Just like us, dogs and cats suffer from some heart diseases that are familiar to us. Do you worry about your friend’s health? Then check out heart diseases in animals and learn how to identify them.

An organ that deserves our attention

As the heart receives blood, it oxygenates it in the lungs.  Afterwards, the blood returns to the heart and is sent to the rest of the body.

It is through blood circulation that nutrients and other important substances are conducted and keeps the body functioning properly.

Therefore, it is not difficult to understand that it is a vital organ and deserves our full attention. One in ten dogs will develop heart disease at some point in their lives. Among elderly pets, these illnesses are the third leading cause of death.

What does it mean to have heart disease?

Also known as heart disease, heart disease occurs due to the predisposition of some races, age and malfunction of the organ. Among these factors, age is still the biggest cause. Therefore, if your friend is elderly, attention should be doubled.

Some types of heart disease appear soon after the birth of the pet. They are called congenital heart defects and can be of genetic origin.

The complications of this type of illness can affect other parts of the body, causing disorders that can be mild or more serious. Whenever you have a heart problem, blood circulates more difficult and generates a domino effect.

What breeds can develop heart disease?

Heart disease in animals does n’t pick a right group to attack. However, some breeds are more likely to develop heart disease. This is the case for Poodle, Boxer, Bulldog, Dobermann, Cocker and Rottweiler, for example.

Small breeds, such as Yorkshire, Pinscher, Maltese, Pekingese, Chihuahua, Dachshound, Fox, Dachshund, Pomeranian, Whippet, Beagle, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cairn Terrier, can develop endocardiosis, a chronic degenerative disease that affects the heart in small elderly animals.

Breeds such as the Doberman, Irish Wolfhound, German Dog, Boxer, Saint Bernard, Afghan Hound, and Old English Sheepdog can develop dilated cardiomyopathy, a chronic heart condition that arises because of the weakening of the heart muscle.

As with dogs, heart disease can affect any cat. But, if your friend belongs to breeds like Persians, Siamese, Maine Coon and Sphynx, be careful.

Main signs of heart disease in dogs and cats

The signs that something is not going well can be noticed if you are attentive to changes in your friend’s behavior.

Vomiting: Your friend may vomit because the altered blood pressure due to the heart problem interferes with the organs responsible for digestion.

Weakness: Dogs are more active than cats and this will be noticed more easily. But, although cats really like to sleep, you should notice other attitudes, such as reducing playtime.

Difficulty Breathing: The animal experiences difficulty breathing, gets tired easily or breathes in a wheezing way.

In addition to these symptoms, be aware if your friend loses weight for no apparent reason, coughs frequently, has abdominal swelling and pale gums.

Most common heart diseases in dogs and cats

Arterial Hypertension: Its diagnosis is made by measuring blood pressure in routine consultations.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy : The musculature of the heart hypertrophies and decreases the internal space of the heart chambers, which impedes blood flow. This disease is common in Maine Coon and Persian cats.

Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease: The most common disease in veterinary cardiology, it is a degeneration of the heart valves.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy: The heart chambers dilate and causes the heart not to contract properly. This type of heart disease is very common in Boxer dogs.

Heartworm: A parasitic disease transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Worms settle in the pet’s heart and obstruct the passage of blood to the body. More common in dogs that frequent beaches.

Diagnosis and treatments

The veterinarian is qualified to give the correct diagnosis of your friend’s heart disease. With the help of exams, such as echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and holter, he is able to identify the disease and the level at which it is.

Your friend may be on medication for a certain amount of time, or for the rest of his life. In addition, there are special diets for animals with heart disease. Some cases require surgical intervention.

prevent and care

Although some types of heart disease are not related to care and prevention, taking your friend to routine appointments with a veterinary medicine professional helps in the early diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases.

Measuring blood pressure, for example, is a simple procedure that should be performed periodically. With this exam, it’s not invasive, it’s possible to suspect if your pet may have some diseases.

With this, it is possible to delay the development of the disease and treat it more quickly and effectively. This provides a significant improvement in your pet’s quality of life.

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