Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

Dogs are man's best friend and there is nothing more important than our dog's health. Today's topic will cover congestive heart failure. We will learn to know and understand what it is, what it does and how we can prevent such a disease from happening to our dogs.

Congestive heart failures is the final result of a massive heart disease or a genetic malformation of the heart muscle. These conditions can severely lessen the heart's ability to pump effectively thus, fluid retention in the dog's body cavities eventually lead to a complete heart failure. Due to the many causes of heart failure, this disease can be seen in dogs of any age or breed but larger breeds are more apt in having this condition as opposed to smaller breeds. Some of the most prone breeds are Dobermans, Boxers, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Cocker Spaniels and Scottish Deerhounds. There are many things that can cause failure in your dog's heart. Some are treatable and some are not.

Some common causes of congestive heart failures are:

  • Congenital Heart Defects
  • Heartworm
  • Degeneration of the heart valve
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Inflammation and disease of the pericardium
  • Arrhythmia
There are two types of congestive heart failure, the left CHF and the right CHF. They have some symptoms that are identical and some that are different but are all dangerous to your dog's health.

With the left CHF, your dog should have the following symptoms:
  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Coughing
  • Fainting
For the Right CHF, your dog should be feeling these symptoms:
  • Swollen abdomen due to fluid build up
  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Coughing
  • Swelling of the limbs

Congestive heart failure in dogs
may be diagnosed by your vet by using a stethoscope to listen to your dog's heart and lungs. Other testing procedures that may be used are x-rays, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and measuring blood pressure. Doing these tests will allow the vet to develop a treatment plan. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the dog's heart problem. Treatment may be done at a dog hospital or at home. When at home, always monitor your dog's diet and activities. Try to make it stress free for your dog and let him enjoy an activity level where he is comfortable with at his own pace. Do not try to force him. Anything that looks out of the ordinary should be immediately addressed to your vet. Do not try to do things on your own so as to avoid complicating your dog health.

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February is Pet Dental Health Month

Dog health, cat health and generally, our pet's health is very important but often overlooked or forgotten in this busy times of economic struggle. This is why February is the time for our pet's dental health because just like their owners, they need the dental attention too. It is a known fact that eighty percent of dogs and seventy percent of cats show signs of oral disease as early as age three and dental health doesn't just affect the mouth. It may actually lead to more serious health problems such as heart, lungs and kidney disease. We definitely wouldn't want that to happen to our precious babies. So let’s look at what you can do and try to break it down so that you would know how to go about the task.

One very serious disease is called the Periodontal Disease. It is an infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth that can take hold during the progressive stages. It starts out as mere plaque and eventually, as the bacteria in the plaque dies, it becomes calcified by the calcium found in saliva. It now becomes tartar and invites more plaque and will lead to gingivitis which causes the gums to swell and bleed. If left untreated, it can spread around the root of the tooth. Finally, the surrounding tissues are destroyed and the bone socket holding the tooth erodes and the tooth becomes loose. This is very painful for your canine friend but luckily, it can be prevented by gaining information on your dog's health as well as other pets.

The two critical components of your pet's dental care are oral examinations and dental cleanings. It is highly recommended that you have your pet checked early because then, as your pet ages, your veterinarian will look for developmental anomalies, the accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease and oral tumors. Basic oral examinations can be performed while the patient is awake but anesthetics may be required for a more thorough and complete examination as well as the cleaning itself. It is also recommended by the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) that general anesthesia should be used for oral examinations as well as dental cleanings for all cats and dogs. Furthermore, these procedures should be done at least annually at one year of age for cats and small breed dogs and at two years of age for large breed dogs. This is not much to do for our pet's sake knowing that you would do anything for you cat's or dog's health any day.

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Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds for 2009

Every year the American Kennel Club declares top 10 of the most popular dog breeds in the US. Even though the Top 10 Popular Dog Breeds for 2009 were not yet announce, it is clearly evident that Labrador Retriever will again be the victor for 19 years in a row. AKC Dog Registration Statistic for 2009 shows that Labrador retriever is unanimously the number one in the top 10 Most Popular Breeds in the 50 Largest U.S. Cities for 2008 and most probably will continue until the end of 2009.

Below are the list of American Kennel Club Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds for 2008 in 50 Major US Cities

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Yorkshire Terriers
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Beagles
  6. Boxers
  7. Dachshunds
  8. Bulldogs
  9. Poodles
  10. Shih Tzu

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The Westminster Kennel Club 2009 Dog Show

Monday and Tuesday, February 9-10, 2009
Madison Square Garden
Pennsylvania Plaza
Seventh to Eighth Avenues and 31st to 33rd Streets
New York, New York

America's First and Only Champions Only Dog Show Entry limited to 2,500 dogs

Individual breed judging will take place each day between the hours of 8:00AM and 6PM.

All Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting and Herding breeds and varieties will be judged on Monday, with Groups judged on Monday evening.

All Sporting, Working, and Toy breeds and varieties will be judged on Tuesday, with Groups judged on Tuesday evening. Best In Show will also be judged on Tuesday evening.

All Junior Showmanship preliminaries will be judged on Monday afternoon, with the finals to be held at 7:30PM on Tuesday evening.

170 Breeds and Varieties will be judged in seven different groups during the day Monday and Tuesday*.

*Competition in each breed and variety may be viewed in streaming video at the Westminster website. This video will be available within two hours of completion of the judging of that breed. (Please note: A high speed connection is necessary for viewing.)

Broadcast Information

The Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting, and Herding group competition will be televised live Monday on USA Network from 8-9PM ET and continuing on CNBC from 9-11PM ET. The Sporting, Working, Toy, and Best In Show competition will be televised live Tuesday on USA Network from 8-11PM ET.

Breed judging highlight videos are available throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday on the Westminster Web site. These highlights will be available after the show, as well.

To our West Coast viewers: Please note that the West Coast telecast is delayed for your time zone. Since results are posted to our Web site as they occur live, if you want to enjoy the drama of the moment, please avoid the Westminster Web site after 5 p.m. Pacific Time on each evening.

More info

Future Westminster Dog Show Dates

Monday and Tuesday, February 15-16, 2010

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