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Heart disease refers to changes in the heart muscle, heart valves and other structural changes that lead to a reduction in cardiac output. In the senior age every tenth dog is affected. Every twenty-fifth cat.

The heart is a pump consisting of four chambers. A right and a left collect blood before the tricuspid or mitral valve opens to allow blood to enter the heart chambers. Please have a look at our heart diagram below this paragraph. If you move the mouse pointer over the illustration, the labels of the sections appear. The right blue side of the heart contains venous, oxygen-depleted blood. From the main chamber, the blood goes to the lungs to be enriched with oxygen. The left area of the heart, shown in red, contains oxygen-rich blood from the lungs, which is expelled into the body through the left main chamber via the to supply nutrients and oxygen to the organs. The heart may beat independently with its own rhythm, or be controlled by the vagus nerve.

Schematic diagram of the heart:

The most common heart diseases are valvular insufficiencies, where the valves are damaged by inflammatory processes or "wear and aging" bend and no longer close properly. This is how some of the blood goes backward instead of forward with each heartbeat. This results in a limitation in the heart's ability to pump blood.

The heart muscle can also become diseased. Either it becomes too vigorous (hypertrophic), so that the amount of blood that fits into the main chambers and is ejected per heartbeat is too small. Another possibility is that the muscle layer becomes thinner and thinner over time and the cavity of the chamber becomes much larger, so that the amount of blood to be expelled is much too large for the weakened heart muscle. In both cases the cardiac output decreases. Heart muscle diseases are more frequent in cats than in dogs.

Cardiac disease leads to heart failure or multiple organ failure in the terminal stage. When the heart is no longer able to supply the body with oxygen and nourishment, death follows !

Factors that increase the likelihood of heart disease occurrence:


Valvular insufficiencies are more common in small breeds, z.B. in dwarf poodles, Pekinese, Pugs as well as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Heart muscle diseases, z.B dilated cardiomyopathy, found in Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Boxer, Doberman and Great Danes. Heart valve insufficiencies with cardiomyopathy affect v.a. St. Bernard and large poodle.


Young animals suffer from congenital heart disease. Heart disease is more common in seniors (seven to eight years of age and older).


Heart disease is more common in males than females.

Physical Contition:

Dogs and cats with and little tendency to heart disease.

Symptoms that may indicate heart disease:

– Decreased exercise tolerance (tires quickly on exertion) – frequent coughing – respiratory problems (rapid panting, accelerated breathing) – and weakness – swelling of the abdomen – decreased desire to eat – weight loss – listlessness and weakness – fainting and collapse – signs of paralysis in the hind legs in cats – irregular heartbeat in cats

Signs of the early stages are not clear in heart disease. Have your pet examined regularly by your family veterinarian. In case of doubt, the advice of a specialist should be sought. Do not hesitate when it comes to the health of your pet!


During your annual exam, you will perform a general clinical examination of your pet. This is where your veterinarian, checks the mucosal KFZ or blood filling time, pulse, heartbeat and rhythm, heart sounds and lung sounds. If there are any abnormalities in these examinations, your veterinarian will refer you to a specialist or will perform further examinations himself. These examinations include:

X-ray examination: This provides information about the size, shape and position of the heart. Furthermore, fluid accumulation in the chest cavity and lungs, and in some cases, can be visualized.

Electrocardiography (ECG): In this examination procedure, the electrical heart currents are recorded. The doctor gets information about heart rhythm and heart function.

Echocardiography: this diagnostic procedure uses the sound waves from the ultrasound machine to give the doctor a look inside the heart. With the Doppler method the blood flow in the heart can be measured. Be measured in the blood vessels. which makes it possible to detect malformations of the valves or the heart wall. In cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), wall thickness and pumping efficiency can be accurately measured.

Blood prere measurement: this examination can be done today by the modern devices as easily as in humans with a cuff.

Blood tests: They help the veterinarian get more information about the heart muscle damage: whether there is one behind it, to what extent other organs in the body have been damaged by the diseased heart, and which organs should be relieved of as much prere as possible in the. In some cases these organs must be treated as well.

Feed recipe

Please use only in extreme emergencies, when no ready-made diet is at hand!



100 g of lean beef 50 g of lean pork 600 g of floury potatoes without salt 2 tablespoons of corn oil 3 tablespoons of wheat bran

mix everything well; feed fresh if possible.

300 g of lean beef heart 100 g of boiled noodles without salt 1 soft boiled unsalted carrot 1 teaspoon of lard 1 teaspoon of wheat bran

Vitamin, mineral powder according to the weight of the animal following the manufacturer's instructions.

Mix well in a blender and grind it up.

Ready feed

Various manufacturers offer ready-to-eat diets. These are very high quality feeds that stand out due to their carefully selected ingredients or specially prepared ingredients.

These are prescription diets that are only available from a veterinarian!

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