Heart disease happens in dogs and cats as well as in people, and it can sometimes be tricky to spot in our furry friends. Heart disease in animals can be deadly, but it can also be treatable. Seeing these signs earlier and early intervention can make a huge difference for your pet’s well-being and length of life.
Signs to watch for:
- Coughing, especially at night or early in the morning
- Becoming very tired on walks
- Fast or laboured breathing, even at rest
- Fainting or weakness after exercise
- A rounded or larger than normal tummy
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
Annual check-ups with your vet are important, not just for vaccines; we may hear signs of heart disease (a heart murmur or arrhythmia) before any signs show up at home. Further tests like X-rays, cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram) or ECG monitoring might be needed to confirm heart disease.
There are many medications available for heart disease in pets that can ease the workload on a struggling heart, and these can be adjusted to give your pet their best chance at a comfortable life.