Keeping the Beat: Why Pet Heart Health is Instrumental

A border collie laying in the grassEach and every organ in the body is important, each having an essential role in form and function. It is not fair to pick favorites, but if we had to, the vets at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital would rank the heart up at the top of our list. Pet heart health is essential when it comes to caring for your four-legged friends.

The Importance of Pet Heart Health

No bones about it, the heart is central to your pet’s overall health. The heart is the center of the cardiovascular system, pumping blood to every vital organ and tissue in the body. Blood carries oxygen to the cells, providing energy for function. Without the heart, the muscles, the kidneys, and even the brain would not be able to work properly.

When the heart isn’t functioning at top capacity, consequences can be devastating. In most situations, heart problems lead to the heart not being able to propel blood forward as efficiently as normal, resulting the in the accumulation of fluid in the lung tissues and/or abdomen. This is called congestive heart failure.

Pet heart problems can be caused by a variety of underlying issues, including:

  • Improperly functioning heart valves
  • Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle problem)
  • Arrhythmias
  • A congenital problem
  • Heartworms
  • Hypertension

Without a properly functioning heart, no mammal can be at peak health. Pet heart health is very important, and while not all pet heart issues are preventable, many are.

Cardiac Care

The heart is so very important, and we encourage all of our pet owners to do their best to support pet heart health. Most of cardiac care is quite simple and well worth the effort to keep your beloved pet in great condition.

The importance of wellness careA good wellness plan is integral to keeping your pet healthy in many arenas, and cardiac care is no exception. During wellness exams your pet’s heart and lungs will be auscultated and other parameters linked to cardiovascular function assessed. This is a key time for us to pick up on concerns before they become problems. Screening tests, such as blood work and radiographs, are sometimes recommended to keep tabs on your pet’s overall health. Proper dental care and parasite prevention (especially for heartworms) is also paramount.

Good nutrition is key – A complete diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps to keep your pet’s heart functioning well. Keeping your pet at an ideal body weight is also important as obesity can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Keeping fit – An active pet means improved cardiovascular health and lower disease risk. No excuse for couch potatoes. Get up and move!

Staying vigilant – Keeping your eyes open and alerting us to signs of trouble, such as coughing, heavy breathing, fainting episodes, or exercise intolerance, can help us to intervene early. We may recommend radiographs, echocardiogram (heart ultrasound), heart tracing (ecg), or a consultation with our cardiologist.

Pet heart health is such an important part of caring for our animal friends. We want to help keep your furry family member as happy and healthy as possible for a long time to come. We are proud to be part of your pet’s heart health team.