Dilative cardiomyopathy is the most common heart muscle disorder of dogs and usually affects large-breed dogs over 3 years of age. The heart muscle becomes severely weakened, and the heart enlarges (dilates). Enlargement of the heart reduces efficiency of the pumping action and results in heart failure.
Although the cause of primary dilative cardiomyopathy is unknown, some cases are due to muscle damage from infections, toxic substances, other diseases, or deficiencies of the amino acid L-carnitine.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Dilative cardiomyopathy is a very serious condition. Although some affected dogs have survived 2 or more years, the overall average survival time is only 6 months.
2. Medication: Giving all medications on schedule is extremely important. Please call the doctor if you cannot medicate your dog as instructed.