Although heart problems are found more in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease can be a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pets 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 (heart problems that animals are born with), valvular heart disease(abnormalities of the heart valves), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), and heartworm disease can all lead to CHF.
Call us if your pet starts breathing rapidly or coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seams weak or has trouble exercising. We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (x-rays) or ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure.