Heart disease can happen in dogs and cats, just as it does in humans. It can either be congenital, meaning they were born with it and is typically diagnosed when they are young; or it is acquired, developing over time because of other health conditions. As our pets age, their risk for heart disease increases. Detecting a heart condition can be difficult, that is why it is important to take your pet to the vet for regular exams. Learn more about heart disease, the importance of regular check-ups and the symptoms you may experience with your pet.
Heart disease in pets can range from a murmur, to valve or muscle damage, or even cardiac arrest. Since our pets can’t verbalize not feeling well, here are signs to watch for in your pet:
- Tiredness or increased sleeping
- Rapid breathing
- Poor appetite
- Enlarged tummy
- Pale or bluish gums
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Possible fainting spells
If you take your pet in for any of these symptoms, your vet may perform an x-ray to see if the heart is enlarged. The x-ray is typically the first step in diagnosing the condition and setting the stage for the best treatment plan.