For humans, heart disease is the leading cause of death. We’re told to eat more kale, practice yoga, and reduce stress in order to minimize the risk of cardiac arrest or stroke. Cats and dogs, on the other hand, can share a similar diagnosis—but their symptoms are not easily managed or prevented in the same ways. From congenital heart defects to cardiomyopathy, it’s important to learn about heart disease in pets so we can help early on.
During your pet’s routine wellness exam, we listen to his or her heart with a stethoscope. To be sure, this is one of the best tools we have to identify heart problems. If we hear a heart murmur or suspect the valves aren’t functioning properly, we use digital diagnostics such as x-rays, EKG, or an echocardiogram to verify heart disease in pets.