Your pet’s heart health is important–just as our own is. Our pets love fiercely and without prejudice, so the least we can do in return is ensure that we help keep their hearts healthy and strong.
What can you do for your pet’s heart health? Westarbor Animal Hospital is here to help you keep your pet’s heart pumping properly so you can enjoy a long and loving life together:
The 5 Basics of Your Pet’s Heart Health
Keeping your pet’s cardiovascular system working well requires some attention. Just like in humans, a healthy diet and active lifestyle are important foundations for overall heart health. They are not the only areas on which to focus, though.
Help your pet with the following to improve their odds for living life without heart issues:
- Watch the weight: Keeping your pet at a healthy weight is the first step toward treating their heart right. Talk to your veterinarian about how much your pet should weigh and the best ways to ensure they stay near that weight.
- Feed her a balanced diet: The food you choose for your dog or cat can severely impact their overall health and wellness. Be sure to choose foods that give your pet the necessary balanced nutrition. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific dietary requirements. Your Veterinarian can prescribe a prescription diet including one that can help your pet lose weight, if that is appropriate for your pet. Your veterinarian can also help you choose other commercial options if a prescription diet is not appropriate.
- Get those wellness checks: We like to see your pets at least once a year so we can compare their current health to their baseline and make sure there are no significant changes. Yearly wellness checks, including wellness blood work, let us find any potential problems early.
- Use preventives: Parasites like heartworm can significantly impact a pet’s heart health. Monthly preventives can protect your pets from these parasites.
- Pay attention to dental health: You might not think your pet’s teeth and gums have anything to do with the heart, but oral health is a huge contributor to heart health. Bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and affect vital organs like the heart. Regular dental cleanings can reduce this risk.
Your Pet’s Heart Health: Symptoms of Heart Problems
Unfortunately, sometimes even when you do everything right, your pet can develop some kind of heart disease. It is important to know the symptoms of cardiovascular issues so you can get your pet the proper treatment if they develop a problem.
The following could all be symptoms of heart trouble:
- Dry cough (especially after physical activity)
- Coughing at night
- Quick, noticeable weight loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale gums
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Depressed affect
- Disinterest in eating
Your Pet’s Heart Health: Diagnosis and Treatment
If your veterinarian suspects there is an issue with your pet’s heart health, he or she might evaluate your pet’s blood pressure, order an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram, or an X-ray to get a better look. The vet will develop a treatment plan based on your pet’s health history, breed, and the severity of the heart disease. As with any disease, early diagnosis gives you the best chance at finding a successful treatment.
The team at Westarbor Animal Hospital is here to help your pets through every season of life. From regular wellness checks to treatment for heart issues, we provide veterinary care you can trust. To learn more, please call (734) 769-5391.