Heart Health for Pets

When it comes to keeping your furry friends healthy, it’s important to pay attention to their heart health. At Marina Veterinary Center, our cardiology service is dedicated to determining an accurate diagnosis of the type of heart disease present in your pet. Once a diagnosis is established, we can discuss the available treatment options and prognosis with you.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is any condition that affects the heart or blood vessels and disrupts the normal function of the heart in delivering oxygenated blood to the body. These conditions can be congenital (present from birth) or acquired (occurring later in life), and many can also be heritable, meaning they can be passed down through generations. Heritable heart diseases can occur with a higher prevalence in certain breeds of animals. Our cardiology service at Marina Veterinary Center is dedicated to determining an accurate diagnosis of the type of heart disease present in your pet, and discussing available treatment options and prognosis with you.

Signs of heart disease in pets

But how do you know if your pet has heart disease? Symptoms can vary and can include exercise intolerance, difficult breathing, restlessness during sleep, fainting, and bluish tint to the gums and tongue (cyanosis). However, heart disease may not always show obvious symptoms until the condition has advanced. That’s why regular physical examinations by your primary-care veterinarian are important, as they can detect abnormalities such as abnormal heart sounds, abnormal heart rate, or abnormal color of the membranes. 

Types of heart disease

There are many different types of heart disease that can affect pets, including Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), Ventricular septal defect (VSD), Pulmonic stenosis (PS), Subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), TricuspidTricusipid valve dysplasia (TVD), Mitral Valve Disease, Cardiomyopathies, Dilated cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Boxer arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, Bradycardias, Tachycardias, Pericardial Effusion, and Cardiac Arrhythmias. 

What is heart failure?

Another term you may have heard of in relation to heart disease is “heart failure.” This refers to the final common manifestation of many types of heart disease and can manifest as inadequate blood flow to the body, accumulation of fluid behind the heart, or both. Symptoms of heart failure can include weakness, lack of energy, shortness of breath, cough, restlessness during sleep, abdominal distension, poor appetite, or weight loss.

How is heart disease treated?

Fortunately, heart disease can be treated with a variety of medical, interventional, or surgical therapies. In some cases, the underlying disease causing heart failure can be corrected, reversing the heart failure. In other cases, heart failure can be effectively treated with drug therapies for periods of months to years, depending on the underlying causes. 

At Marina Veterinary Center, we are committed to providing the best care for your pet’s heart health. If you have any concerns or questions about your pet’s heart health, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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