Cardiomyopathy in Dogs
Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease in which the heart is abnormally enlarged, thickened or stiffened. This usually weakens the heart's ability to pump blood. The condition ordinarily begins in the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) and, in more severe cases, may affect the walls of the upper chambers of the heart (the atria or auricles).
There are two general types of Cardiomyopathy, ischemic (lack of oxygen) and non-ischemic. In an ischemic Cardiomyopathy, there is a hardening of the arteries on the surface of the heart, reducing the amount of oxygen-rich blood delivered to the muscle. Eventually, the heart muscle enlarges due to the extra work that it must do in the absence of enough oxygen-rich blood. The specific cause of nonischemic Cardiomyopathy is not known, but it is associated with genetic factors, viral infection, the build-up of fats and proteins in the heart muscle and an excess of iron (hemochromatosis) in the heart.
For a nutritional support program for this condition, please see the following Article.