Heart diseases in dogs and cats
koiran ja kissan sydänvika oireet
koiran ja kissan sydänsairaus
Both dogs and cats can suffer from various heart diseases. It is estimated that approx. 10% of the dogs and cats coming in for veterinary consultations has heart disease. This number become even higher in older animals. Prevalence of heart disease in senior patients can be as high as 60%.
Pets suffering from heart diseases exhibit cough, increased respiratory rate, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness and lowered activity level. Many times abnormal sounds (heart murmurs) are found during heart auscultation.
Arrhythmia (heart rhythm disturbances) can be found in dogs and cats suffering from cardiac disease. Weakness and syncope are the most frequent symptoms of rhythm abnormalities in pets.
It is not unusual that heart disease progresses silently, without any symptoms, until the disease is very advanced and difficult to control.
Diagnostic testing, frequently using a combination of chest x-rays, cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography), ECG (electrocardiogram), Holter examination and blood pressure measurement, is required to diagnose the underlying heart disease and select the most appropriate therapy. Treatment for heart failure includes a combination of medications and lifestyle changes related to diet and activity level.
Most common acquired heart diseases (not congenital):
Canine myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD),
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Additionally cats and dogs can be affected by many congenital defects:
Subaortic stenosis (SAS), Pulmonic stenosis (PS),
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA),
Ventricular septal defect (VSD), Atrial septal defect (ASD),
Mitral dysplasia (MD), Tricuspid dysplasia (TD).
If you suspect your pet may suffer from the heart disease it is best to get an opinion from veterinary cardiologist.
Blood pressure measurement