Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) in Cats

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When the heart can’t deliver enough blood to the body and fluid consequently backs up into a cat’s lungs, it’s called congestive heart failure. There are many causes of congestive heart failure in cats. Most commonly it results from a condition that causes the walls of the heart to thicken (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), but it can also be brought on by thyroid disease, high blood pressure, or birth defects, among other possibilities.

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Mitral Valve Disease (Endocardiosis) in Dogs

Mitral valve disease is not just a disease of the heart. It’s the disease of the heart for dogs, responsible for a full three-fourths of all canine heart diseases. It’s caused by a degenerative process thought to be genetic. A low-grade heart murmur may be the only early warning sign. Later on, coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing, or fainting may develop. Treatment generally involves medication to ease the burden on the heart and promote better functioning, as well as medications to help control blood pressure and fluid retention. Other modalities include a low-sodium diet and exercise restriction.

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Heart Murmurs in Dogs

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Heart murmurs are detected when a veterinarian listens to a dog’s heart and hears a whooshing sound. It’s not always a reason for concern, but it can be. In dogs, common causes include heart valve problems, heartworm disease, heart defects, tumors, or weakening of the heart muscle. If your dog has difficulty breathing, sounds congested or coughs, has a pot belly, faints, or suddenly collapses, he could have a heart condition. Treatments can include surgery or addressing any underlying issues that may be causing the murmur.

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