February is American Heart Month, and while it’s important to focus on your cardiovascular health, did you know that dogs and cats are also susceptible to developing congested heart failure?
Congestive Heart Failure is fluid retention due to severe heart disease.
If the left side of the heart is diseased, fluid is retained in the lungs or space around the lungs.
If the right side of the heart is diseased, fluid is retained the the belly.
Common Causes of CHF include:
- Mitral or Tricuspid valve disease
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Pericardial disease
- Congenital defect
- Heartworm disease
Signs of CHF
- Decrease in exercise ability
- WeaknessLoss of appetite
- Pale or blue gums
- Difficulty breathing
- Labored, opened mouth breathing (cats)
- Swelling of the belly with fluid
If you notice any of the above signs in your furry friend, take your pet to the vet immediately for chest radiographs and cardiac ultrasound. Medications are available for management.
Don’t forget, all pets brought on the show are eligible for adoptions! Contact the Sherwood Animal Shelter to learn more.