Here’s the good news. Pets don’t really have heart attacks like we do. However, in some 'not quite as good' news, they do experience a form of heart disease from the most unlikely place… And it can be totally preventable…
So there is good news. Coronary artery disease (the blockages of the heart’s blood vessels that causes heart attacks in people) isn’t really a thing in pets. But it turns out that those big hearted, hairy humans don’t escape heart disease entirely.
In fact, a condition called congestive heart failure is seen past the age of 10; especially in small and medium sized dogs. The cause is simple. A heart valve that doesn’t close properly. Meaning their heart doesn’t pump blood efficiently leading to a build-up of fluid in the lungs or the belly. But it’s one of the most common causes of that leaking heart valve that’s so surprising.
Some background: The heart valve is like a door that needs to open and close cleanly. But if dangerous bacteria land on that valve, that door is eaten away, becomes misshapen and starts to let fluid back in.
So where do those dangerous bacteria come from? Well, not from where you might expect. It’s actually their mouth. Yes, that bacteria-laden brown tartar that’s sticking to their teeth is actually a dangerous bank of bugs. And those bugs are constantly trying to invade into the gums. That’s why you’ll often see that red line on their gums as their own immune system tries to fight back. Once the bugs break in, they enter the blood stream and land on the heart valves where the problems begin.
Ultimately, preventing heart disease is about preventing dental disease and those bacteria going wandering. Using even one of my Drool Teeth + Breath treats after meals helps to neutralise bacteria, freshen breath and fight back against tartar buildup. They’ll also help prevent the teeth from becoming so overrun with tartar that they need a full clean under anaesthetic at the vet.
So while the eyes might be the window to the soul, the mouth is a surprising and important window to that beautiful heart of theirs…