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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1561
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
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Are frequent altitude changes harmful to small dogs. Just above

Customer Question

Are frequent altitude changes harmful to small dogs. Just above sea level to 5000 feet?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 14years and I'd like to help with your question.Physiologically, the effect of altitude change on dogs is the same as it is on people. They can get winded at higher elevations if they are not used to it, although we don't really feel like we see 'altitude sickness' in dogs. If you are making regular trips up the hill she will likely adapt and adjust to the frequent altitude change and have no problems.The only time we worry at all is in dogs with heart disease or pulmonary hypertension. These dogs don't do well with altitude change. The change can cause rapid decline in cardiac function and increase in cardiac stress. I wouldn't worry to much about taking her up the hill, but if she hasn't had a veterinarian take a listen to her heart recently and maybe even a chest xrays, it might be worth doing. If she has any evidence of heart enlargement or a murmur I might reconsider taking her to higher elevations.I hope that helps, but if you have additional questions please let me know. If not, please don't forget to rate my answer.