Heart Failure, Congestive (Right-sided) in Dogs

The heart is a powerful organ responsible for circulation of blood and delivery of oxygen and important nutrients throughout the body. It consists of four chambers: the right atrium, right ventricle, left atrium, and left ventricle. Inferior and superior vana cavas are veins which bring blood from the lower and upper parts of body respectively to the right atrium. From RA, the blood is transferred to right ventricle through tricuspid valve. The right ventricle contracts and pumps the blood into pulmonary artery through pulmonary valve and into the lungs where the blood picks up oxygen and other nutrients. In short, The 

right-sided chambers provide blood flow to the lungs, while the left-sided chambers supply the remainder of the body

Right sided congestive heart failure occurs when right side of the heart is no longer working properly and cannot pump blood effectively to the lungs and left heart. In this condition, the heart fails to pump blood at the rate required to meet the basic needs of the body. Fluid accumulates in the abdomen and the chest. This condition leads to breathing difficulties and if left untreated, death may occur.

Common and obvious symptoms of right sided congestive heart failure include weakness, lethargy, difficulty breathing, an enlarged liver, and abdominal distension.  Symptoms that are found during physical examination of the dog include jugular vein distention, heart murmur, and rapid, shallow breathing.

Leave a Comment