A joyful heart is good medicine for the body. When you take care of your pet’s heart, you take care of their overall health. Although heart problems occur more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If caught early, some forms of heart disease can be cured. To learn more about our cardiology services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 519-972-9000.
What causes cardiac problems in my pet?
There are several reasons your pet can develop heart problems such as their age, breed, lifestyle, genetics and nutrition. Heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which takes place when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. Common cardiac problems found in pets include:
- Congenital heart disease
- Valvular heart disease
- Heartworm disease
- Heart arrhythmias
What are the signs of heart disease in my pet?
Some pets are born with heart disease while others develop it over time. On your own, it can be hard to notice if your pet is showing signs of heart disease. The best way to know is to bring your pet in for regular checkups. We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as ECGs, X-rays, and ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure. Some signs to look out for include:
- Persistent cough or difficulty breathing
- Fainting or decreased energy
- Abdominal swelling
- Weight loss or loss of appetite