Learning that your cherished feline or canine companion has heart disease can be difficult. Their breed, age, diet, and health status can make them more vulnerable to the disease. As this condition can be life-threatening, it’s best to have your veterinarian provide treatment and constantly monitor them.
What are signs of cardiac disease?
The key to catching cardiac disease early is to ensure your cat or dog has regular checkups. At Headon Forest Animal Hospital, we use X-ray and EKG to help diagnose heart problems and disease. We can also provide a referral or request an in-house cardiac ultrasound as needed. Here are some signs that your pet may have heart disease:
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Persistent cough
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
What can cause my cat or dog to develop cardiac issues?
Cardiac issues can be acquired or congenital. Congenital heart disease is present from birth, which can be due to the patient’s breed. Acquired heart disease may be due to the following:
- Diet/weight: Overweight cats and dogs have a higher risk of developing heart disease, and nutritional deficiency can cause early heart disease.
- Parasites: Heartworms can cause blockages of blood flow and can cause heart failure
- Health status: Conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to heart disease.
- Aging: As they get older, their heart and blood vessels go through changes that may cause cardiovascular disease.
How are cardiac issues treated in cats and dogs?
Early detection is key to treating heart problems. Based on how severe the disease is and what is causing it, our veterinarian will create a treatment plan. Some treatment options may include medication, surgery, dietary changes, and heartworm treatment to flush out the worms.