Cardiology/Holter Monitoring

Although heart problems are found more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If caught early, some forms of heart disease can be treated with great success.

Our Practice is home to the beloved breed which sadly tops the list for Dilated Cardiomyopathy – the Doberman Pinscher. More than half the Dobermans develop DCM, and 30% of them die suddenly without a warning. RBAH is the only practice in the region with it’s own Holter Monitor – which detects abnormal heart beat and allows the Veterinarian to start life saving medications. We can help genetically screen your dogs whether they are a part of a breeding program, companion or working animal; monitor with x-rays and referral for echocardiogram; submit the heart enzyme NT pro-BNP; and Holter monitor your dog. Early detection is key for this devastating disease, as well as responsible breeding.

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 usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. Congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the heart valves), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), and heartworm disease can all lead to CHF.

Call us if your pet starts breathing rapidly or coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seems weak, or has trouble exercising. We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (x-rays), and ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure.