Sometimes your pet's medical needs go beyond the care of a standard veterinarian. Knowing when your pet needs to be seen by a specialist is difficult to determine especially with heart conditions so our Long Island vets are here to give you some helpful tips and advice.
What is Veterinary Cardiology
Veterinary Cardiology is a specialty service dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular disease.
A board-certified veterinary cardiologist is a veterinarian who focuses solely in diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart, lungs, and respiratory system. In order to be called a veterinary cardiologist, the veterinarian must become board-certified.
Heart Conditions in Pets
Veterinary cardiologists specialize in many different disorders of the heart including:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Congestive heart failure
- Degenerative valve disease
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Systemic hypertension
- Congenital heart disease
- Cardiac tumors
Symptoms of Heart Disease In Pets
Early detection of heart disease can improve your pet's long-term prognosis and overall quality of life. This is why routine wellness exams with your regular veterinarian are important for your pet's health. Early signs of heart disease can be difficult to spot, but keeping an eye out for the following symptoms can be vitally important for your pet's future and health.
- Persistent cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Collapsing or fainting
- Low or no exercise tolerance
- Behavioral changes
- Depressed and/or withdrawn
- Weight changes, especially weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Distended or bloated abdomen
When to Take Your Pet To a Veterinary Cardiologist
These specialized appointments typically come from a referral from your primary care veterinarian. Your cat or dog should be seen by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist in Long Island if they have any of the following factors:
- Your pet is suspected of having a birth defect within the heart
- Your family vet hears a heart murmur when checking your pet
- Your pet has a heart issue that your family vet has not been able to clearly diagnose
- Your pet has a heart health issue that isn’t getting any better
- Your pet is predisposed to heart disease
How to Recognize a Cardiac Emergency
Knowing the signs of a veterinary emergency can be difficult but when it comes to conditions of the heart, there is very little time to waste. Some signs of emergency situations such as congestive heart failure in pets include coughing when at rest or sleeping, excessive panting, persistent loss of appetite, a swollen belly, and pale or bluish gums are also signs associated with heart failure.
If your pet is experiencing any symptoms that you are concerned about contact your Long Island emergency vet immediately.
Treatment For Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs and Cats
Your vet will perform various diagnostic tests to check for signs of congestive heart failure in pets. The tests include listening to your pet's heart, X-rays, bloodwork and urinalysis, and Electrocardiogram (ECG). These diagnostic measures are necessary for diagnosing your pet and being able to offer treatment.
Today there is a wide selection of heart medications that can be used to treat congestive heart failure and the treatment regime must be tailored for each patient.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.