Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dog Heart Beat: Irregular Heartbeat in Dog

Irregular Heartbeat in Dog

Gosh... there's nothing to think that I am a vet. Let me, at the very outset, clear out one confusion. I write about dogs, dog behavior, dog emotions, dog food, dog breeds etc. You can also find some articles on dog diseases in this blog but I am not a veterinary practitioner. I am a dog lover, and love spending most times studying about them. I have dogs - who are my major sources of information. All I write here are what I have been learning by staying in close relation with dogs for over 15 years. The last week I received an email from somebody called Tina, who has a male Dob. She said that she is a regular reader of this blog... Thank you Tina and all my visitors for dropping by my blog!

Tina said that her dog seems to be a little uncomfortable before he fall asleep. Whenever her dob is lying, he seems to be in discomfort due to irregular heartbeat. She sought an advice from me as she thought that I am a vet. No, I am not a vet... just a dog lover like you guys. Well, I had a similar experience! Tina's email reminded of my Cizar (Pronounce 'Scissor'), who had the same problem. This post is all about the dog heart rate and irregular heartbeat in dogs. Here are certain information about irregular heartbeat in dog that I could gather from my vets and other sources when Cizar was alive. I continued studying about heart issues in dogs from various sources. So, here's something that you might find really helpful!

Dogs don't always show rhythmic beats; a slight break in the rhythm of heartbeats of dog as he inhales and exhales is quite normal, although the heartbeat should be strong, prominent, steady, regular and evenly spaced rhythm. Factors like fear, anxiety, fever, excitement, increases the heart rate in dogs. Exceedingly fast heart rate in dogs also indicates anemia, severe loss of blood, shock, dehydration, heat stroke, and/or cardiac and pulmonary diseases. On the other hand cardiac ailment, pressure on the brain, or in worse cases it indicates an advanced morbid condition leading to collapse of the circulatory system are the indicative of slow pulse rate. Excessively irregular, i.e. unevenly spaced heartbeats or disordered pulse in dogs under normal situation is a sign cardiac arrhythmia.

Vets use stethoscope to listen to the dogs heart beats. We can do it ourselves without a tool. Just place your era against the dog's chest and you can get the heart sounds clearly, provided there's no external noise around. The sound s should be distinctive and number of beats of most adult dogs at rest position range between 60 to 160 per minute depending on the breed size. The puppies in normal condition shows the heart rate around 220 beats per minute.

The heart sounds shouldn't heard all over the chest region. If it happens you dog has probably an enlarged heart and it's the time to give a call to your vet. You can hear heart murmurs... common thing, if the murmurs are not too intense. Slight heart murmurs are normal and caused by speedy blood flow through the heart. Serious and intense murmurs are indication of heart disease and/or anatomical defects. Anemia also causes heart murmurs. Your vet is the right person to diagnose what kind of murmur it is and what should be the steps of treatments. The seriousness of the heart murmur can only be determined by a chest x-ray and/or an echocardiogram (ECG) or an echocardiogram.

"Cardiac Thrills" in dogs are again serious issue. Cardiac thrill is describe as the palpable high-frequency vibration felt on the wall of the chest over the heart. If a dog has a structural defect in heart the speedy flow of blood causes vibrational sound called Cardiac thrills, which may accompany cardio-vascular ailments and cardiac murmurs. A thrill indicates serious cardiac condition.

If your dog seems to have any of these condition(s), you should call for a vet. No wait, no experiment, no taking time... just be serious about your dog's cardiac health. Most likely heart conditions in dogs are heart murmur, enlarged heart, Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM) etc. and are caused due to deficiency of L-Carnitine (antioxidant - natural protein) and Taurine (amino acid found naturally in the muscles of the body and heart tissues) deficiency. Bad news is that there's no way to say, except conducting a biopsy of heart tissue, if a dog is deficient in these essential nutrients. And sadly this investigations cannot be routinely carried out on living dogs. You can find L-Carnitine and Taurine pet supplement, that many vets are preferring to maintain the cardiac health in dogs.

You might like to read about Blood Pressure in Dogs, Canine blood pressure measurement. I thought you will also be interested in how YOUR stress can affect your dog!

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