The vet found that Peter has chronic dry eye, as well as congestive heart failure. That’s right folks, your beloved dog can have heart problems just like you. Heart disease may lead to congestive heart failure, which means that your dog’s heart has a hard time pumping blood to the rest of his body. Some pups are born with heart issues (vets will often call this a congenital heart problem); however, old age, injury, infection and lifestyle (diet and exercise) can also play a role in heart issues. The disease can progress slowly and it may take years to spot. If your exhibits some of the following signs, consider taking your pet to the vet:
- Change in tongue or gum color due to poor blood flow
- Having a hard time breathing (this could mimic coughing) or exercising
- Pacing before bedtime and having a hard time settling down
- Swollen belly due to fluid buildup or fluid on the lungs (which poor Peter had)
- Tiring easily
- Weight loss
Acquired heart disease in dogs (like Peter) can be prevented with some of the following tips:
- Keep your dog’s teeth clean by brushing them and getting them cleaned regularly. Clean teeth help to prevent bacteria and decay from entering your dog’s bloodstream, which affects the heart.
- Keep your pup at a health weight, as excess weight puts more strain on your dog’s heart. You can keep your pet healthy by exercising them properly and feeding them appropriately.
- Make sure your dog is getting good sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, and other ingredients in the food you feed. L-Carnitine and Taurine, in particular, are good for your dog’s heart health.
- Make sure you schedule routine vet visits, and if your pet shows any of the signs listed above, make sure you take them to the vet immediately.
- Give your dog heartworm preventive (May-November in Wyoming) as heartworms kill and can stop the heart.
Peter's mom is unable to work, and was applying for Supplemental Security Income. She currently lives with her mom, who is disabled. Neither of the owners were prepared to cover the vet visit for Peter, so they reached out to Fur Kids Foundation for help.
Fortunately, the vets believed that with some medicine and a few lifestyle changes, Peter will live a happy life with his mom.
Fur Kids Foundation is grateful for the dedication of our volunteers and supporters who have helped local families stay happy and healthy, and together! If you would like to help Fur Kids Foundation continue to help families in Campbell County, Wyoming with animals, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. The money helps families during a time when they may not be able to afford adequate veterinary care. Check out more Success Stories.