Heart Disease in Pets Blog
Heart disease is common in pets with some breeds of dogs and cats being more susceptible than others. Often the first sign of heart disease in pets may be a ‘murmur’ detected by a veterinarian during a routine health check-up. A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound caused by a leaking heart valve. The most common form of heart murmur in dogs is due to a leaking mitral valve which is on the left side of the heart, this is especially common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. In dogs the severity of the heart murmur often correlates with the severity of heart disease.
In cats, it is not so straightforward. Cats can have mild heart murmurs but have severe heart disease or a marked heart murmur and only mild heart disease. Cats can also often suffer from secondary changes in the heart muscle, known as cardiomyopathy. We often use a blood test as a screening tool in cats with a suspected heart problem to determine if an abnormal heart sound is significant.
In dogs the signs of heart disease can be mild, such as a reduced tolerance to exercise and perhaps a mild cough, to severe signs such as collapse, severe breathing difficulties, arrhythmias and even sudden death. Mitral valve disease in dogs is almost always progressive and the earlier it is diagnosed the sooner treatment can be started and the longer these pets will live for. We use tests such as chest xrays and ultrasonography of the heart to determine the type and severity of heart disease and to tailor treatment to each individual case.
A heart check-up is an important part of your pet’s routine physical examination. If we haven’t seen your pet this year make an appointment with one of our team today!
For more information about heart disease in pets click here or speak to one of our friendly team at Sydney Animal Hospitals;
Newtown (02) 9519 4111
69-73 Erskineville Road Erskineville
Inner West (02) 9516 1466
1A Northumberland Ave Stanmore
Norwest (02) 8883 0411
Unit 8, 1-3 Celebration Dr Bella Vista
Kellyville (02) 8883 0533
106 Windsor Rd Kellyville
Newport (02) 9997 4609
1 Palm Rd Newport
Avalon (02) 9918 0833
710 Barrenjoey Rd Avalon Beach
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