life-threatening as in people. Unlike in people, there are four symptoms of CHF in dogs. They are: Breathing difficulty Failure to regulate body temperature Low blood pressure Sluggishness Below, we’ll discuss these symptoms in more detail. Breathing Difficulties A dog with CHF will struggle to breathe. If you notice that your dog is panting even when he isn’t moving, having difficulty exhaling, or has a large amount of secretions in his/her chest or nostrils, then you should contact your veterinarian or a local animal emergency clinic.

What is Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is when the heart has grown tired from the ongoing strain it has been exposed to. The doctor can diagnose CHF either by performing a complete cardiac exam on a patient, or by observing symptoms to be associated with CHF. This condition affects at least 5.6 million adults in the U.S., and 200,000 children under the age of 19, making it a leading cause of hospitalization and death in people 65 and older. What are the symptoms of CHF? The symptoms of CHF include weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and an unsteady gait.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

There are a number of different signs and symptoms associated with CHF. These include weight loss, coughing, shortness of breath, and an enlarged heart. To improve your chances of surviving CHF, get medical attention quickly. Mild CHF symptoms are generally felt at night when you are resting. Over time, CHF progresses to the point that you experience problems with breathing. It is very important to be evaluated as soon as you notice these signs and symptoms. There are some medications available that are known to work in CHF, but there are others that have not been proven effective. Symptoms can vary depending on your age and the amount of exercise you do on a daily basis.

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Treatment Options

“When it starts affecting their blood pressure, it can literally be the end of the line.” The treatment for HF is directed at the heart pump, which is affected by the disease. Without its pumping capabilities, the heart cannot pump the blood throughout the body. Both medical and surgical interventions are used to relieve the symptoms of the disease, and if necessary, replace the heart. “The goal is to reverse the progression and the progression is there, it’s just slow,” says Walsh. “There’s no cure for heart failure, but you can restore function.

Prevention

If your pup is diagnosed with CHF, there are a few things you can do to help prevent it: If you have more than one dog and they are all currently with you, make sure each has a low-sodium diet and is getting enough exercise, as exercise can be an important way to help lower blood pressure and risk of arrhythmia. Take your pup on a walk at least three times a day to help get their heart pumping. Many dogs are fine on a short walk, but these walks should be slow and low-intensity. If your dog has been resting more than usual and seems to be taking longer and longer to wake up or stand up, it may be time to call your vet and get him/her checked out.

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