Do pets get heart disease?
Absolutely! Heart disease is not uncommon in dogs and cats, and knowing what to look out for is important as it can really make a difference to your pet’s life. Our feline friends are particularly good at hiding signs of heart disease, but the condition can sneak up in all pets. To make things more complicated, heart disease may not always present with obvious clinical signs. This is just another reason why a check up with us at least once a year is vital (we will always listen to your pet’s heart and lungs).
Signs of heart disease in dogs:
Coughing, especially at night
A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
Weakness or fainting
The signs to look out for in both dogs and cats:
Laboured or fast breathing
An enlarged abdomen
Weight loss or poor appetite
If we have a concern about your pet’s heart, we will recommend a series of chest x-rays and possibly an ultrasound of the heart. An ECG, or further examination with a heart specialist may also be required. Thankfully we have a number of medications available to help improve your pet’s heart function and advancements in the management of heart disease means if we are able to detect the disease early enough, your pet’s quality of life and life expectancy may be very good.
If you think your pet is showing one of the above signs, it is important we check them over. Call us if you are worried about your pet or if they are due for a health check.