Cardiology (Heart)

By CVCA Cardiac Care for Pets (

Cardiac disease and conditions can have many different causes. Some diseases are caused by structural abnormalities in chambers or valves that are congenital (present at birth) or acquired. Other conditions are diseases of the heart muscle itself. Arrhythmias, or irregularities in the force or rhythm of the heartbeat, can cause or be caused by other cardiac conditions. Finally, other conditions such as thyroid disease or cancer can cause cardiac problems.

Signs of heart disease are usually easier to see in dogs and less detectable in cats. We can often diagnose your pet’s problem by doing a physical exam and listening to their heart, but sometimes we do need to run other diagnostic tests such as:

  • Radiographs
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Contact us if you notice your pet displaying any of the following problems:

  • Persistent cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting/collapsing
  • Abdominal swelling/distention
  • Less tolerance to exercise
  • Heart murmur
  • Change in heart rate
  • Change in body weight
  • Restless or hiding
  • Loss of appetite