Heart problems can affect animals at any age and result in a life threatening condition. Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump blood effectively. It can also lead to congestive heart failure when there is increased fluid in the lungs and abdomen. Some causes of heart failure are degeneration of the heart valves, arrhythmias, heart defects and heartworm disease. Cardiac assessment for pets is comprehensive and includes a variety of tests. Vets complete a full physical examination and take a thorough pet medical history while looking for clinical signs of heart problems. A six-lead electrocardiography (ECG) test may be performed to evaluate your pet’s heart conduction system from different angles.
The Holter 24-hour ECG is performed to get information about your pet’s heart rate and rhythm over a 24-hour period. It’s very helpful in characterizing different types of arrhythmias. An echocardiography is another important test in a cardiology assessment for pets. It’s an ultrasound of the heart that allows vets to look inside the chest to evaluate the thickness of heart walls, heart blood flow patterns, the size of heart chambers and the heart valves. It’s a painless test, and just a small region of fur is cut for the ultrasound transducer. A thoracic radiograph provides an image of the structures in your pet’s chest. It’s an effective X-ray test for diagnosing pulmonary edema and fluid around the lungs. Lab blood and urine tests are also included in a cardiac assessment. Cardiology blood tests include a complete blood count and full blood chemistry profile. While heart disease in pets doesn’t cause high blood pressure, a blood pressure analysis is still done, as it can worsen heart disease.
Cardiac arrhythmias are more common in horses than other domestic species like cats and dogs. Specifically, atrial fibrillation can predispose a horse to pulmonary hemorrhage. With atrial fibrillation, the heart beats too much, and the upper heart chambers contract non-stop. The most common types of heart disease in dogs and cats are valvular, myocardial, arrhythmias and pericardial. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, fatigue, dry cough after exercise or a swollen belly. Treatment may include medications or surgery. With treatment, pets can live a longer and happier life.
Veterinarians for Cardiology Assessment in Edmond, Seward, Piedmont, Bethany, Meridian, Jones, and Choctaw, OK
Our veterinarians at White Oaks Veterinary Clinic perform cardiology assessments for cats, dogs, pocket pets, small animals and horses. Our cardiology assessments include a comprehensive physical examination, X-rays, ultrasound, EKGs and specialized blood tests. All of our vets have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment for pet heart problems. They offer specialized and general veterinary services for pet owners in and around Edmond, Seward, Piedmont, Bethany, Meridian, Jones, and Choctaw, OK. If your pet is struggling with breathing or exhibits a shortness of breath after exercise, contact us at White Oaks Veterinary Clinic to schedule an appointment or call at (405) 330-0676.