Labored breathing, fatigue, or a faster rate of respiration in your dog or cat may warrant a trip to visit the vet. A combination of these symptoms could be a warning that your pet is suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF).

What Is CHF And Why Does It Occur?

When fluid is retained in your pet’s body due to severe heart disease, the condition is medically referred to as CHF. Fluid retention shows in specific parts of the body corresponding to the side of the heart which is diseased. For instance, if the left side of the heart is affected, fluid is retained in the lungs. This falls under the most common category of the disease. If the right side of the heart in your cat or dog is affected, fluid is retained in the belly, or in the pleural cavity. It happens when the pressure in the veins and capillaries serving the side of the diseased heart increases, and fluid leaks out. Sometimes the fluid collects in the lungs, or in the belly. 

Signs To Check For CHF In Dogs And Cats

When fluid starts to deposit either in the lungs or the belly, the amount of oxygen in the blood decreases. This can manifest in shortness of breath in humans. In pets, this is manifested in unwillingness to exercise/go on walks, or getting easily fatigued. Though this condition may have other causes, vets look for rapid breathing when your pet is sleeping in order to accurately diagnose CHF. Dog owners may notice swelling in the belly which makes it difficult for the dog to rest comfortably. Other signs may include decreased or unusual appetite or open mouthed breathing or panting. 

Treating CHF

To treat the heart disease and the problem of fluid retention, the vet often prescribes medication before going the surgery route. Certain diuretics are used to lower the pressure in the veins. Closing a congenital shunt is the next step. Sometimes, belly taps which remove the fluid manually using catheters, are used to tackle the problem. Vets keep a check on the medications your pet is prescribed, the extent of CHF, and the rate of breathing while asleep.   

What Can I Do To Help My Pet?

Promote good cardiac health as a preventative measure. Dosing your pet with our Cardiac Support capsules regularly can enhance her cardiovascular functions. Fera Organic’s Cardiac Support for Dogs and Cats promotes a healthy heart, normal blood circulation and heartbeat. The vegan capsules with salmon-flavoured powder, have no dairy, soy, or artificial colours, dyes or preservatives.  

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