Cardiology is the medical study of the structure, function, and disorders of the heart.
A heart problem can affect your pet at any age although it is found more often in older pets. Heart failure occurs when the heart no longer has the ability to pump blood throughout the body effectively. Heart failure can lead to congestive heart failure. If an animal is suffering from congestive heart failure, fluid accumulates in the lungs although it can result in fluid accumulation in the abdomen as well. Animals suffering from congestive heart failure often experience difficulty breathing and frequent coughing. The coughing often seems to be worse at night. Some causes of heart failure include congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the valves of the heart), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances) and heartworm disease.
Many heart problems can be identified on physical examination. Additional tests are usually required to accurately identify the cause of heart disease. Additional tests include blood tests (cardio pet proBNP), electrocardiograms (ECG), radiographs and ultrasounds.
Heart disease is a serious life-threatening condition but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life.