Signs of heart failure in dogs


Congestive heart failure is the inability of the heart to provide adequate circulation to meet the body’s needs. It is the end result of a weakened heart muscle. The health of the liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs is impaired by the circulatory failure, resulting in a problem involving multiple organs. A diseased heart can compensate for many months or years without signs of failure.


The early signs of congestive heart failure are:

  • Coughing

  • Rapid or laboured breathing

  • Tiring easily

  • Fainting

  • Lack of appetite

  • Abdominal swelling

A dog with heart disease may exhibit one or more of the above symptoms. Most heart problems in dogs can be controlled with the appropriate medication and monitoring.

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