Top Ten Signs of Heart Disease in Dogs

Early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference when it comes to heart disease in dogs. It is important for dog owners to be aware of the signs of heart disease so they can bring potential issues to their veterinarian’s attention as soon as possible. To kick off Heartworm Awareness Month, provides the top ten signs of heart disease in dogs.

  • Coughing: Coughing in dogs is a very common symptom of many illnesses, one of those being heart disease. Minor coughs will not last more than a few days. If after three days your dog is still coughing, or is experiencing other symptoms, seek veterinary care.
  • Difficulty Breathing: Difficulty breathing due to shortness of breath, labored breathing, or rapid breathing can all be signs of heart disease in dogs.
  • Changes in Behavior: If you notice behavior changes within your dog such as tiring more easily, being less playful, reluctance to exercise, reluctance to accept affection, being withdrawn, or seemingly depressed, these are all signs of heart disease.
  • Poor Appetite: Loss of appetite in dogs is almost always a symptom of something. If combined with any of the other symptoms on this list, it could be a strong indicator of heart disease.
  • Weight Loss or Gain: Weight loss is definitely a symptom of heart disease, though dog weight gain can be as well. More likely than weight gain is a bloated or distended abdomen, which can give your dog a potbellied appearance.

  • Fainting/Collapsing: If your dog faints or collapses at any time, seek veterinary help. It may be a sign of many different serious illnesses, heart disease being one of them.
  • Weakness: Weakness may be seen as a general sign of aging, but be sure to seek veterinary attention if it is combined with other symptoms.
  • Restlessness: If your dog gets restless, especially at night, it could be a sign of heart disease.
  • Edema: Edema is the swelling of body tissues. Your dog may show swelling in the abdomen and extremities if it has heart disease.
  • Isolation: If your dog suddenly starts to isolate itself, keeping its distance from other pets and/or you, this may be a sign of heart disease.


  1. Pat says on  03/02/2012 at 8:23 am

    Good read, thanks for sharing!

  2. glad to find this om computer thx

  3. Deborah says on  03/02/2012 at 8:35 am

    Humans too!

  4. Taurine deficiency is a cause of heart disease in Golden Retrievers. Supplementation of 500 mg Taurine twice daily can halt the disease.

    • Brenda says on  06/26/2013 at 7:04 pm

      My pomerian is 6 years old. She always had this breathing problem, kind of like snorring. Awake or Asleep. When she get’s excited, my Aunt who raises pomerians said she had a colapsed trekea, and not to worry. I took my Dog to get her nails cut, and the groomer asked how long has she had a Heart Problem? I didnt know what to say her vet. only see’s her 1 a year. If I gave her Taurine 500 mg. 2 a day whould that hurt her? Just to be on the save side of the problem? I am upset and not sure what to do she is my World, and I would do anything to help her. Please respond and let me know what you think ? Thank you, I will be checking my e-mail and pray for good new’s. Brenda

  5. Good job on keeping 1 aware of their dog’s health.

  6. Sue says on  03/02/2012 at 8:43 am

    thanks for the info

  7. Thank you for this list. I have three senior dogs and this is some good

  8. Stephanie says on  03/02/2012 at 9:01 am

    Important info. Thanks~<3~

  9. I wonder whether an early diagnosis of my Juliet’s lung cancer could have helped her. We actually got confirmation it was lung cancer after her death. So sad, RIP sweet Juliet.

  10. Debbi says on  03/02/2012 at 10:18 am

    Great advice!!

  11. It is very common in boxers….

  12. I just got my dog an echocardiogram yesterday. He had collapsed on Tues. He does have a heart murmur and the vet said there are some changes to his heart but not serious enough to require meds at this time. The collapse was luckily not related to his heart, it’s more likely a back problem that he had a few years ago. It’s so worth it to have the peace of mind of knowing what’s going on with him.

  13. Dungy our Pomeranian was born with pulmonic stenosis, a grade 4 heart murmur and an enlarged heart. After 5 wonderful years dungy went into congestive heart failure and sadly we had to let him go on Wednesday. My grief is beyond words but he is at peace now.

  14. hi!,I really like your writing very much! percentage we communicate more approximately your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this area to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look forward to peer you.

  15. sherry says on  11/26/2012 at 7:09 pm

    I have valley bulldogs and recently had a litter of which two of my puppies died of heart problems. could i give the puppies or the mother taurine and would that help?

  16. gisela perrin says on  04/29/2013 at 6:45 pm

    my Katie is a min. schnauzer 13 years old…she just started falling over, every so often… normal sinus rhythm/sinus arrhythmia wit some sinus pauses and occasional atrial premature beats…the call it sick sinus syndrome…is there any food we can give her???she is on taste of the wild now….or anything else…she had a ekg/

  17. C.C. says on  08/30/2013 at 11:35 am

    I Loss my baby to heart disease. Don’t guess.or wait. Go to Vet. If you Love your Baby.

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