The dog's cardiovascular system
The dog's heart functions as a pump that distributes blood throughout the body , through arteries and veins. The heart includes two atria and two ventricles. The left heart and the right heart do not communicate, except in certain pathological cases.
The blood enriched with oxygen gains, by the arterial way, the organs of the body. Oxygen is used by cells of all organs as a source of energy. The blood is depleted of oxygen and enriched with carbon dioxide. Through the vein, the blood returns to the lungs to eliminate carbon dioxide and replenish oxygen, and so on every second of life, from birth to death.
What a wonderful machine that this heart that beats regularly by adapting to the needs of the body throughout the life of the dog! When the dog makes an effort, the oxygen needs of the muscles increase, and the heart adapts by increasing the heart rate. At rest, the needs decrease, and the heart slows down thanks to a complex system of regulation of the heart beat.
The heart rate also varies with the age of the dog, its physiological state and its size. Most small dogs have an above-average heart rate. Birth abnormalities exist in puppies. They will be detected during the first visit to the veterinarian, for example at the time of the first vaccination.
To examine the heart, the veterinarian uses a stethoscope, to detect an abnormal noise, also called heart murmur. X-ray, ultrasound and electrocardiogram are used to refine the diagnosis.