Pet Health

Canine Heart Disease Seminar

Written by Rachel Phelps

Recently, I was invited to attend an editors’ roundtable on Canine Cardiology in Chicago, Illinois.  I was so excited to go, but due an allergic reaction I had gotten from some flea bites, Mom said it was better for me to stay home and get well.  I admit, I did pout because I wanted to go to the Windy city, but I knew Mom could cover it for the blog.  So … here is Mom’s recap on this very educational workshop:

Did you know that about 10% of all dogs have heart disease? Annually, that is 7.9 million dogs suffering from heart desease.  Of those, 3.2 million were diagnosed within the past year.  Before attending this session, I knew nothing about canine heart disease and had no idea what a serious issue it was for our pets.  FYI: cats are susceptible to the disease as well, that is what we believe contributed to our cat Ashes passing away.

Certain breeds are at a much higher risk of developing this terrible disease in their lifetime.  For example, Dobermans, Boxers, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very high risk (over 50%) and even terriers carry a higher than normal chance.  Also, the smaller the dog and/or the older the dog, the larger the risk can be.

Here are some shocking stats about Canine Heart Disease:

  • About 10% of dogs between five and eight years old have valvular disease
  • About 20%-25% of dogs between nine and twelve years of age have valvular disease
  • About 30%-35% of dogs over thirteen years of age have valvular disease
  • About 75% of dogs over sixteen have valvular disease.

The typical kinds of heart disease include:

Congenital Heart Disease – Most of the time, dogs only have this kind of heart disease by being born with it.  Luckily, it can usually be cured by surgery by a vet who specialized in cardiology.  This surgery corrects a dog’s heart valve that doesn’t open or close all the way.

Other kinds of heart disease that can be acquired over the life of your pet include problems with the valves or problems with the heart’s muscle.

Overall, the two-day roundtable was very informative and educational.  Preston and I can’t wait to share with you more valuable information over the next couple of weeks about your pet’s heart.

Disclosure:  I was invited to an editors’ Roundtable by Boehringer Ingelheim VetMedica.  Hotel and meals where provided.


About the author

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps, “America’s Pet Parent,” is an award-winning writer, photographer, and certified dog trainer. She keeps busy managing the career of her Internet celebrity dog Preston from Preston Speaks. Her three Westies — who think they are mini-humans — and three cats rule the house. To learn more about Rachel go to: Rachel Phelps Website

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