The canine cardiovascular system includes the pumping heart, as well as arteries and veins that are found throughout the body. Blood containing oxygen and nutrients pump away from the heart in arteries to organs and tissues, then returns in veins to be re-oxygenated. It is similar to the human system, although the size of the heart and beats per minute vary.
There are several tests that can check canine heart health, most are similar to how humans test their own hearts. Although Spinoni, as a breed, is considered heart-healthy, more breeders and owners are having cardio testing done on their dogs. General tests, as well as in-depth testing is available from our general veterinarians and canine cardiologists.
A current major concern regarding the canine heart is Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), which can cause heart failure. It has been around for years and can be linked genetically in some breeds. Recently, with the popularity of boutique dog foods and grain-free diets, there are signs DCM is connected to lack of the grains (specifically the amino acid, Taurine) once very commonly found in most dog foods. There are several studies in progress currently, and many veterinarians suggest feeding dog food produced where there are licensed nutritionists on staff, as well as long-term testing of their foods.
Frequently, the most common early sign of heart trouble in dogs is coughing, due to a buildup of fluid in the lungs. Swift veterinary care is important, as there are many medications that can ease the symptoms of heart disease/failure. Cardio health in our dogs is similar to that of humans, with nutritious foods and exercise playing an important role in keeping it healthy.