Causes of Congestive Heart Failure in Labs
- Large breed dogs like the Labrador Retriever are prone to disease processes like congestive heart failure. Genetics does seem to play a part in these conditions.
- Other causes of congestive heart failure in Labradors can be a deterioration of the heart valves, heart worm disease, and build up of scar tissue in the wall of the heart, read more about dog enlarged heart and canine heart murmur
Symptoms of CHF in Labradors
- The main symptoms of congestive heart failure in Labrador Retrievers are fluid buildup in the lungs and fatigue. Fatigue is caused by the hearts inability to deliver enough fresh oxygenated blood to the organs and muscles.
- Fluids build up in the chest or in the stomach. This fluid buildup leads to coughing, shortness of breath, and respiratory distress.
- Read more about symptoms of cardiomyopathy in cats and its treatment. Also read what causes enlarged heart in cats
Congestive Heart Failure in Labrador Retrievers Treatments
- Changes in your dogs activities of daily life are necessary with this heart condition.
- Avoid overexertion. Keep notes of your dogs tolerance to walks, playtime, and other physical activities. Know when it is too much for the dog. Watch for increased breathing difficulties.
- Air conditioning is beneficial on extremely hot or humid days. It will help your dog breathe easier and be more comfortable.
- As a treatment for congestive heart failure, change to a low salt diet and stick to it faithfully. Dog treats are generally filled with sodium. Avoid them. Salt causes more fluid accumulation in the body.
- Never cut out the dog’s water supply unless you are specifically told to do so by a qualified professional. A dog needs cool, fresh water available at all times. Also read symptoms and treatment options of heart problems
- Doctors may prescribe diuretics or water pills to decrease the fluid buildup around the lungs. This will make the dog void more often and in large amounts. This is perfectly normal.