Heart disease in pets is pretty much the same as it is in humans. Heart disease is a cardiovascular disease condition of the heart or surrounding blood vessels in which the normal function of oxygen pumping through the heart is disrupted. This disease can be conginental meaning that it can be present straight from birth or it can happen later in life. In this article you will learn how to tell if your pet may have heart disease, learn about the different types of heart disease that plagues animals and how it can lead to potential heart failure.
How to Tell If You Pet Has Heart Disease
The symptoms of this disease shows itself differently in each animal. Some of these symptoms can include shortness of breath, restlessness while they animal is trying to sleep, fainting, blue colored gums or mucous membranes which is also known as cyanosis and exercise intolerance. If you notice that you pet is exhibiting these symptoms, bring them to your local veterinarian right away.
Veterinarians can detect the presence of this disease through a routine physical exam and can often detect before symptoms even occur. During an exam a veterinarian will be able to detect the presence of heart disease by hearing abnormal heart sounds such as heart murmurs or by hearing slow, fast or even irregular heartbeats.
Different Types of Heart Disease
There are many different types of heart disease that animals can get. Some of the most common are: Congenital Heart Defects, PDA which is known as Patent Ductus Arteriosus, VSD known as Ventricular Septal Defect, PS which is known as Subvalvular Aoritc Stenosis or Mitral Valve Disease which is the most common form of heart disease in dogs.
How Heart Disease Can Lead To Heart Failure
Heart failure is not an actual type of heart disease. In fact it is what can occur due to an animal having heart disease. This can happen when the body receives inadequate blood flow or fluid build up behind the heart which is known as congestive heart failure. There are a variety of symptoms that can alert you and your veterinarian to heart failure such as weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, poor appetite, weight loss, restlessness and difficulty breathing.
How Can Heart Failure Be Treated
There are rare occasions when this heart failure can be treated. Sometimes a veterinarian can treat the underlying cause of the failure and thus reversing the failure. A veterinarian can also try to treat heart failure with common drug therapies from anywhere from a couple of months to several years. This will all depend on what is causing the heart failure in the first place.
If you believe your pet may be at risk of having heart disease, always consult with your veterinarian and have you animal thoroughly checked out. By recognizing the various symptoms and types of heart disease you can learn for yourself what you can do for your pet if they develop heart disease and how you can treat them.