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Heart problems are some of the most common health conditions affecting cats and dogs. At Alto Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, we provide comprehensive cardiac care for pets in Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, Alta Loma, Ontario, Upland, and the Inland Empire community in CA. Thanks to recent advances in cardiology and veterinary medicine, we are treating our cardiac pet patients with greater success than ever before. Our Rancho Cucamonga veterinarians Dr. Reid Shufer and Dr. Kathy Henderson use high-tech diagnostics to detect and monitor heart disease, accompanied by a therapeutic regimen of medication, diet and exercise. Thanks to advanced treatments – many of which rival those used in human medicine – our cardiac pet patients continue to enjoy a healthy, active life.
The first step to treating your pet is to identify the specific heart condition affecting. Some animals with heart disease may show few or no symptoms, while others may have severe coughing, difficulty breathing, reduced ability to exercise, or unexplained loss of appetite and weight loss. Our veterinarians use high-tech tests to diagnose heart conditions. These tests include: an electrocardiogram to determine electrical conduction disturbances, a blood pressure measurement to check for hypertension, an echocardiogram to determine the size and shape of the heart as well as the overall performance of the heart as a pump, and color flow doppler ultrasound to determine location and severity of valvular and anatomical defects.
An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm most often seen in animals with heart disease. Depending on the type of arrhythmia, your pet’s heart may beat too fast or too slow, it may beat irregularly, or the electrical signal for the heartbeat may be coming from an atypical site. We use an electrocardiogram to diagnose the specific type of arrhythmia affecting your pet. An untreated arrhythmia may result in fainting and weakness, reduced blood flow (including the lungs and kidneys), and even death. In some cases, we may need to take an echocardiogram to determine whether the heart itself is the cause for the arrhythmia. Common causes include atrial fibrillation and an atrioventricular block. If your pet is diagnosed with an arrhythmia, treatment typically includes medication to manage the irregular heartbeat and to reduce the risk for a dangerous arrhythmia that could lead to sudden death.
Congestive heart failure is another common cardiac condition affecting pets. When congestive heart failure occurs, the lungs will fill with fluid, resulting in difficulty moving, loss of appetite, and other health problems. Treatment for congestive heart failure depends on its severity. Our primary treatment goal is to reduce the buildup of fluid in the lungs and improve the quality of blood being pumped from the heart to the lungs. Several different types of medications can be beneficial for treating congestive heart failure. Diet modification, such as reducing salt intake, is also helpful.
For more information on pet cardiac condition diagnosis and treatment, call Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital today at (909) 980-3575.