Love is in the air

Welcome to our February blog!
This month we are focusing on all things hearts.
As in humans, the heart is the most vital organ in the body.

When you bring your pet to see us, our vets perform a physical examination. This of course includes listening to the animal’s heart using a stethoscope. Our vets are listening for abnormal sounds or a heart murmur.

A heart murmur is an abnormal sound which can be graded out of 6 depending on the severity. Murmurs do not always mean something is wrong but they do normally need investigating to check everything is ok.

Diseases

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease which commonly affects large breeds such as dobermans. The muscle of the heart becomes weak and floppy over time and the chambers of the heart become enlarged which makes the heart have to work much harder to pump blood around the body. Over time not enough blood is pumped out of the heart with each beat and some blood backs up the wrong way.

Mitral Valve Disease

In this type of heart failure one of the values of the heart becomes thickened and misshapen so it does not close a tight seal which allows for the blood to flowback the wrong way and therefore decreasing the amount of blood flowing out of the heart into the circulation.

This may lead to pressure changes and fluid accumulating in your dog’s lungs, turbulent blood flow due to a leaky valve is heard as a heart murmur.
Often seen in smaller or medium sized breeds, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Diagnosing Heart Failure

Once a clinical history and full examination has been performed, the vet may wish to do further tests such as Blood Tests, X Rays, Ultrasound or an ECG to help decide the correct treatment plan for your animal.

Signs to look out for:

❏ Becoming more tired than expected when out for a walk
❏ Respiratory rate increased when at rest
❏ Have a larger abdomen then normal
❏ Have a cough, particularly in the morning/evening or during exercise
❏ Be less interested in food and lose weight
❏ Collapse or faint

“Until we can walk side by side”

And finally we would like to share something very close to our heart.. Within our Skellingthorpe branch there is a designated room known as the “snug”. A room that has been on our team’s wishlist since forever.

We think you’ll agree it’s pretty special. This room provides a space where difficult discussions can take place and if required a very dignified last goodbye which our precious pets so deserve.

We are of course having to conform to Covid guidelines but please request to go to our Skellingthorpe branch if you would like to use this facility.