3. Exercise Your Right to Exercise Your Dog or Cat
A huge part of maintaining great cardiac health in your dog
or cat is daily exercise. When the heart is working harder
due to exercise, it grows stronger and becomes better at
avoiding acquired heart disease. Congenital heart disease may
not be avoidable, but exercise can still help prevent genetic
heart problems from progressing quickly.
4. Some Breeds are More Likely to Get Heart Disease
Because heart disease can be caused by a genetic inclination,
there are a few breeds that are more likely to suffer from
Great Danes, and
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are more prone to heart
5. Test Early and Test Again Later
The proBNP blood test is a recent discovery and has proven to
be an accurate way to test for the degree of heart disease.
This test can also determine respiratory disease and several
other maladies. Ask your veterinarian about performing the
test again as the disease progresses, to indicate the
efficacy of treatment.
How to Treat Heart Disease in Pets
disease quickly is essential, to avoid heart
failure in your pet. Your veterinarian may recommend
you see an animal cardiologist if they aren't a specialist
There are several different forms of heart disease, which
can affect the heart in different ways. Testing is important for early
detection and identification of the form of the disease, so
treatment can have the best chance.
Patent ductus arteriosis and persistent right aortic arch
are two forms of the disease that are usually seen in young
animals and can be surgically corrected at a young age.
Medications for the Treatment of Heart Disease
There are several medications and combinations
of heart disease
medications that may be prescribed to help your
dog or cat fight heart disease. The type of medication
depends on the progress, symptoms, and type of heart disease.
Diuretics are usually
the first medication prescribed for heart disease because
they aid in the removal of fluid in the lungs. This
should in turn cure any coughing and help reduce swelling
of the belly. Two common diuretics are furosemide and
spironolactone, which can be used together for more
intense results. Dogs and cats are more likely to have
increased urination and thirst while taking
Inhibitors are vasodilators, which widen the
diameter of blood vessels, effectively reducing the
amount of work for the heart. Commonly prescribed ACE
inhibitors are Enalapril
tabs for dogs and Lisinopril. Side effects of
ACE inhibitors may include anorexia or vomiting, which
indicate the dose may need adjustment.
the coordination of the heart contractions, keeping the
such as Pimobendan (Vetmedin), also widen the blood
vessels to give the heart a bit of relief, while also
increasing strength in the heart's muscle fibers.
Inotropes tend to be prescribed if all the
other options have failed because the side effects can be
severe if the dosage is off by a small margin. Digoxin is
a popular choice.
Supplements, Diet, and Exercise as Part of Treatment for
Besides medications, your veterinarian may recommend
dietary supplements or modifications for your pet.
Q has been shown to help prevent or delay heart
disease and can slow the disease's progress. Coenzyme Q can
be given to dogs and cats that are genetically prone to
heart disease, as well as acquired heart disease
Diets are often recommended by veterinarians,
based on the efficacy a low sodium diet has proven to have
on humans with heart disease.
Acids are found at high levels in fish, and
in fish oil supplements,
and can help reduce the risk of heart failure.
L-carnitine are amino acids necessary for cats
and dogs to maintain good cardiac health. If the animal
becomes deficient in these amino acids, they become at
greater risk for heart disease.
helping your dog or cat maintain a healthy weight will help their
heart stay strong and efficient. In fact, exercise can help
prevent a number of problems and can help keep your dog or
cat living a happier, longer life.
This information is for
informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute
for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by,
your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however,
been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.