Frequently Diagnosed Heart Problems in Pets

Due to its crucial role in the human body, any condition that weakens the heart’s function is sure to have the effect of a ripple that can manifest itself in the other organs. There are numerous signs pet owners need to take note of. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to detect heart disease before it has advanced to a later and more severe stage.

It is also crucial to understand that different breeds have varying levels of risk for the development of heart problems. When considering purchasing a pet, you should always research the particular breed-specific problems that can develop with the pet. This will help ensure that you’re ready to deal with any problems that may arise with an animal’s overall health.

Cardiac Diseases in Pets

The rate of cardiac diseases in pets is similar to the human population. The heart is vital to a pet’s life because it distributes oxygen throughout the body. If the heart is not functioning correctly, it’s unable to pump blood efficiently, which can disrupt the body’s normal processes. The most common heart problems found in pets will be addressed here.

1. Valvular Disease

Like yours, your pet’s heart has four chambers and four valves that control blood flow into and out. Valves for heart valves can directly be impacted by heart diseases that cause valvular valves. The valves are tiny pieces of tissue that block the spaces between the heart chambers to stop the reverse flow of blood.

These valves for the heart can degenerate with age and may eventually become dysfunctional. If an animal suffers from valve disease, the valves don’t work correctly, and this causes blood flow disruption. Most often, smaller and older dog breeds–like Chihuahuas and King Charles Cavelier Spaniels–are diagnosed with degenerative valvular disease.

2. Heart Arrhythmia

The pulsating beat in your body is caused by electrical signals. The electrical impulses originate at the top of your heart and move through your heart’s wall in a coordinated fashion, which results in the heartbeat we are familiar with. A heart rhythm disorder known as arrhythmia can develop when these impulses fail to perform as they should.

During a regular examination, your pet’s internal medicine vet facility, like the Animal Clinic of Benicia, will detect any arrhythmia. Weakness, tiredness, exercise intolerance, and collapse are common signs of arrhythmia.

3. Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart defects are caused by how the heart develops throughout its development. Kittens and puppies often suffer from them before their birth. Hearing a cardiac murmur during a routine exam is generally the first step veterinarians take to determine the cause of this condition.

The vet may perform an echocardiogram to determine the type of congenital heart disease affecting your pet or cat. They will then determine the most effective treatment plan that may or may not involve surgery. Dogs and cats generally recover quickly following these procedures and live long healthy lives.

4. Dilated Cardiomyopathy

A group of illnesses called dilated cardiac myopathy can cause heart muscle weakness and is prevalent in dogs. The heart can pump less blood with each beat, causing its walls to stretch and the chambers to grow or expand, making it more likely for dogs to suffer from congestive heart failure. Vast breeds of dogs, like Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, and Great Danes, are more likely to be affected by this condition.

This is a condition that is progressive without a cure. However, if the animal hospital makes the diagnosis early on, they can stop the progress of your pet’s condition, which could enhance the quality of your dog’s life.

5. Heartworm Disease

Mosquitoes contribute to the transmission of heartworm disease. Once inside your pet’s body, heartworm larvae transform into adult worms, which reside and reproduce within the lungs and the heart. This can result in your pet experiencing significant discomfort, and in the end, their organs will fail. Disease caused by heartworms can be avoided by taking a heartworm preventive medicine that is available. By completing the required cat shots for your pet, you’re also preventing severe ailments against your pet.