Heart disease is a very serious condition and potentially life-threatening situation that we all take seriously when it involves a loved one in our family or close friend of ours. It is equally important to realize that heart disease or heart failure is also a serious or potentially life-threatening possibility with our pets, be it the cat or dog!!
Heart disease usually leads to heart failure so to make it easy to discuss in this web page, we will refer to everything as heart disease but understand that heart failure can be a very definite outcome if the disease is not controlled.
Heart disease is a condition that renders the heart and all it’s associated components sick and unable to function correctly. If this situation is not controlled, then heart failure is sure to follow. The different types of failure may be myocardial, valvular, shunts, and or nervous to name a few.
Heart disease can arise due to many things such as trauma, cancer, parasites, hereditary, other systemic disease or failure, breed, and/or congenital to name a few. The important thing to realize that these conditions can be evaluated and treated if we know about them. The ideal way to do this is to perform certain cardiac tests. The tests we usually recommend unless a specific situation warrants adjustments are, blood chemistries and CBC, EKG, Chest x-rays, and ultrasound. These tests can be performed in the hospital with quick results. de la Houssaye Animal Hospital also incorporates a board-certified cardiologist to help evaluate the results.
Large breed dogs that are prone to these conditions are Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, to name a few. The Boxer and Doberman are well known for this problem and it is referred to as “Boxer Cardiomyopathy or Doberman Cardiomyopathy”.
Just like all other physical problems a pet may develop, if the proper exam and appropriate tests are run, these problems can become very small hurdles to jump. If you feel or suspect that your pet may be a candidate for heart disease or failure or you simply want to rule out the possibility your pet may be susceptible, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss this with you further.