Forms of Heart Disease in Cats and Dogs
Heart Disease comes in two forms; congenital or adult-onset. Congenital Heart Disease is when a heart defect is present at birth. While some cases begin to present at a young age, in some cases, they can go undetected for many years. Common congenital forms that we diagnose are heart murmurs and enlarged hearts. The second form of heart disease, adult-onset, occurs due to damage to the heart structure at some time during the pet’s life which results in abnormal function. In some cases, adult-onset heart disease develops as a secondary problem, with the primary problem being in another area of the body, such as the thyroid gland. While the cause of most types of adult-onset cases is unknown, it is believed that genetics and lifestyle (weight, physical activity, and diet) may play a significant role.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital’s state-of-the-art facility is equipped to diagnose and treat most forms of heart disease. Through x-rays and echocardiograms (Echo), we can diagnose the cause of your pet’s heart disease and determine the proper treatment. Treatment through proper medications to offset the symptoms/progression of heart disease can afford you more time with your pet and a better quality of life after diagnosis.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
- Intolerance to exercise
- Tiring easily
- Swollen belly
- Increased respiratory rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Tongue or gums become bluish-gray
- Weight loss
Should your pet begin to experience any of these symptoms, we urge you to contact us and schedule an appointment with one of our Doctors to evaluate your situation.