Heart disease is most often diagnosed during your pet’s annual examination. 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 efficiently. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes within 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.
At our Veterinary Hospital one of the best ways to determine if your pet is in heart failure is to have an x-ray of the chest. We can measure the size of the heart and determine if there is enlargement.
Please call us if your pet starts breathing rapidly or coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seems 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), and ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure.
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Our veterinarians at PineCone Pet Hospital, serving the pet and animal parents of St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park, Sartell, St. Joseph, Rice and St. Stephen, MN since 2001.