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Atrial Fibrillation in Dogs

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical. Administer prescribed medication(s) as directed, and be certain to alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your dog. Optimal follow up veterinary care for atrial fibrillation often involves the following:

  • Regular examinations that include an interview about clinical symptoms and quality of life. Be prepared to answer questions about your dog's activity, appetite, ability to sleep comfortably, breathing rate and effort, coughing, exercise tolerance, and overall quality of life.

  • Bring your medications with you to show your veterinarian. Dosing is critical for heart medication.

  • Measurement of arterial blood pressure is often done when dogs are in heart failure.

  • Blood tests to examine kidney function and blood electrolytes are routinely recommended.

  • A blood digoxin test should be done periodically if that drug is prescribed.

  • A chest X-ray may be needed to evaluate the lungs for fluid.

  • A periodic electrocardiogram is recommended to evaluate the heart rhythm and verify heart rate control in AF.

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