Recognising a broken heart
We’re not talking about a broken heart from lost love here but instead heart disease.
Most of the signs of heart disease are related to a decrease in the function of the heart. The signs can be subtle and sometimes hard to detect. Being able to recognise some of the early signs of this disease can make a big difference for your pet. It means we can initiate medical treatment and in most cases, ease the workload on the heart, meaning your pet will live a longer and healthier life.
Look out for these signs:
+ Coughing, especially at night
+ A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
+ Laboured or fast breathing
+ Weakness or fainting associated with exercise
+ An enlarged abdomen
+ Weight loss or poor appetite
This example of why at least an annual check-up with us is important. We will always listen to your pet’s heart as part of any physical exam and this allows us to detect any changes early. Sometimes we will hear a murmur (abnormal blood flow) or an arrhythmia (irregular rhythm). These may be reason for us to perform more tests such as x-rays, ultrasound and an ECG.
There are some excellent medications available to help a pet suffering from heart disease and the good news is that these can help your pet live a longer and near normal life.
If you are ever worried about your pet’s health, you should call us for advice.