Every February the British Heart Foundation celebrates heart month encouraging everyone to make small contributions to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
But do you know the signs of heart disease in your own pet?
Here’s a list of the top ten;
- Difficulty Breathing – this can include shortness of breath, laboured breathing, or rapid breathing. Have you noticed any changes?
- Loss of Appetite – that has been occurring for a few days is almost always a symptom of something, so have it checked.
- Changes in Weight – gradual weight loss can be a symptom of heart disease. Pets are more likely to have a pot-bellied appearance rather than actual weight gain.
- Changes in Behaviour – Does your pet tire more easily, less playful, or seem more reluctant to accept affection?
- Coughing/Vomiting – coughing is a common symptom for a dog, whereas cats tend to vomit. If your pet is still coughing/vomiting after two days, seek veterinary advice.
- Fainting/Collapse – if this happens at any time it’s serious, so seek urgent attention.
- Weakness – is more commonly seen with old age and has varied causes, we would advise you to have your pet checked.
- Restlessness – can be a sign in older age of senility, but if it’s at night it could be related to heart disease.
- Swelling – in either the abdomen or limbs can occur with heart disease.
- Isolation – is your pet suddenly keeping its distance from you and other pets?
Heart disease is harder to detect in cats than dogs as most dog owners tend to notice changes in their pet when exercising.
A diagnosis does not necessarily mean the worst. Heart failure can be managed with medication which can improve the quality and extend your pets life.
If you have any worries or concerns, then please give us a call.