Dog Congestive Heart Failure When to Put Down

The problems in the heart can also attack our pet completely. Congestive heart failure in dogs, very similar to that suffered by humans, is a common pathology that can come from various causes and can manifest itself in very different ways. Learn about Dog congestive heart failure: when to put down in detail in this article!

Although many people are not aware of it, the truth is that dogs, especially when they reach a certain age, are prone to heart disease. Congestive Heart failure in dogs is a reality that, detecting it in time, helps faithful furry companions to live better.

But what causes other than age cause these disorders in the circulatory system of the dog?

What are the most obvious symptoms to detect this pathology in our dog? Is there any way to combat this heart dysfunction? All the answers to these questions are in this article.

When speaking of "failure", it is recorded that an organ does not fulfill its functions for the correct development of the organism. In the case of heart failure in dogs, it is the heart that can not carry out its work completely, that is, it is not capable of distributing the necessary amount of blood to the body of the animal.

The body of the dog reacts to this anomaly compensating with diverse mechanisms so that the blood reaches all the tissues of the canine body. However, with the passage of the disease these compensations become insufficient, and the heart is not able to pump the necessary blood.

This causes significant amounts of blood to remain concentrated in the body of the dog: if the insufficiency is the right part of the heart, it will be stored in the abdomen, while if it is in the left area of the same, it will be retained in the lungs. In either case, this blood concentration is highly dangerous, since there is a greater risk of haemorrhaging in those areas.

Symptoms Of Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs

The most important thing in this type of case is to know as soon as possible the symptoms that the dog can have. Realizing in time of it, will be able to improve the life expectancy of our dog. Your dog has serious chances of suffering from heart failure if he suffers:

  • Frequent or chronic cough: Coughing constantly is a symptom that is closely related to cardiac pathologies in both humans and dogs. In most cases, dogs usually increase their cough at night and when they get up from a quiet position - after lying down or sitting down.Want to know more about the reason for dog lying down or sitting down, Click Here
  • Weakness when making a physical effort. A possible symptom of heart failure in dogs is the clear fatigue shown by the animal when it begins to play sports. This exhaustion causes the animal not to feel like moving and that it costs a world to perform physical activities that previously developed without problems.
  • Increased heart rate or blood pressure. One of the most worrying symptoms is the increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, it is advisable to make periodic reviews to our pet so that the veterinarian can find out if our dog has these symptoms or not.
  • Modification of the color of the gums. Although it may seem surreal, the color change of the dog's gums alarms us of very diverse pathologies. When they acquire a grayish-blue hue, they warn that the dog probably has heart failure.
  • Common fainting. The fact that the blood does not spread as effectively as it should, causes the blood supply does not reach adequately to the brain of the animal and, therefore, that it suffers fainting.
  • Weight loss or abdominal swelling. A sign of heart failure in dogs is the animal's weight loss. This symptom is more frequent when the disease is maintained for a long time in the canine organism. Another possible symptom related to physical appearance is inflammation of the abdomen, caused by the accumulation of blood in this area.

Diseases Associated With Heart Failure in Dogs

It is convenient to know all those diseases that are directly related to heart failure in dogs. The veterinarian who will explore the dog will be in charge of diagnosing which pathology is the cause, but will always have the following possibilities:

Dilated cardiomyopathy

In it, the walls of the canine heart weaken and degenerate. The heart valves also suffer when the dog develops this condition. Pregnancy is one of the reasons that cause the deterioration of the valves and the walls of the heart.

Heartworm disease

Heartworm is a disease caused by a mosquito carrying worm larvae. When it bites the dog, it transmits the immature worms, which will reproduce in the animal's heart and lungs.
The heart failure referred to in this section is very serious, since the transmitted worms reproduce quickly and can obstruct the blood channels inside the heart.

Heartworm Disease


Storage of blood in the pericardial sac

Pericarditis is another possible cause. It is an inflammation of the pericardium in any of its two layers. When this happens, this fibrous membrane produces more serum than necessary to keep the heart moist, in such a way that a lot of pressure is exerted on it and on the circulating tissue. The consequence of all this is the greater inflammation and swelling of this organ.


We speak of endocarditis when the dog contracts a disease where the heart valves are infected by the action of a microorganism. Bacteria are usually behind this pathology and are responsible for creating the vegetation within these blood vessels.

Congestive Heart Failure: When to Put it Down ?

If there is any suspicion of heart failure in dogs, the first thing to do is go to the veterinarian. He will be responsible for diagnosing the disease suffered by the dog and will prescribe the appropriate medication. The normal way to check the type of heart failure is to perform tests such as blood tests, chest X-rays, blood pressure measurements or an echocardiogram.

Congestive heart failure in dogs

Once the type of heart failure is known, the trusted professional will prescribe the most effective and appropriate medicine for canine. The vast majority of dogs are medicated for life when they suffer a pathology of this type, with their corresponding periodic reviews.

Hospitalization is an obligation when heart failure in dogs reaches a moderate importance. These diagnoses correspond to your veterinarian. If you do not have any, we recommend hiring Pet and Health services, where the most qualified professionals will always be at your disposal.

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Final Verdict

I hope this article on Dog congestive heart failure: when to put down has tremendously blessed you and will of course help you take adequate care of your puppies. Please reach out to us on the impacts of this article or further information

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Mike Stiven

I'm a pet owner, blogger, and writer from the Massachusetts. I've worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, a dog boarding and training facility, and also shared the knowledge garnered over the years with a good number of pet sites. As a firm believer that great care has to be given to pets, beside sharing my whole experience in this blog I also work as volunteer at pet stores during the weekend.

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