About 11% of the 75 million dogs in this country have heart problems. That number increases to more than 60% in older dogs and certain breeds .
Veterinary specialists say while clogged arteries are a big problem for humans, canines are more likely to suffer from heart muscle, valve and structure problems. Still, early treatment with some of the same medication helps both species.
Dr. Barret Bulmer ia a professor of veterinary cardiology at Tufts University. He says, "some of the early warning signs owners might identify can be exercise intolerance, lethargy, weakness, and unwillingness to eat. A lot of owners will think that's more of an age-related thing where in fact it might be heart disease."
Dr Bulmer says medications to reduce fluid build-up and make the heart function better can help dogs with heart disease live longer, more comfortable lives.
For more information on canine heart disease, go to Tuft's University's Heartsmart site.