Heart disease is a serious ailment that can radically change the life of your dog or cat, and even result in heart failure. You'll want to know what the warning signs are, and how to take care of your pet's heart. Here’s what you need to know about identifying and treating heart disease.
Some dogs and cats have a genetic predisposition to heart disease, which can be passed down from your pet’s mother or father. Even when that’s not the case, a heart murmur or a weak heart valve could indicate to a veterinarian that a pet has heart disease. Sometimes, an amino acid deficiency is to blame. When any of these conditions occur, the stress on the heart causes it to become enlarged and inefficient, which can result in heart failure.
When performing a physical exam on a cat or dog who potentially suffers from heart disease, a veterinarian looks for physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, coughing, and fluid in the lungs or abdomen. Other symptoms are lethargy, weight loss, depression, general weakness, decreased appetite, swelling and bloating, bluish gums, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.