Enlarged Heart in Dogs: Explanation & Tips from a Vet

vet examining dog's heart
Reading Time: 6 minutes


Mild to severe, depending on the underlying condition

Table of Content

Key points

  • Requires diagnosis by a veterinarian.
  • Treatable by a veterinarian.
  • Not transmissible to other animals or humans.
  • Usually a lifelong condition.
  • Prevention is possible for some causes.
  • Diagnosis may require a physical examination, lab tests, x-rays, ECG, and echocardiography. 

Common in:

Symptoms and types:

Dogs with an enlarged heart are at an increased risk of sudden death (a “heart attack”) and so may pass away at home.

Understanding the diagnostics

Blood tests


Ultrasound (echocardiography)

Learning about the causes

Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease (MMVD)

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Congenital Heart Conditions


There are no effective home remedies to treat heart disease – you must see a veterinarian and follow their advice.

Best treatment options

Pimobendan (Vetmedin®)


ACE inhibitors

Heartworm treatment


Home remedies and their effectiveness

When to see a vet


Ruth graduated from Cambridge in 2014 and has worked as a small animal GP vet ever since. She is particularly interested in internal medicine, as it combines her love of problem-solving and her somewhat geeky love of knowledge, and has completed her certificate in Small Animal Medicine. She loves animals of all species but is particularly fond of cats.

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