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Pet Me! Magazine

upper heart chamber. Eventually, as the valve leaks more, more blood goes backwards, and fluid builds up behind the poorly functioning pump (heart), and the pet goes into congestive heart failure.

Heartworm disease is a common cause of heart and lung disease in both cats and dogs. This can cause congestive heart failure, fluid build up in the abdomen, weight loss, coughing (especially in cats), or sudden death. All dogs Cardiomyopathy and cats should be is more common in on a monthly heartthe larger breeds worm preventative. • Coughing of dogs, especially • F luid build up in the abdomen For all these heart Doberman Pinschers •D  ifficulty breathing, using the diseases, except and Great Danes. abdominal muscles to help breathing heartworm disease, Most frequently • I ncreased respiratory the best method this is in the form of rate (not panting) of diagnosis or dilated Cardiomyo•W  eakness evaluation is by an pathy, where the •P  oor or gray color echocardiogram (a heart muscle beof the gums cardiac ultrasound) • E xercise intolerance comes thin and that looks inside • Collapse flaccid, and can’t the heart to evalu• Fainting spells which contract well. This ate the chamber may look like a seizure is a very serious dissizes, valves, and ease with a poor direction and qualprognosis. When people have this problem they are ity of the blood flow. An echo should be performed commonly put on the heart transplant list. only by a veterinary cardiologist. Dr. Grewal, DVM There are many different types of congenital heart deformities, although none are especially common in pets. Some of these are serious and some will never bother the pet. Patent ductus arteriosus is one of the more common congenital heart diseases in the dog.


Cats rarely have valvular or congenital heart diseases. Cardiomyopathy is by far the most common heart disease in cats. There are several different types of Cardiomyopathy, but Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is by far the most common form. With this disease, the heart muscle becomes very thickened, to the point it decreases the amount of blood that can come into the heart, and the heart wall becomes stiff so that it can’t pump well. HCM cats are prone to forming clots in the heart that are then flushed to other areas of the body; symptoms depend on where the clot goes. The most common event is for the clot to be washed down the aorta, and to lodge where the aorta divides to go into the rear legs. These cats are presented because they suddenly can’t use their back legs and are in pain. HCM cats can also go into congestive heart failure, or they can have acute death. The most frustrating aspect for the veterinarian is that one-third of HCM cats do not have a murmur.

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Pet Me! Magazine™ 9 PetMe_JuneJuly2010.indd 9

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June/July 2010 Issue of Pet Me! Magazine  
June/July 2010 Issue of Pet Me! Magazine  

Your Guide To All Things Pets. Picking The Perfect Kennel. Turtle Tales How To mke Your Home turtle-iffic! Matters of the Heart - How To Spo...