Heart and Soul Trouble: Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Giant Schnauzers

Dog owner question

"Hi, my Giant Schnauzer has been panting a lot lately and seems to have a hard time breathing, especially when we are playing or on walks. What could be causing this?"

Veterinarian's answer

Dear Enquirer!

Based on what you have described, your dog's symptoms may indicate that he has a heart problem!

One of the most common genetic conditions in Giant Schnauzers is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a heart condition that leads to weakening of the heart muscle and enlargement of the heart.

As a result, the heart is unable to efficiently pump blood around the body, leading to a reduction in oxygen supply to organs.

DCM symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid or forceful breathing, feeling weak or tired, collapse and loss of appetite.

These symptoms usually become apparent when the dog is active, such as playing or walking.

Thediagnosis of DCM can usually be confirmed by an ultrasound scan, which will show the size and function of the heart!

Treatment usually includes medication to help improve the heart's function and reduce symptoms.

If your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, we recommend you see a vet as soon as possible!

Although DCM is a serious disease, early diagnosis and proper treatment can help improve your dog's quality of life and prolong its lifespan.

I hope this reply has helped you understand your dog's condition. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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