Although heart attacks, also known as cardiac arrests, are far rarer in dogs than in humans, they can still be very dangerous, and take the lives of thousands of our pets every year. Here is what you need to know if your dog has a heart attack:
Source: Youtube/Ron Pace
Like humans, dogs suffering from cardiac arrest can show several visible symptoms. Unfortunately, these can be very subtle and hard to spot. Because of this, it's incredibly important to know what to look out for. Common symptoms of a heart attack are:
These are by far the most common signs of cardiac arrest, but this list isn't exhaustive. Watch out for unusual behavior in your dog and call a veterinarian if they are acting out of the ordinary.
Although dogs that are otherwise in perfect health can sometimes fall victim to heart attacks, the majority of cases are found in dogs suffering from pre-existing conditions such as:
All of these conditions have one thing in common; they can, directly or indirectly, stop or reduce blood flow into the heart. Overweight dogs are also more at risk.
Source: Pets - The Nest
Some attacks are milder than others but it is crucial to get your pet to a veterinarian as quickly as you possibly can. Wrap them in a blanket to keep them calm on the journey.If you haven't been trained in CPR, it is advised that you don't try to perform it, as it can cause further damage if not done properly.On the way to the vet's, do not try to give your pet any food or water, as they could choke. You can help keep them calm as you possibly can by speaking to them and touching them gemtly. It may help them feel safe and reassured in a situation where they don't know what is happening.
In some cases, regular follow-up appointments and lifelong medical care may be necessary to keep your pet healthy following cardiac arrest. Some dogs will have to be operated on if the heart attack was caused by a tumor or severe inflammation.Your vet may also give your pet medication that you will have to give them at home. Follow your vet's advice for home treatment carefully as your dog will be quite delicate followingBy acting quickly and calmly, you give your dog a better chance of surviving the ordeal with little damage. The majority of dogs who have suffered from cardiac arrest have recovered well and lived happy lives with their families for several years.
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