Olympia Veterinary Services proudly partners with the team at Evergreen Veterinary Cardiology to offer Cardiology Services. Learn more about them at their website:

Although found more often in older pets, heart conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening health issue, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can even be cured.

Heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen.

Heart disease has many origins. The pet can be born with a congenital problem, have a valve issue, or develop arrhythmias, which are disturbances in heartbeat rhythm. Heartworm disease can also eventually lead to CHF.

It’s important that you be aware of the symptoms of heart disease, especially if your pet is a senior, a breed that is predisposed to cardiac issues, or has a congenital problem. Symptoms include:

• Rapid breathing

• Coughing

• Loss of appetite

• Lethargy/tires easily

• Weakness/trouble exercising

Many heart problems can be detected through a physical exam, though additional tests will be required to obtain a definitive diagnosis and cause. Those tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (X-rays), and ultrasounds.