My Dog Has An Enlarged Heart
We have a 7 1/2-year-old beagle/Lab mix who’s recently been diagnosed with an enlarged heart and an unidentified mass in her stomach. We don't want to go the surgery route, but we’d like to know how to make her comfortable and take care of her.
- Darlene K.
We’re sorry to hear about your dog’s recent diagnosis, Darlene. You can certainly care for her by paying attention to her diet. There are prescription diets for pets with cardiovascular diseases that your veterinarian may be able to recommend, but you can start off by knowing that pets with heart conditions can benefit from a low-sodium diet, as excess can add unnecessary stress to the heart. Pets with intestinal tract problems are often fed easy-to-digest foods that minimize stress on their digestive systems.
Low-fat diets and ones that contain single protein and carbohydrate sources are often recommended for pets with these conditions, too. We recommend that you work with your veterinarian, who is most familiar with your dog’s medical conditions, to determine specific dietary and care recommendations based upon your dog’s needs. You may also consider looking into veterinary hospice services, which will not only help you to care for your dog, but may also be able to help you and your family cope with her illnesses. You should be able to find out from your vet whether these services are available in your area.