At Safe Harbor Animal Hospital, we are proud to be one of the best veterinary hospitals in Pensacola, Florida, offering pet cardiology services. Pets, just like humans, suffer from different heart disorders. These include leaky valves (degenerative valve disease), dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), heart tumors and hypertension. Oftentimes, most of these heart diseases develop later in life due to damage to the heart or old age. However, congenital anomalies may be present from birth as well. Whatever the cause, the signs of heart-related problems are often the same.
Although heart disorders are more prevalent in older cats and dogs, pets can get these conditions at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If detected early, some types of heart problems can be cured.
Some common symptoms include:
Coughing (less common in cats)
Dragging hind limbs in cats
Lethargy and weakness
Elevated heart rate at rest
Exercising heart rate at rest
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (may be a result of fluid in the lungs or chest cavity)
Fast breathing at rest ( be keen not to confuse this with normal panting)
At Safe Harbor Animal Hospital, we will work closely with your primary care vet to manage your pet’s heart problem. Our board-certified specialists will examine your animal’s full medical history and perform various diagnostic tests, such as blood work and chest X-ray. If needed, our veterinarians can schedule a certified veterinary cardiologist to come onsite to perofrm electrocardiography (EKG) and echocardiograms. When continued monitoring or hospitalization is necessary, we will ensure you’re kept up to date on everything, including the daily treatment plan, results of diagnostic tests, and more importantly, the health status of your fur baby.
Cardiovascular problems can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If your pet is suffering from CHF, fluid usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. CHF can be caused by arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the heart valves), congenital heart disorder (animals born with a heart problem) and heartworm disease.
If you suspect that your animal companion may be experiencing heart-related conditions, do not hesitate to talk to one of our cardiologists. We are always available for after hour emergency care and routine appointments. Our experienced and professional team at Safe Harbor Animal Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, is always ready to give your cat or dog the best cardiology support available.