Heart Disease in Dogs: Dilated Cardiomyopathy


Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a common heart disease that affects your pet’s health.  DCM is a blanket term for any dilation noted in the heart chambers (ventricles or atria). To better understand DCM, one must visualize what is actually happening to the heart.  This image … [Read more...]

Heart Disease in Cats: Symptoms

Cats spend much of their time sleeping

  Cats frequently have heart disease without clinical signs for months to years. Cats are private and elusive creatures by nature choosing solitude often.  Unsurprisingly, cats are not let on that they are sick until they are often at the point of severe illness.  … [Read more...]

Heart Disease of the Cat: Treatment Options

Sleeping Cat

Therapy of heart disease in the cat is highly variable and can be controversial.  HCM, the most commonly diagnosed heart problem, has some theories of therapy.  Because the main issue is the heart not having time/space to fill, there is a school of thought that gives … [Read more...]

Heart Disease of the Cat: Aortic Thromboembolism


Aortic thromboembolism (sometimes referred to as “saddle thrombus”) is a devastating disease in cats, and is a life threatening emergency.  As seen in the picture, a blood clot lodges where the aorta (the largest artery in the body) branches into the arteries that feed the … [Read more...]

Acquired Heart Disease in Cats: Intermediate, Restrictive, Unclassified Cardiomyopathy

Heart Disease Diagram

Heart Disease in Cats The last categories of cardiomyopathies in the cat delve into areas of veterinary science that are still in their infancy.  Click here to learn about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Intermediate/ restrictive/ unclassified cardiomyopathies (ICM/RCM/UCM … [Read more...]

Acquired Heart Disease in Cats: Dilated Cardiomyopathy


Dilated Cardiomyopathy is characterized by decreased ability of the heart to contract properly and occurs in people, dogs and cats.  Click here to learn about normal functioning of cat hearts. As the contractility decreases the heart compensates by dilating in order to have … [Read more...]

Acquired Heart Disease in Cats: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Diagram

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a big term that describes the changes seen in the heart muscle in a cat afflicted with this disease.  Click here to learn about normal functioning of cat hearts. It is the most commonly diagnosed heart conditions in the cat.  It is … [Read more...]

Heart Disease in Dogs: Treatment for Atrial Defibrillation

Pills and a medication bottle

Treatment goals for dogs in atrial fibrillation are to slow the heart rate and to manage the congestive heart failure.  Atrial fibrillation is a disease that is cured (with rare exceptions), rather managed for the lifetime of the dog. Medications to slow the heart rate in … [Read more...]

Heart Disease in Dogs: Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fib EKG

Atrial Fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) and is usually a very fast and irregular rhythm (tachyarrhythmia).  In the dog it is always associated with heart disease though in people and horses it can be found with no underlying heart disease. Cause of … [Read more...]

Causes and Incidence of Congenital Disease in Dogs as Compared to People

Congenital heart disease table

In human infants congenital heart defects often have no known cause. They may develop in the unborn baby who is exposed to toxic substances or radiation, but many are believed to be passed on from parent to child. Many heart defects in dogs have been shown to be genetically … [Read more...]