With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what a better time to discuss heart disease!
Heart disease is a sad but tolerable condition for your dog. Although treatments cannot reverse heart disease, your dog can live a relatively normal life once diagnosed and on treatment. Aging is the most common reason dogs develop heart conditions, but other factors like heartworm can also lead to heart disease. Some breeds such as Boxers and Cavaliers are prone to getting Heart disease, but any pet, cat or dog, are at risk of developing this disease.
Signs of heart disease:
Unfortunately, Heart disease isn’t easy to spot. It creeps up on our furry friends slowly and can take months or even years before recognisable symptoms occur. Being able to recognise these symptoms early is the key! That way our Veterinarians can intervene with medications early, helping your fur-baby live a longer, happier life.
Signs to look out for:
- Coughing, especially after exercise or at night
- Laboured breathing
- A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
- An enlarged abdomen
- Weight loss or poor appetite
- ness or fainting associated with exercise.
The link between smelly breath and heart disease
Did you know heart disease has been linked to dental disease? (Click the link to see our clinic dental disease handout)
Plaque and tartar that accumulate on our pets teeth can lead to infection of the gums, also known as gingivitis. Bacteria from this infection can spread into the blood stream, being pushed around the body and into the heart. Sadly this process then creates and infection in the heart, known as endocarditis. On the upside though, there are some simple yet effective ways we can take on Dental Disease: They include:
- Regular dental check-ups with our lovely veterinarians and nurses.
- Providing your fur baby with a good quality dry food diet (click the link to see our nutrition handout)
- Brushing your pets teeth (Yep, you heard me right! Pets need their teeth brushed too!)
The good news is there are some excellent medications available to help a pet suffering from heart disease. These medications can keep the heart condition at bay and help your pet live a longer, happier, and as close to normal life as possible.
So here’s to hoping there are no broken hearts this Valentine’s day, for both pets and humans! However, if you are worried your pet may have a heart problem, please don’t hesitate to call us to arrange a check up with our team of lovely veterinarians.