A Heart to Heart
About Pet Heart Health
If you love your pets with all your heart it’s important to know more about their hearts and what may happen to this vital organ during the course of their lives.
HEART DISEASE IN PETS
Heart disease is common in both cats and dogs.
Heart disease in cats is often asymptomatic, that is, no signs or symptoms are showing.
Many affected dogs may remain asymptomatic, but some may develop complications that could end in congestive
In dogs, heart disease is either present from birth (congenital) or acquired during his or her lifetime. In approximately 95% of the cases heart disease in dogs is acquired.
TYPES OF HEART DISEASE AND ASSOCIATED CAUSES
Congenital conditions are mostly the result of genes. Sometimes it’s a defect; other times it can be a hereditary (inherited) condition. You also don’t know when a defect can start causing problems.
Acquired conditions could be caused by injury, infection (parvo; heartworms) or normal wear and tear (age). Different
breeds are prone to different diseases.
HEART DISEASE PREVENTION
The following measures may all help fight the onset of heart disease, delay it or help with recovery and management of the disease:
One way to prevent certain heart diseases in pets is to give your pets quality pest and parasite prevention as often as required. Correct dosage and administration is very important in terms of safety and efficiency.
Sadly not all types of heart disease can be prevented. Still, investing in the wellbeing of your pets (physically, emotionally and financially) and providing them with a stress-free environment is important no matter what the situation.
Old age is another battle that, in the end, we cannot win. Older pets, especially dogs, are more likely to develop heart disease than younger dogs. At this stage you can just continue to lovingly care for your pets.
|You could consider taking out pet insurance while your pets are still healthy to make treatment and management of the condition more accessible and affordable should you need it.|
SIGNS ASSOCIATED WITH HEART CONDITIONS
Apart from routine check-ups and vaccinations, please discuss any health or behavioural concerns with a veterinarian.
He or she will know which questions to ask and which exams and/or screenings to perform.
There is no one-size-fits-all medication for heart diseases and conditions. For example, some treatments are only for dogs with clinical evidence of heart failure, and are used to increase the ability of the heart to pump blood. Other dogs or cats may require blood thinners, blood pressure medications or just basic supplements. Your veterinarian should guide you and elaborate on how to manage your pet’s condition. It’s extremely important to follow instructions and to stay consistent with treatments. You may have to monitor and change certain aspects of your pet’s routine as well.