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Overview

Heart disease compromises a pet’s heart muscle or valves, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Its signs are subtle and its consequences are dire. Left undetected, heart disease can lead to heart failure. Veterinarians can sometimes find heart disease during routine examinations, but most diagnoses are made with help from:

  • Chest X-rays
  • Electrocardiographs (ECG)
  • Ultrasound tests

States with the highest prevalence of Heart Disease

  1. South Dakota
  2. Iowa
  3. Michigan
  4. Nebraska
  5. South Carolina
  1. Kansas
  2. Missouri
  3. Idaho
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Maryland

Signs

Physical signs of heart disease are not always visible, especially in early stages. Signs are especially tough to read in cats, which are known for hiding illness until the disease has progressed. In between your pet's regular veterinary visits, look out for:

  • Signs of fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing (especially during play or exercise)
  • Coughing
  • Fainting

Prevention

Early diagnosis can potentially increase the length and quality of a pet’s life.

Some types of heart disease may be avoided by ensuring your pets, especially cats, get proper nutrition. For this reason, pet owners who choose to feed homemade diets should consult with a veterinarian to ensure their pets’ dietary needs are being met.

Signs & symptoms of heart disease in dogs and cats.

Learn more about heart disease in cats and dogs at Banfield.com

At least 3 in 4 cat owners don't know that vomiting, dental disease and weight loss are signs of heart disease in cats. 54% of cat owners don't know that aging can also be associated with heart disease in cats.
Nearly 3 in 4 dog owners don't know that  vomiting, dental disease, or weight loss can be signs of heart disease in dogs. 9% of dog owners don't know that aging can also be associated with heart disease in dogs.
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