What are the signs of cardiac disease?

Not all dogs and cats diagnosed with a heart murmur will suffer from clinical cardiac disease; alternatively, not all dogs and cats that suffer from heart disease will have a murmur.

If your dog or cat does exhibit clinical signs of cardiac disease, a cardiac work-up will give you much-needed information.

Signs of cardiac disease in dogs and cats may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Cough
  • Abdominal distention
  • Exercise intolerance or weakness
  • Gray or blue gums
  • Possible collapse

If your pet is diagnosed with a heart murmur, it is important to always watch for these indicators. If your pet exhibits one more of these signs, contact your primary veterinarian.

Emergency signals that warrant immediate and urgent veterinary involvement include:

  • Blue or gray gums
  • Collapse
  • Intense non-stop cough
  • Open mouth breathing and/or limb paralysis in cats