cardiomyopathy is a disease of heart muscles. This can be dilated, hypertrophic or restrictive cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) refers to the condition when the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently throughout the body. With the progression of the disease, the blood flows back to the lungs and other organs. Certain breeds have a greater tendency to develop this disease for example Dobermans, Boxers, Great Danes, and Cocker Spaniels. Symptoms of the disease include cough, lethargy, exercise intolerance, and even death. Dogs suffering from DCM may not show any symptoms until the disease has become advanced.
Physical examination is the first step towards the diagnosis of the disease which may sense abnormal rhythm. Ultrasound and ECG are performed to assess the severity of the disease. Treatment involves medication to help the weakened heart muscles to pump the blood efficiently. With the advent of new heart drugs, the prognosis for this condition has improved however, once the signs of heart failure occur, the prognosis is usually poor.