Recognising a broken heart
With Valentine’s Day in this month, there’s never been a better time to discuss heart disease.
Heart disease isn’t easy to spot. It tends to creep up on our pets slowly over many months to many years.
Being able to recognise some of the early signs of this disease can make a big difference. It means you can seek medical intervention from us and help your pet live a happier and longer life.
Most of the signs are related to a decrease in the function of the heart. The heart has to work harder and harder over time and, without treatment, heart failure occurs.
Signs of heart disease to look out for:
Coughing, especially at night
Laboured or fast breathing
A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
An enlarged abdomen
Weight loss or poor appetite
Weakness or fainting associated with exercise
Regular check ups with us allow 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.
The good news is that there are some excellent medications available to help a pet suffering from heart disease. These can keep the heart condition under control and help your pet live a longer and near normal life.
If you think your pet might have a problem with their heart, call us to arrange a check up today.