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Veterinary cardiology is a speciality that involves diagnosing and treating conditions that affect an animal’s heart and blood vessels, which are better known as cardiovascular diseases. 

What are the most common cardiovascular diseases in pets?

Several diseases can afflict a pet’s cardiovascular system, including valve abnormalities, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, cardiomyopathy, pericarditis, congenital heart disease and arrhythmia.

Some cardiovascular diseases are more complex than others, and their treatment sometimes requires the expertise of a veterinarian who is specialized in cardiology.

What are the most common symptoms of cardiovascular disease?

The symptoms can vary significantly from one animal to the next. Animals with cardiovascular disease are often asymptomatic at first and then develop symptoms as the disease evolves. Cardiovascular diseases are often chronic and progressive. 

Here is a list of possible symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Distended belly
  • Rapid breathing while resting
  • Intolerance to physical exertion
  • Generalized discomfort
  • Extreme tiredness
  • And more