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How is congestive heart failure in dogs diagnosed?

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Heart failure is when your dog’s heart has trouble pumping blood to the rest of its body. Your vet will ask about symptoms, diet, and medications and if your dog is current on heartworm protection.

The vet will listen to your dog's chest and may want to run some tests, including:

  • A blood and urine test to rule out other medical problems
  • Chest X-rays
  • EKG. This test measures electrical signals from your dog's heart
  • Ultrasound to look at the size, shape, and movement of the heart.
  • Blood test to check for heartworms
  • Holter monitor on your dog’s chest for 24-48 hours to measure its heart rhythms and rate

From: Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Amy Flowers on September 13, 2018

Medically Reviewed on 9/13/2018

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Pets May Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease."

AKC Canine Health Foundation: "Aortic Stenosis."

VCA Animal Hospitals: "Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs."

Christina Fan, DVM, Pasadena Pets Veterinary Hospital

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: "Leaky Valve Disease in Older Dogs."

Tufts University: "Treatments for Pets with Heart Disease: Congestive Heart Failure."

American Veterinary Medical Association: "The Facts on AVMA's Proposed Policy on Raw Pet Food Diets."

The Humane Society of the United States.

Doctors, Fosters & Smith: "Heart Failure in the Dog."

Reviewed by Amy Flowers on September 13, 2018

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Pets May Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease."

AKC Canine Health Foundation: "Aortic Stenosis."

VCA Animal Hospitals: "Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs."

Christina Fan, DVM, Pasadena Pets Veterinary Hospital

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: "Leaky Valve Disease in Older Dogs."

Tufts University: "Treatments for Pets with Heart Disease: Congestive Heart Failure."

American Veterinary Medical Association: "The Facts on AVMA's Proposed Policy on Raw Pet Food Diets."

The Humane Society of the United States.

Doctors, Fosters & Smith: "Heart Failure in the Dog."

Reviewed by Amy Flowers on September 13, 2018

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What treatments can help my dog with congestive heart failure?

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