Do you know the most common heart diseases among dogs and cats? Although symptoms often only appear when the disease is already advanced, it is important to always be aware of them.

Therefore, there is a need for frequent trips to the veterinarian – as this is the best way to prevent the disease from evolving.

The best preventive measure is to have a good quality of life with healthy habits and food. However, in some pets, heart disease occurs due to heredity, and the tutor should be aware of the family history of his pet.

In felines, even, heart diseases appear more silently, so they are often detected late with a negative prognosis.

Check out, here, the most common conditions among dogs and cats and their main characteristics. Follow!

Know the most common heart diseases among dogs and cats

1. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is one of the most serious heart diseases. It is characterized by insufficient blood pumping and is the stage of heart decompensation. In this way, the tendency is for the accumulation of blood in the vessels, making normal flow difficult.

The problem ends up generating the formation of edema (accumulation of fluid) in some regions of the body, such as the hind limbs (legs).

When it occurs in the lungs, the main symptoms are tiredness and cough. Another sign of the disease is the emergence of ascites – which is characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.

2. Dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies

These are heart diseases that affect dogs and cats. Larger breeds of dogs, such as Great Danes, Labradors, among others, are more subject to the dilated form.

This disease is characterized by the thinning of the heart muscle and its consequent weakening, which ends up not contracting properly.

It can lead to another cardiac pathology called Congestive Heart Failure, which we mentioned above. In cats, the hypertrophic form is found, and the most susceptible breeds are the  Maine Coon  and the Persian.

3. Valve diseases

It is one of the most common heart diseases in dogs, and is diagnosed by the veterinarian when identifying a “heart murmur”. It is characterized by an anatomical failure in the valves, which leads to uncontrolled blood flow and, consequently, can lead to heart failure.

This is a disease that brings serious complications to the heart. It is more common in small breeds such as pinscher, Maltese, Yorkshire and poodle.

4. Heartworm

The disease is caused by a worm (from the heart) that lodges in the organ and makes it difficult to pass blood, compromising the cardiac functioning of dogs and cats.

The disease is transmitted by a mosquito bite. The disease usually affects pets that live near the sea, endemic and risk areas.

Know the most common signs and symptoms

Owners should always be aware of their pets, as their health may depend on it. Most heart conditions have some common signs and symptoms. Check out:

  • dyspnoea, or difficulty breathing;
  • continuous cough;
  • apathy;
  • swelling in the abdomen or legs;
  • easy tiredness or weakness;
  • lack of appetite;
  • fainting;

See what are the main ways of prevention

Taking your pet periodically for evaluation by a veterinarian makes it possible to detect any disease at the beginning and makes its treatment much easier and more effective. An early diagnosis brings better results.

It is worth mentioning that, whether or not you have signs or symptoms, it is essential to maintain your pet’s healthy life routine, with  daily physical exercises (walks) and a healthy and balanced diet. Attention should be redoubled in the case of elderly animals.

As you can see, the best way to prevent the most common heart diseases among dogs and cats is to periodically take your pet to the veterinarian — bearing in mind that other problems can lead to these pathologies. He will know how to assess when something is not going well with your pet.

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