Heart Diseases in Pet

Do pets get heart disease like human also? Yes, they do. The heart disease (cardiomyopathy) is a state when the heart is no longer able to maintain normal capillary pressure, cardiac output and/or systematic blood pressure that make the heart unable to provide and circulate oxygenated blood to the body. Heart diseases can be congenital (i.e. present from birth) or acquired (i.e. occur later in life). Many heart diseases in animals are heritable. The heritable heart diseases can be congenital or acquired.

Heart disease in dogs usually caused by the damage to the valves or stretching of the muscle or known as valvular disease which usually affects small breed dogs of over 5 years old. While for cats, the heart muscle can become abnormally thickened with age. This condition is called as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The thickened walls reduce the capacity of the heart chambers and therefore the volume of blood delivered to the body.

Symptoms of Heart Diseases
Heart diseases in dogs are quite common. The clinical signs of heart diseases depend on the type of the disease and severity and some heart diseases may not have symptoms at all. But usually dogs with heart diseases and heart failure may develop symptoms such as:
  • fatigue
  • reduced willingness to walk and exercise
  • difficulty in breathing
  • loss appetite
  • weight loss
  • distended abdomen
  • trouble sleeping
  • coughing
While for cats, they tend to hide a serious illness until it reaches a critical stage. Therefore, most cats that develop clinical signs of cardiomyopathy will appear to have been ill for only a few days. Just prior to the state of heart failure and death, the cat may become:
  • very inactive
  • cough
  • exhibit laboured breathing
  • poor appetite
Early Diagnose and Benefits
  1. It is best to take your pet to the veterinarian every year to screen for heart disease. Your veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart for abnormal sound like murmurs or irregular rhythms and will look for other subtle signs of heart disease.
  2. Diagnosis of a heart murmur should also prompt your veterinarian to check your pet for high blood pressure, which can worsen the valve leak.
  3. Annual x-rays and blood pressure readings will allow your veterinarian to monitor changes in your pet’s heart condition.
  4. Unchecked heart problems can make things harder on your pet and even shorten their life. With the right treatments, care, and monitoring, your pet can live a long, comfortable life.
What to Do if Your Pet is Having a Heart Attack
  1. If you recognize the symptoms of a heart attack in your pet, please seek for medical attention immediately. Heart attacks can be both mild and serious.
  2. If your dog has a serious heart attack, such as one that results in collapse or sudden death, CPR can be performed.
  3. There are also some apps that would help pet’s owners monitor their pet’s health. Check them out to help you improve the life of your pet.

23 Jan 2020