How to Tell if a Puppy Has Heart Problems

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Some breeds are more susceptible to heart problems than others. Especially large dogs may have serious difficulties early in life.
Some breeds are more susceptible to heart problems than others. Especially large dogs may have serious difficulties early in life. (Image: http://www.thenothingblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/image001.jpg, http://vonknopfdanes.com/myPictures/4.jpg)

Sometimes, despite the best care possible, a puppy can develop a serious health problem. One such problem that is nearly impossible to foresee is heart disease. If your puppy has heart disease, you can often treat it in a way that lets your new dog live a happy, healthy life, but you must catch it early before your little dog gets too sick to recover. While heart disease is hard to predict, once it creates a problem it is fairly easy to diagnose. If you suspect your puppy has heart problems, take him to a vet immediately to start a treatment plan.

Note a lack of interaction. If your puppy usually sticks close to you, is eager for attention and is generally willing to play, it will be obvious when she is not feeling well, because these behaviors will lessen or stop altogether. If you own a more standoffish breed, this disinterest can be harder to spot, so you may need to keep a journal of your puppy's behavior so you can pinpoint odd actions. Generally, a disinterest in playing or interaction indicates that your puppy feels tired, and a puppy that is tired all the time is not fully healthy.

Check for irritability. Dogs often become irritable when they do not feel well. Most puppies are pretty good-natured and respond in a laid-back manner to being awakened, carted around or taken outside for walks. If your puppy becomes snappish and unpleasant, this is a good sign that something is awry.

Watch your puppy when he is playing. If he suddenly stops without warning and collapses, as if from exhaustion, he may be experiencing some pain or other problem with his heart. This can be a little harder to identify because puppies play hard and rest equally hard, but if you have any doubts, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

A tired puppy may be just fine, but a puppy that collapses or cannot be awakened is not OK.
A tired puppy may be just fine, but a puppy that collapses or cannot be awakened is not OK.

Determine how she tires out. If your puppy always tires abruptly, this can signal a problem. While puppies often wear out and take power naps without warning, if your dog always goes from active to dead tired in seconds, this can be a serious indication of heart problems.

Work with a vet to identify the problem. If you have any concerns about your puppy's health and heart, you should take him to the vet immediately. The vet can quickly determine if your puppy is experiencing heart problems or is just a normal, active animal.

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