Heart disease is rare in pets less than 5 years old, but age, obesity, breed, and nutrition do play a role. Heart valve problems are the most common issue and typically affect small breed dogs that are five years or older.

Heart Disease Warning Signs

  • Fast breathing
  • Increased effort associated with breathing
  • Restless sleeping; moving around a lot and changing positions
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Weakness
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Collapse or fainting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Distended belly
  • Depressed attitude; quiet and not interactive

During a routine exam, a veterinarian at Broadway Veterinary Care can hear (by using a stethoscope) if there are any unusual heart patterns, skips, or murmurs. If any unusual heart sounds are heard your pet will need to see a board-certified, veterinary cardiologist. These tests can help determine if your pet has heart disease: blood tests, (including heartworm tests), chest x-rays, and electrocardiograms. A veterinarian at Broadway Veterinary Care can help you determine if your pet has any of the following heart conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart muscle disease
  • Changes to the valves of the heart
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Pericardial Effusion (fluid in the sac surrounding the heart)
  • Tumors in the heart

As scary as these diseases can be, there is good news, many heart problems are treatable! If you notice any of the above heart disease warning signs, please call us to schedule an appointment!