This February isn’t just the time for Valentines Day, it’s also American Heart Month — a month when we should all be mindful of things that keep the old ticker healthy. But it’s not just us who should be trying to live healthier lives, our pets deserve some love too. Dogs and cats are equally at risk of developing heart-related illnesses and disorders, and the main defense we have against these conditions is awareness.
Like people, dogs can develop heart disease, either as a congenital condition or developing as they age. Clinical signs can vary, but the most common symptoms include exercise intolerance, coughing or fainting episodes. Diagnostics such as x-ray and heart ultrasound (echo) can help diagnose heart disease so that appropriate treatments can be implemented. Always report any changes in your dog’s breathing or the development of a new, persistent cough to your veterinarian. (more…)