Cardiology (Heart)

A heart problem can affect your pet at any age. Although it is more often found in older pets we do see various heart conditions in young and middle aged animals. Heart failure occurs when the heart no longer has the ability to pump blood around the body effectively leading to congestive heart failure. If an animal is suffering from congestive heart failure, it usually accumulates fluid in the lungs although it can result in fluid accumulation in the abdomen as well. Animals suffering from congestive heart failure often experience difficulty breathing and frequent coughing. Some causes of heart failure include: congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the valves of the heart), heartworm disease, and arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances).

cardiologyMany heart problems can be identified on physical examination. Additional tests are usually required to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease. Additional tests include EKGs (electrocardiograms), radiographs (X-rays), echocardiograms and (ultrasound).

Heart disease is a serious life threatening condition but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can improve the quality and extend the duration of your pet’s life.

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