Pets can develop heart problems, just as their human counterparts do. A heart disorder can cause disturbing symptoms that can be fatal. When your pet experiences symptoms of heart problems, you want experienced, immediate care to help them. At Waldorf Emergency Care in Waldorf, MD, we provide emergency care to treat and stabilize pets with cardiology problems.
Dogs can experience a number of heart disorders. Heart valve dysfunction can occur in both large and small breeds. Myocardial problems cause thickening of the heart muscle in both dogs and cats. Congestive heart failure can occur in older animals. Some heart problems can be cause by abnormalities that are present at birth. Others may develop over time.
Heart disorders can cause a number of symptoms. In the early stages, you may not notice any change in your pet’s behavior or condition. However, over time, the animal may begin to show worsening symptoms. Your pet may have difficulty breathing or may cough frequently. The animal may seem weak or may become unusually restless. Heart disease can cause sudden swelling of the abdomen or the extremities. The animal may refuse to play or may feed poorly. There may be profound fatigue and excessive sleeping. In severe cases, the animal may faint or become unconscious.
The immediate problem for pets with cardiac problems is to stabilize their condition, so an accurate diagnosis and treatment can begin. The veterinarian will check the animal’s vital signs and administer oxygen if breathing is difficult. The animal’s blood pressure will be measured. A blood test can detect chemical disturbances in the body that point to heart disorders. An electrocardiogram may be administered to check heart function. With these tests, the veterinarian can determine the source of the problem and provide effective treatment to stabilize heart function. After the crisis is over, your veterinarian can then provide ongoing treatment of the condition.