Parkway Animal Hospital's
PET OWNER'S GUIDE TO
Heart problems are commonly found in both dogs and cats. Current statistics show that the number 1 cause of anesthetic deaths in young dogs is cardiomyopathy (heart problems). Specific breeds of dogs, such as Boxers, Dobermans, Great Danes, and Yorkshire Terriers may be born with heart problems or develop problems at a very early age. Up to 50% of all pets of these breeds will eventually develop problems. In these breeds, the condition of cardiomyopathy results in a thinning and deterioration of the heart muscle resulting in the inability of the heart to pump with sufficient force to maintain the body’s normal state. Older dogs and cats of all breeds may develop congestive heart failure as the heart ages. There just is no cure for old age.
Most heart problems do not show visible clinical signs in the pet until late in the particular disease. By the time clinical signs are observed, the heart is usually already severely damaged. Life expectancy once clinical signs develop is usually short - only a few months to a year or two. The secret to the longest quality life for your pet is the strategy of catching problems early, before clinical signs develop.
To diagnose heart conditions much earlier, which provides us the opportunity to consider medications to ease the heart’s workload and/or strengthen the heart.) We now offer this ECG screening as part of the annual examination to allow us to look for abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm. If anything looks abnormal on the screening, then a complete multi-lead ECG is needed to pinpoint the exact problem and determine appropriate treatment.
ECG SCREENING is strongly recommended for all breeds as part of the mid-life health screening procedures. Breeds most likely to develop heart conditions should be screened every year starting the first year of life. All pets should be screened annually as part of the comprehensive physical examination, beginning at 8 years of age.
ECG SCREENING IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED BEFORE ALL ANESTHETIC PROCEDURES.
ECG SCREENING IS NOW BECOME VERY AFFORDABLE AND EASY TO PERFORM WITH STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY:
New hand-held units make it very easy for our staff to obtain the ECG for the doctor to minimize the time involvement by the doctor. This allows us to make the screening procedure much more affordable for all pets entrusted to our care.