Saturday, October 16, 2010

Does Your Gordon Setter Have a Heart Condition?

Would you know, if your dog had a heart condition? Do you know what the signs are?
In general, the two main heart conditions are Chronic Valvular Disease and Myocardial Disease.

Chronic Valvular Disease is more common in the smaller breeds like Miniature Poodles and Cocker Spaniels, and is caused by a leaking heart valve that reduces the quality of the blood being pumped through their body.

Myocardial Disease is more common in the larger breeds such as Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds, and in cats, and is a weakening, and or thickening of the heart muscle. The heart is less efficient and thereby not getting the right amount of blood to the heart.

Our Gordon's fall someplace in between.

Know these symptoms, so that if your Gordon exhibits any of these you can get them to your vet right away. It's important to know your dogs well, so that when something is a little off you'll recognize it hopefully in time to do something about it.

Signs of Heart Conditions:

Tired, lack of energy
Fainting or collapsing
Reduced ability to exercise
Breathing difficulties
Frequent coughing
Reduced appetite and or weight loss
abdominal swelling
partial paralysis of the hind leg

The more you know...the more you grow!

And remember, I'm not a vet, or trained medical professional. This information is for general purposes only.  Please consult your own Veterinarian on any concerns you have about your pet.
Information obtained by Hill's Prescription Diet .


  1. My gordon Falash had a rather severe prolapsed mitral valve which was picked up during a physical at the age of 8. We put her on medications and she lived to be 15 years and 5 months. Erin, my new old dog, also has a murmur at age 10 but no sign of heart failure so no meds are required. Early detection and treatment, if necessay, improves the outcome. I strongly advocate a routine physical with your vet and appropriate follow up as needed.

  2. Good advice, as always Art. Early detection is the key....just like with us humans. I think it's amazing that Flash lived to be 15 1/2 with a severe prolapsed valve! Annual check ups are good for sure, to find these things early. Thanks for the input and sharing your wisdom.

  3. Just reread my comment and realized Flash actually lived till 14 years and 5 months and Ginger was 15. Flash died of a major seizure not related to her heart but that's not the point. My vet told me that there is some controversy whether to start treatment early or wait for signs of heart failure. Routine checkups can pick up a murmur and compare normal blood pressure and heart rate for a determination whether there is any signs of heart failure. Early detection and treatment can do a lot to extend the life and quality of life for your dog.

  4. Well, Still, that's pretty good. They all have to die of something, sometime, just like us. But if we are in tune to what is normal, and what is not, it's a huge start in prevention. As for how soon to give meds, that depends on the condition of the dog. I would certainly aim for quality of life, as well as life it's self. I don't like taking, or giving medications that aren't totally necessary. Sometimes they are necessary to extend life.

  5. Dogs use much of the same medicine as people for heart failure. You can get a lot of these filled at Target or Wal-Mart for a few bucks. When needed, they can extend the life of your pet and relieve symptoms.