Dog Enlarged Heart

by ashh



My dog has an enlarged heart and survived Parvo. How should I care for her?

My dog Rosie, I saved her from some pretty cruel people. She's a wonderful dog my best friend. After doing some research with the previous owners on a quest for papers, I found out that she has battled parvo and had an enlarged heart...

My question is.. what does this mean for Rose? What are her limits? What should i watch for and protect her from? And what are the do's and dont's when dealing with a dog with her medical history?

This is my first pit I've had her for almost 2 years now. She's about 3 years old and a wonderful wonderful dog and I'm just not sure what to do with my baby girl here. I want to keep her safe and living strong and long.

Gale's Reply:

Hi Ashh

Having survived Parvo and found her way to you, Rosie sure is one lucky dog.

Regular vet check ups are your best defense against future problems. Many dogs that survive Parvo go on to live full lives with no restrictions.

The main thing with Parvo is that it attacks the immune system and inflames the digestive tract. You'll want to be sure she's on a high quality diet. Depending on her sensitivity and degree of recovery, your vet might even recommend a bland diet and supplements for awhile.

An enlarged heart is a different kind of concern. You'll need to find a balance that keeps her active at a level that is optimal for her without putting too much strain on her heart.

Here again, your vet is your best ally in keeping her healthy. A number of the heart medicines that are taken by humans can also help dogs.

For example, direutics that prevent the build up of excess fluid and vasodilators that relax the blood vessels making it easier for the blood to circulate properly are regularly given to dogs with heart problems. Supplements like CoQ10 and Taurine are also sometimes part of the treatment plan. But, you'll need to see your vet for proper dosing for Rosie.

I'm so pleased that Rosie, with all she's been through, has finally found someone to love and take care of her. Big hugs to you both.

Feel free to post back here and lets us know how it's going.

Comments for Dog Enlarged Heart

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Aug 19, 2011
Be Proactive
by: Jody

I definitely agree with keeping regular vet visits and being proactive about your dogs health! When you are in tune with your dogs health it's easier to recognize when something is wrong. Don't ignore even subtle changes in their demeanor or behavior, I speak from experience! My last dog was a beautiful blue pit bull who had some unique health issues. He had surgery when he was 5 to fix ligaments that were growing around his spinal cord. After that I started taking him for acupuncture treatments. His dr said his "chi" wasn't flowing (I know, I know...) but he did have an issue with blood flow because I always noticed his lower body was cooler to the touch then his upper body. One day out for a walk I noticed he suddenly became afraid of shadows on the ground and seemed to be leery of going up and down steps, or in and out of the car. I was concerned about his eyesight and was going to ask the vet at his next appt (a week away). Instead I woke up a few days later to find him dead. He had a blood clot that had dislodged and killed him instantly when it hit his heart. Now, there is NO guarantee that if I had taken him to the vet immediately, they would have figured it out, but at least I wouldn't be left feeling that I failed him. Sorry, I'm definitely not trying to scare you, but because I am a cancer survivor, I tell people the same thing about their own health. Don't ignore things and be proactive and preventative! It's the best way to catch something early when it can usually be dealt with and often fixed. Best of luck to you!

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