As the number of animals in American households has grown, so has the number of dogs and cats with grave cardiac conditions.
Relatively new to veterinary medicine is the field of veterinary cardiology, charged with diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in dogs and cats. When a veterinary physician suspects heart-related issues, you might be referred to a canine or feline cardiologist for more tests.
The field of canine cardiology has developed a number of advances recently, devising better testing for a variety of heart conditions in canines including pericardial effusion in dogs.
Feline problems, most notably feline arterial thromboembolism, are also being studied and treatments are underway.
How do heart conditions develop in dogs and cats? And how can pet owners help prevent the problems?
Studies indicate that although many of these problems seem to be genetic, there are things that can be done to help reduce heart conditions in our dog and cat companions. First, ensure your pet is not overweight. The larger your pet, the more the heart has to work. The additional strain of those few extra pounds might shorten your cat or dog's life. Adequate exercise is also important to keep your pet's heart healthy. Regular playtime and walking are good for both dogs and cats.
Scheduled veterinary visits are an additional way to make sure your pet stays healthy. Also discuss recommended vaccinations with your vet to prevent common conditions that could also affect heart function.
Animal Medical Care