Dogs and cats are prone to a lot of the same health issues as humans, including heart conditions. If your cat or dog has recently been diagnosed, our team will work with you to ensure their condition doesn’t worsen or become detrimental to their quality of life. As an added convenience, a travelling Cardiologist comes to our practice once a month for patient assessments, which is closer than having to travel to the GTA for this service.
What is heart disease?
Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect a cat or dog. Through early diagnosis and treatment, we want them to continue to live full, happy lives with you, regardless of their heart’s abnormalities. Heart conditions fall into two categories: congenital and acquired. Congenital means your dog or cat was born with a heart condition, whereas acquired means it developed over time. For most dogs and cats, heart disease is acquired after years of wear and tear throughout their lifetime. Signs of heart disease include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal swelling
- Weight loss
How do you diagnose heart disease?
We start with a physical exam of external symptoms and listen for any murmurs or irregularities in your dog or cat’s heartbeat. Based on our assessment, they may need additional tests like an X-ray, electrocardiogram, blood pressure, or echocardiogram to confirm a diagnosis. If your dog or cat does have heart disease, their condition isn’t necessarily terminal. In fact, if it’s found early enough, the medications are a highly effective treatment option to support their heart health for many years.
Is heart disease preventable?
Though heart disease is treatable, the ones that are preventable are those caused by heartworms or dietary deficiencies. With the help of a broad-spectrum preventive drug, your dog or cat can be protected from heartworms as well as a range of other harmful internal parasites. Plus, with well-balanced food, you won’t need to worry about the diet intake. Routine veterinary visits also help us to detect early signs of heart disease, which can vastly improve our ability to treat this condition early on.