Although heart problems are found more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease can be benign or serious, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can sometimes extend your pet’s life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can be cured.
Heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. Congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the heart valves), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), and heartworm disease can all lead to congestive heart failure.
Call us if your pet starts having difficulty breathing, is coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seems weak, or has trouble exercising. Through a complete physical exam and additional tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (x-rays), and ultrasounds, we will be able to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure and start potentially life saving treatment.