How can cardiovascular conditions impact the health and well-being of my dog?

Dogs with heart disease often have a cough or an increased respiratory rate. They may experience exercise intolerance or collapse, and unfortunately, sometimes cardiovascular disease can shorten their life.

Dr. Eva Oxford
Briar Patch Veterinary Hospital

Could you elaborate for me what a veterinary cardiologist is?

A veterinary cardiologist is a veterinarian who has undergone special training to specialize in cardiovascular disease diagnosis and treatment. This training typically consists of four years of veterinary school, a year-long rotating internship, and a three to four-year residency followed by a series of intensive board exams.

What are some signs and symptoms of a cardiovascular condition in my dog?

Often, the first sign is a chronic cough, which may or may not be associated with an increased resting respiratory rate. More rarely, dogs can have collapsing episodes during times of excitement, coughing, urination, or defecation.

How soon should I bring my dog in to see a veterinarian if I suspect heart issues?

It is better to bring your dog in sooner rather than later because many treatments can offer preventative measures and help slow the progression of the disease.

How will a veterinarian diagnose cardiovascular disease in my dog?

Your primary care veterinarian will usually start by listening to your dog's heart and lungs with a stethoscope. If warranted, they may perform an EKG to identify any abnormal heart rhythms or take some x-rays of the chest to examine the heart and lungs more closely.

What kinds of treatments are available for dogs with heart problems?

We offer many treatments that are medical to improve the quality of life. Occasionally, we also perform invasive or non-invasive procedures in dogs that have more severe disease.

Why is early detection and diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in dogs so important?

Many diseases that we treat can be slowed or halted with medical therapy. The earlier we can detect and treat these diseases, the better your pet's condition will be.

What types of preventative care can help my dog avoid having cardiovascular issues?

Unfortunately, many cardiovascular diseases are not preventable. However, feeding your dog a complete and balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and providing them with adequate exercise are all important for maintaining cardiovascular health.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (607) 272-2828, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram