Heart disease can affect your pet at any age, though it is more commonly diagnosed in older animals. Young animals may present with a congenital heart defect, while older animals may experience valvular heart disease. Many heart abnormalities can be identified on physical examination. The doctor will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs to detect the presence of a heart murmur or an arrhythmia (abnormal rhythm). Your doctor may recommend bloodwork, chest radiographs, an EKG (electrocardiogram), or an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to further evaluate your pet’s heart function.
We work together with various local cardiologists, whose practice is limited to cardiology, in order to offer our patients more advanced cardiac care when needed. Cardiology consultations and care in our office are typically available at least once a month. Additional consults are also available on an as needed basis as well.
Heart disease can be a serious, life threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can greatly improve quality of life and extend your pet’s life.