Regular heart check- ups for senior dogs

As your dog ages, there are chances that your dog might develop some changes either in the way the body functions or due to the aging process. Therefore, it is extremely important to take your dog for regular check-ups and make sure he is healthy to avoid any serious complications.

Following things can be considered while doing the same.

1) Changes during the ageing process

King Charles Spaniels are the breed most at risk, but other small breeds are also affected, including Toy Poodles, Toy Spaniels, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, etc.

As a dog gets older, the heart is automatically transformed by the ageing process. This means that the cavities get larger and the fat gradually intrudes the muscles. The dog’s heart rate falls and his cardiac output is reduced by up to 30 percent.  In senior dogs, the level of physical activity must be in sync with the condition of the heart. If activity is too high, there is an increased risk of syncope.

2) Monitoring your dog's heart

A cardiac disease can be detected early by the vet, with a murmur often being the first sign. This abnormal heart noise appears long before clinical symptoms.

Considering the fact that auscultation is important, the vet has other tools at his disposition: X-rays, ultra-sounds and electrocardiograms can all be used to evaluate the cardiac function. If any abnormality is detected, the vet will check the severity and then recommend a treatment.

3) An adapted diet is essential

Dogs that suffer from heart diseases usually also experience hypertension. Which means the salt content in their food should be reduced. Nutritional supplements such as long chain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can also help improve the cardiac function.
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