Although heart problems are found more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can 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 usually 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 CHF.
Symptoms of heart problems can include:
- Rapid breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy/tires easily
- Weakness/trouble exercising
We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (X-rays), and ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure.
If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms or you have questions about our cardiology services, please give us a call at (360) 887-1838.