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Heart Disease (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) in Dogs




Treatment for HCM is normally only advised if the dog is experiencing congestive heart failure, severe arrhythmias (abnormal hearth rhythm), or frequent loss of consciousness. If the dog has left-sided congestive heart failure, diuretics and ACE inhibitors will usually be administered. In dogs with arrhythmias, beta adrenergic blockers or calcium channel blockers are used to improve oxygenation of the heart and to bring down the heart rate. Dogs that are not experiencing congestive heart failure due to HCM can usually be treated on an outpatient basis, where exercise restriction and a low sodium diet will be part of the treatment.


Living and Management


Follow-up treatment for HCM will depend largely on how severe the symptoms are. Repeated radiograph and echocardiograph imaging will be needed to follow the progress of the therapy, to watch for advancement of the disease, and to check on whether adjustments to medication are necessary. Because HCM is so rare in dogs, little data is available on the prognosis. If your dog does have congestive heart failure caused by HCM, the prognosis will usually be poor. Survival will depend largely on the extent of the disease. Your veterinarian will be able counsel you on your dog's chances for survival, and on quality of life practices you can put into place for your dog.



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