Top Ten Signs of Heart Disease in Dogs

Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

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your dog such as tiring more easily, being less playful, reluctance to exercise, reluctance to accept affection, being withdrawn, or seemingly depressed, these are all signs of heart disease.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.

shutterstock 18561217

  • 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.