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Heart Beat Problems (Fibrillation and Flutter) in Dogs




Your veterinarian will first diagnose the level of flutter or fibrillation your dog is experiencing, and whether there is an underlying disease of the heart, such as CHF, that is responsible for the atrial arrhythmia. If the heart is beating too rapidly, your dog will be treated medically for the rhythm to be slowed down. If no underlying disease is found to be present, the treatment will be directed towards normalizing the rhythm of heart and getting the sinoatrial node back into sync with the atrioventricular node (AV) node. If the fibrillation is a chronic problem (more than four months), the success rate drops accordingly and problem recurrence is common in these cases. Electrical shock therapy may be used to normalize the rhythm is some cases. If underlying cardiac disease like CHF is present, the treatment will also be directed towards its treatment, along with stabilizing the heart rhythm.


Living and Management


Follow your veterinarian’s guidelines regarding diet, exercise, rest, medication, and management of your dog's health at home. In cases of primary atrial fibrillation, recurrence can occur, especially in patients with chronic problems. Observe your dog’s health and call your veterinarian if you notice any symptoms that appear out of the ordinary. In cases of severe cardiac diseases like CHF, a high level of commitment and care will be required on your part for the treatment and management of your dog's at home treatment. Keeping a diary of all events and staying in touch with your veterinarian throughout the treatment period will help you to follow your dog's progress and notice any problems as soon as they occur.



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