Heart disease is not uncommon in pets. They can be born with heart defects or can develop heart disease as they get older.
It is important to recognize the early signs of heart disease such as coughing, exercise intolerance, fainting or discolored (bluish) gums and membranes. Many heart problems can be diagnosed by finding murmurs when listening to the heart. We can use an ECG (electrocardiogram) and x-rays to determine a more exact location in the heart and to assess the severity of the disease. In difficult cases we can refer the pet to a cardiologist. Tools such as Doppler ultrasonography can be used at large centres to examine the heart more fully.
Although heart disease can not be cured, there are many medications that control the symptoms of the disease to make the dog/cat feel better and prolong their life.