Heart infarct is one of the five most common ailments among people. But our four-legged friends are not immune from it, and every year the number of animals with this pathology is steadily increasing. And although the disease that occurs in dogs, less studied than human disease, yet experts have been able to find out the mechanisms of its development and offer suitable diagnostics and therapy. If the pet is inclined to develop this disease, then the owner should know how the infarct is manifested in dogs, and what to do in this case.
Causes of myocardial infarction in dogs
Before a critical situation arises, pathological changes develop in the animal for a fairly long time. Initially, atherosclerotic plaques consisting of bad cholesterol begin to form. They are attached to the vascular walls, layered on each other, narrowing the lumen, which leads to a violation of blood circulation.
Pathology progresses, the size of the plaques increases to such a size that any, even a small, impact can cause the walls of the vessel to rupture. In the damaged area, blood coagulation occurs, a thrombus is formed, which closes the lumen of the vessel. Blood can not move normally, which causes an infarction.
Among the main reasons for the development of heart attack in dogs, experts note the following:
- changes in the hormonal background in certain age periods;
- violation of metabolic processes;
- inflammation developing in the vessels of the circulatory system;
- helminthic invasion, in which parasites migrate into blood vessels;
- excessive physical exertion;
- lack of mobility - dogs that move little, often suffer from heart disease, especially for breeds that need regular intensive work;
- frequent stressful situations;
- infection with cardiac worms, the larvae of which are mosquitoes - when bitten the parasite penetrates into the bloodstream and settles in the pulmonary artery; in the process of vital activity worms harm vessels, disrupt the outflow of blood.
Regardless of what triggered the development of a heart attack, the disease has a number of symptoms.
Symptoms of the disease
Despite the fact that dogs are increasingly suffering from heart attacks, this pathology can not be attributed to common diseases. This somewhat complicates the diagnosis in the initial stage.
Veterinarians recommend that owners pay attention to the following manifestations of the disease in pets:
- Mucous membranes become blue - a phenomenon called cyanosis, which occurs against the background of a sharp oxygen deficiency in the blood. Blue can affect the gum, the sky, the whites of the eyes.
- Breath is broken, becomes rapid, heavy, dyspnea occurs.
- The pet becomes inactive - most of the time lies on its side, rises rarely, only if necessary. In every way he avoids physical activity, refuses games and shows no joy when his name is walking. Even a short walk causes severe fatigue.
- Violation affects the musculoskeletal system - the dog moves uncertainly, staggering.
- Coordination of movement is lost.
- Possible loss of consciousness - occurs if the blood pressure drops sharply to critical levels.
- The patient may have severe soreness in the area of the elbow of the left paw - because of this the dog can show aggression, whine, squeal, and behave restlessly.
- The pet's sleep becomes alarming, he often wakes up, shuddering.
Unfortunately, quite often the lethal outcome is the only sign of an infarct in an animal. The darling dies suddenly, and the host does not have the opportunity to provide any assistance. The disease is rather insidious, so it's worthwhile to carefully observe the pet and, in case of any anxious signs, seek medical help.
The condition is complicated by the fact that it does not have clearly defined signs, which are inherent only to a heart attack. For example, the initial symptomatology resembles the development of pulmonary insufficiency. And the appearance of dyspnea, cyanosis of mucous tissues is often perceived as signs of bronchial asthma and other ailments of the respiratory system.
Many heart diseases are accompanied by fainting, shaky gait, a sharp increase in blood pressure, so in some cases it is not always possible to find out that a dog has a heart attack, not a heart defect, cardiomyopathy or another heart disease.
Specialists confirm that the owner of the pet can not independently diagnose the infarction, as the clinical picture is rather blurry.
Diagnosis of an infarct in an animal is only possible by a specialist with experience and knowledge in the field of cardiology. It is advisable to apply to a veterinary clinic, where doctors of narrow specialization are accepted - cardiologists engaged in the ailments of the heart muscle.
When a pet is admitted to a veterinary clinic, a comprehensive examination is prescribed, including the following laboratory and instrumental diagnostic techniques:
- collection of blood and urine for general analysis;
- control over pressure changes;
- chest X-ray;
The most informative method of examining the heart of veterinarians consider angiography. However, the procedure is performed under anesthesia, which is extremely dangerous in case of problems in the cardiovascular region.
When a heart attack requires differential diagnosis, which makes it possible to distinguish the disease from other cardiac pathologies that have a similar clinical picture.
Treatment and first aid
First of all, the owner should know what to do if the pet develops primary signs of a heart attack. Especially it concerns animals with heart diseases or elderly dogs.
In the first place, it is recommended to give Kardamin-3 drops or Corvalol-10-15 drops to the dog, the funds are poured into the mouth. Dosage is calculated based on the body weight of the patient. If the pet has difficulty breathing, then you can let him sniff the fleece with a few drops of flavor oil or salt.
This is the only thing that a person can do for his pet on his own, all other actions can only worsen his condition. Therefore, it is recommended that the animal be delivered to the veterinarian's office as soon as possible. It is best if the patient is left in a hospital setting, which will ensure a more complete treatment of the infarction.
The therapeutic effect includes the use of medication:
- antianginal drugs, for example, Nitroglycerin - these drugs increase the uptake of oxygen by the heart cells;
- funds supporting the activity of the heart muscle - Adrenaline, Caffeine, etc .;
- drugs that have an antithrombotic effect - heparin sodium, heparin, Fraksiparin, etc.
In addition, the doctor prescribes vitamin-mineral complexes that support the functioning of the organism of a sick animal. Unfortunately, with a large heart attack a pet can not be cured. But if the therapy is started on time, the animal has a chance to suffer an ailment and return to normal life.
Also, treatment includes mandatory correction of nutrition. The diet consists of a number of restrictions and the addition of some products:
- from the diet of the dog should be removed all food containing a large amount of fat;
- useful are lactic acid products;
- should choose a feed containing all the necessary elements, with natural feeding, the veterinarian should recommend additional supplements;
- in the menu of the animal there should be no sweet and baked food.
A pet who has had a heart attack needs special care. The owner has to revise the existing regime and pay more attention to the pet:
- If a heart attack occurred in a working dog participating in hunting or sporting events, it is important to significantly reduce its physical activity.
- When it comes to an animal that participates in breeding, the first time it is desirable to exclude the possibility of mating, and later - to reduce the dog only with excellent health.
- The pet in this case requires periodic consultations of the veterinarian and preventive examinations.
- Experts advise from time to time to count the number of heart beats per minute, do this by touching the dog's chest. It is desirable to record the data in a special diary, indicating the date, time and the data received.
Normally, the rate of cardiac muscle contractions in representatives of large breeds is 70-100 beats per minute, in dogs of small size - 100-130.
Like humans, dogs have a likelihood of predisposing to cardiovascular ailments, and statistics confirm this. More often, the infarct is diagnosed in the following groups of animals:
- Representatives of large breeds. Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, Caucasian sheep-dogs and other large-sized animals suffer from necrosis of the heart muscle due to the fact that they are not properly picking up physical activity. Excessive activity negatively affects the work of the heart.
- Representatives of decorative rocks. In these crumbs, the frequent development of heart diseases is associated with excessive emotionality. They are more acute than other dogs, stress, in some individuals, a disorder of the psychic sphere can arise even because of too sharp a sound. During the fright the heart of the dog grows stronger, which eventually leads to its rapid wear.
Of course, heart attacks often occur in older animals, naturally, this is due to the worst state of blood vessels, the heart and the body as a whole.
As the owners and breeders of dogs say - these animals have a heart full of love. They live next to a person, adjust to his rhythm and are able to give his life for him, without hesitation. It is not surprising that the disease in this heart develops almost human - a serious, insidious, requiring compulsory treatment.