Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Cardiovascular Disorders

Dilative (Congestive) Cardiomyopathy in Dogs

Animals Affected – Dog

General Information
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.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

  • Upon arrival, owners can call us from the curb in front of the clinic and we will have a technician assistant come to your car and bring your pet inside.
  • From here, your pet will be examined and the doctor will develop a treatment plan which he will then communicate via phone with the owner.
  • At the end of the visit, an invoice will be brought out to your car and payment can be taken via phone.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.