Heart Problems in Pets

When it comes to matters of the heart, everyone can have an issue or two! Including your pet! 

A pet’s heart, like that of humans, is an important organ that pumps blood throughout all body cells. When disease strikes, it has the potential to severely harm your pet. It’s crucial to have a basic understanding of this disease so that you can recognize the signs in your paw babies.

We’ll walk you through the five most common heart diseases in pets to help you understand them better.

Before we start, please note that the following heart diseases have similar symptoms, such as exercise intolerance, weakness, difficulty breathing, coughing, and fainting. You will not be able to distinguish them unless you take your pet to the veterinarian to diagnose these symptoms.

Valvular Degeneration

Heart valves are gates in each chamber that keep blood flowing in the right direction. When your pets get older, there might be some deterioration in their heart valves. They will not be fully closed and could cause the blood to flow in the wrong direction. After the diagnosis, the vet will evaluate the severity of ‘Valvular Degeneration’ and develop a treatment plan that will manage the condition.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Weakening of the heart muscle is the cause of this disease. When your pet’s heart muscle is weakening, it will not be able to pump out enough blood. Their hearts’ walls will become larger. Unfortunately, the effect of Dilated Cardiomyopathy on the heart is irreversible, but with the right diagnosis and treatments, your pet can live a long life without any symptoms.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

This disease results from unusual thickening of the heart. The heart will not be fully functioning, causing an increase in blood pressure, dilation of the heart, and the risk of Congestive Heart Failure. When the blood flow goes slower, it can cause blood clot formation, mostly at the back legs. Your pet will feel pain and even paralysis. This disease is incurable but some can live a symptom-free life with the right health plan.

Heart Arrhythmias

This is caused by unusual electrical activity in the heart muscle, an abnormal heart rhythm including the speed, strength, or regularity of heartbeats. This issue can stem from many factors. The veterinarian might monitor your pet’s heart activity and conduct treatments depending on the symptoms.

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart disease can be found since birth due to abnormal heart development. There are several types of congenital heart disease. The veterinarian will ultrasound the heart to determine and conduct a treatment plan. In most cases, the pet survives and lives happily their entire life.

Heart problems in pets are serious and have a significant impact on their lives. What’s scary is that we won’t know until symptoms appear. However, you can try to prevent these diseases in your pet by providing a healthy lifestyle such as a good diet, exercise, and regular vet check-ups. 

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