Treatment for Heart Disease in Pets near Germantown, MD
If your pet has heart disease, it can be a very difficult time. The trained and experienced veterinarians at Germantown Vet are equipped with the knowledge and state-of-the-art technology your cat or dog needs for a proper diagnosis and care.
Types of Heart Disease
There are a couple different kinds of heart disease your pets could get:
Disease of the Heart Valves
Heart disease in the valves is much more common in dogs, and they generally get mitral valve disease. This is when the mitral valve (which is located between the left atrium and the left ventricle) thickens and becomes distorted.
Disease of the Heart Muscle
This type of heart disease is much more common in cats, and there are four classifications of the disease:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – this is the most common form of cat heart disease, and occurs when there is an increase in the thickness of the muscular wall of the heart.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) – this is when the muscular wall of the heart becomes thinner than usual and the heart enlarges, meaning it can’t contract effectively. (This is another common heart disease for dogs, as well.)
- Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) – this occurs when there is fibrosis of the wall of the heart, making it stiff and inelastic.
- Intermediate cardiomyopathy (ICM) – this is when your pet experiences changes that are consistent with more than one type of disease.
You cannot be sure which type of heart disease your pet has without proper testing and a diagnosis from a trained professional. The experienced veterinarians at Germantown Vet can examine and diagnose your dog or cat so a treatment plan can be created.
Call us today to set up an appointment (240-252-7467240-252-7467).
Symptoms of Heart Disease in Pets
Early diagnosis is incredibly important when it comes to a serious illness, so it’s important that you are aware of all the symptoms of heart disease. Some symptoms your pet could be exhibiting include:
- Fainting or collapsing
- Changes in behavior
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased respiratory rate and effort
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss or gain
- Bloated abdomen
- Swelling of the legs
- Cyanosis (purple coloration of the gums), if the heart failure is severe enough
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s incredibly important to schedule an appointment with Germantown Vet right away! At our state-of-the-art facility, we have experienced veterinarians who are experts at identifying and diagnosing heart disease. Diagnosing the correct type of heart disease your pet has will be crucial in his or her treatment plan, and our highly skilled vets can combine a number of different testing methods in order to determine which type of heart disease your pet has.
Tests for Diagnosing Heart Disease
Physical examination – When it comes to accurately diagnosing heart disease (or any condition), the first step will always be a thorough physical examination. This allows our veterinarians the chance to uncover any symptoms your pet is exhibiting that may suggest which type of heart disease your dog or cat is suffering from. For instance, they can check for heart murmurs, evidence of fluid in the lungs or abdomen, and other signs.
During the physical examination, we will check your pet’s medical history and ask about his or her recent behavior, including lethargy, heavy breathing, coughing, etc. This information helps us fully understand your pet’s symptoms and makes it easier to diagnose heart disease.
X-ray – One of the most important diagnostic procedures when it comes to heart disease is a chest radiograph (x-ray). The x-ray can show if there are any abnormalities in the size or shape of your pet’s heart and large blood vessels and if there is evidence of fluid in the lungs.
EKG or ECG – An electrocardiogram will measure the electrical activity of the heart, and it is the only type of diagnostic test that can detect heart arrhythmias.
NT-proBNP blood test – The NT-proBNP blood test can help determine whether the symptoms your pet is experiencing are due to heart disease or respiratory disease.
Identifying underlying cause – If testing is required to determine the underlying cause of heart disease, we may perform:
- Thyroid testing
- Heartworm testing
- Bacterial infection testing
- Taurine level testing
Schedule Your Physical Exam Today
If you believe your pet is exhibiting signs of heart disease, schedule your physical examination immediately. In most cases, a combination of testing will be required to accurately diagnose heart disease, and the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin. At our state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, we have all the tools and diagnostic equipment necessary to identify your pet’s heart disease and begin treatment right away. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.