Top 4 heart diseases that can affect your dogs and cats - Hindustan Times
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Top 4 heart diseases that can affect your dogs and cats

By, New Delhi
Sep 29, 2023 04:36 PM IST

Heart diseases in dogs and cats are not so easy to detect as they have a tendency to hide their illnesses. Here are some common heart disorders in pets.

Heart problems in dogs and cats are difficult to detect as their first instinct is to hide it and also many symptoms may be non-specific. Cardiovascular diseases in pets can hamper their longevity and quality of life. If you see your pet persistently coughing, facing problems in breathing, lethargic, weak, this could be some of the signs of heart trouble. Heart disease in pets can be genetic or acquired. One should make sure their pet follows a healthy lifestyle to prevent such diseases. (Also read: World Rabies Day 2023: Rabies symptoms in dogs and cats; vaccination tips)

This World Heart Day, let us take a look at issues concerning our pets and animals, and stay aware so that better care can be given to them(Freepik)
This World Heart Day, let us take a look at issues concerning our pets and animals, and stay aware so that better care can be given to them(Freepik)

"Did you think only humans have heart concerns? You are sadly mistaken. Heart diseases have become an equally big concern among pets in recent times. This World Heart Day, let us take a look at issues concerning our pets and animals, and stay aware so that better care can be given to them," says Dr. Bhanu Sharma, a specialist in Interventional Radiology, Cardiology procedures and Internal Medicine, and Co-CMO Co-CCO at MaxPetZ.

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Dr Sharma shares a list of most common heart diseases that are prevalent among pets.

1. Mitral Valve Disease

The most common heart disease in dogs is Mitral Valve Disease. Mitral valve disease is the most common disease in dogs where the mitral leaflets situated in the left side of the heart between the two heart chambers known as left ventricle and left atrium develop degenerative changes and get thickened leading to leakage of blood back into the left atrium. Breeds such as King Charles Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Beagles and Chihuahua are known to be affected by MVD.

2. Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a common heart disease found among dogs. Commonly seen in big breeds such as Dobermans, Labrador, Golden Retrievers, Mastiffs and German Shepherds, Dilated Cardiomyopathy is caused primarily by reduced contractions of the heart. Characterized by the progressive loss of myocyte number and/or function, along with a decrease in cardiac contractility, DCM is most prevalent in dogs and it typically occurs in middle-aged to older male dogs.

3. Restrictive cardiomyopathy

Among the most common heart diseases found in cats, Restrictive Cardiomyopathy is caused by the stiffened walls causing relaxation abnormality of the heart. Restrictive cardiomyopathy is a common form of cardiomyopathy in cats and is caused usually due to increased collagen formation in the left ventricle. The early symptoms of restrictive cardiomyopathy include radiographic findings with respiratory distress.

4. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC)

Another very common heart issue found among dogs is ARVC, where the right side of the heart is unable to contract properly. ARVC commonly affects the boxer breed and is an inherited condition that can affect the muscles of the heart. ARVC can also cause sudden cardiac death and congestive heart failure. The most common symptom of ARVC is irregular heartbeats.

Regular vet checkups and adequate nutrition plays an important role in long term management of various cardiac conditions in small animals.

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