Cardiac diseases in pets can range from harmless inconveniences to progressive life-threatening conditions. If you believe your pet is suffering from a cardiac disease, it is important to get them diagnosed at your nearest cardiology center.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Cardiac Disease?
The most common indicators that your pet is suffering from a cardiac disease are:
- Heart murmurs
- Exercise intolerance
- Swollen limbs
- Difficulty breathing
What Happens During A Cardiology Appointment?
During the appointment, the veterinarian will conduct four tests:
- A physical examination
- Thoracic radiograph
During the physical examination, the veterinarian will monitor aspects of your pet while running tests. These tests will be focused on breathing and heart rate.
A sonogram of your pet's heart is called an echocardiogram. An echocardiogram allows for analysis of your pet's pulse, tissue, continuous wave, and color flow. With this data, the following issues can be detected:
- Outflow obstructions
- Heat defects
- Valvular insufficiencies
- Abnormal pump function
- Cardiac tumors
An electrocardiogram measures and records the electrical activity of the heart. Through this data, the heart beat rhythm can be identified and used to detect arrhythmias, also known as abnormal heart rates. Abnormal heart rates can be too fast or too slow and can result in fainting, lethargy, and weakness.
A thoracic radiograph is an x-ray of the chest. Thoracic radiographs are the best way to examine the lungs of your pet and can easily determine if there are any obstructions in the lungs. Some common obstructions are:
- Polluted Air
These obstructions can often cause difficulty breathing and coughing.
If the problem cannot be identified through the other tests, cardiologists have other tests they can run. While not commonly used, these tests include:
- Holter monitoring
- Blood pressure evaluation
- Contrast echocardiography
- Transesophageal echocardiography