Heart diseases in animals, particularly your Boston Terrier is pretty much the same as what we experience.
It may surprise you to find that dogs too suffer from heart disease.
But your Boston Terrier’s heart too is a mechanical-electrical pump of living tissue
And is as prone to biological hazards affecting cells as it is to the mechanical, stretching, leaking, and electrical mishaps, pressure problems, clogs and disasters that affect non-living tissue.
TAKING YOUR BOSTON TERRIER TO THE VET
If you detect your Boston Terrier suffers from heart disease, and you know that this has a lot of parallels with the way we experience the same problem, then obviously you’d be looking for the same clues that cardiologists would.
These are being just a little tired or coughing after a spot of exercise.
Just like your cardiologist, the vet too will put your Boston Terrier through a thorough medical examination and carefully feel his heart and lungs, his pulse and the colour and nature of the mucus membranes.
He will also check the tiny vessels in his eyes, palpating the abdomen and perhaps recheck after exercise.
Although in the early stages of heart failure in dogs, they display no visible signs, yet heart failure can be diagnosed through a clinical evaluation by a vet.
If your Boston Terrier pet experiences heart failure, his symptoms of this would be a heart enlargement, coughing, lethargy and difficulty in breathing.
Severe heart failure is characterized by difficult breathing, even while at rest, fainting, profound intolerance to exercise, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Once your pet’s heart disease is suspected, your vet will discuss with you and ask for some of the below given laboratory and imaging alternatives to be taken:
- Elisa test: To eliminate the possibility of heartworm disease
- CBC and Chemistry: To find out if the kind of heart disease suffered by your pet is linked with other diseases such as kidney and liver diseases
- Radiographs: To check if your Boston Terrier has developed an enlarged heart or if it has tumors, or if his lungs are congested or whether he has developed fluid around the heart
- Urinalysis: Though this test doesn’t directly tell the vet anything specific about the condition of the animal’s heart disease, it is necessary when the patient is suspected of having heart disease. This is so because serious diseases such as heart disease don’t occur in isolation but affects or is affected by other organs too.
- So, a complete urine picture tells the vet whether the patient’s kidneys and bladder are functioning well.
- It also tells the vet if the related organs such as the pancreas, liver and gall bladder are in good health, besides also helping with the vet’s assessment of tissue hydration
- EKG: With the help of the reports of this test, the vet can rule out the presence of cardiac blocks and arrthymias, problems of electrical conduction of the heart, besides also indicating cardiac enlargement
- Echo, Ultra Sound, Angiograms, MRIs, Cat Scans and other types of Imaging: All this is now available in veterinary medicine, although usually a trip to a specialist facility is necessary.
Take your pet to a heart specialist for heart disease, after your vet assesses your pet’s case honestly.
Apart from medication, he will also suggest some of the following:
- Nutritional support: Give your Boston Terrier a nutritionally superior diet to minimize cardiac problems.
- Lose weight: As all heart patients are advised to, so also your Boston Terrier will be advised to lose any surplus weight.
- Improve cardiac functioning: Digoxin tablets are advised to improve the functioning of his heart.
- Blood Pressure tablets: Ace Inhibitors such as Enalapril or Captopril help to dilate the blood vessels and therefore greatly reduce the pressure on the heart. It would be dangerous for him if he has a renal problem, so check for a blood report and an urinalysis.
- Aspirin: Small doses of aspirin help clots from developing.
- Betablockers: These tablets help reduce the outflow obstruction common in heart disease.
To keep your Boston Terrier pets alive and healthy, you will have to first keep him well and then happy.
To do these, ensure that he gets a certain amount of exercise regularly and a balanced diet. Take proper care and vet advice to help your pet grow and live well and healthy for the full span of his life.