Small Talk - Autumn 2017

02 small talk By Gerard Winnard BVetMed CertVC MRCVS Westmorland Veterinary Group Heart disease in dogs It is estimated that heart problems can affect around 10% of all dogs in the UK. S ome heart diseases may be present when the animal is born (congenital), however the majority of heart disease in dogs develops during adult life, with some breeds being more likely to develop heart disease than others. 90% have heart disease by the age of 10 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 90% 75% of small breeds have or develop heart disease All Small Breeds 75% 55% develop heart disease Dobermann Pinscher 55% By middle age 50% wil have heart disease Boxer 50% Over 30 Coons to hea but all sus The 2 types of heart disease we see most commonly in the dog are 1) Dilated cardiomyopathy - this is a disease of the heart muscle, with the heart muscle becoming thinner and losing its pumping ability. It is most commonly seen in larger breed dogs such as Great Danes, Dobermanns and Boxers. 2) Degenerative mitral valve disease - this is by far and the most common form of heart disease in dogs. This can affect any breed of dog but is more commonly seen in smaller dogs. The problem arises when the mitral valve in the heart degenerates and changes shape over time. This valve becomes leaky and causes a heart murmur which can often be heard when the heart beats. This sound may be detected by your vet at a routine examination and can be the first indicator a problem exists. As the valve becomes more “leaky” over time your dog may develop signs of congestive heart failure.