Preventative Medicine

Keeping your pets healthy is typically managed through a good amount of exercise, weight control, and making sure they’re getting adequate nutrition. There are a number of genetic defects and parasite-induced diseases (parasitosis), however, that may cause your pets future harm no matter how healthy their lifestyles.

A lot of these diseases affect certain organs or body systems, such as the cardiovascular system. Heart worms, or parasites that invade the body and attach and feed on the heart muscles, lungs, and associated blood vessels, are a particularly deadly variant of the myriad parasites that may be making a home inside your pet.

Heartworms spread via mosquito bites, rather than through direct contact with another dog or its various excretions, meaning there’s no real way to prevent your dog from contracting heart worms if there are mosquitos in the area. The worms can grow anywhere from 4-12 inches in length, meaning that they provide a consistent and steady resistance to blood being pumped in the animal’s body.

The worms grow and mature into full adults over a period of 6-7 months, and as many as 250 or so worms can infect a pet’s cardiovascular system, with each worm putting greater and greater levels of stress on the animal’s heart. As the worms grow, the symptoms of the infection grow with them.

Symptoms of heart worms typically mirror other cardiovascular problems and may lead to believe your pet has another fatal heart disease, like cardiomyopathy or arrhythmias. As the worms mature and get larger, or more worms invade the cardiovascular system and increase the worm burden, your pet may go through a number of different symptomatic stages or classes:

  • Class 1 involves limited or no symptoms
  • Class 2 involves mild or moderate symptoms, like a consistent cough and unusual fatigue after usual activities
  • Class 3 involves more severe symptoms, like a persistent cough and consistent fatigue even after limited or no activity
  • Class 4 is classified as ‘caval syndrome’, where the worms have effectively blocked all blood flowing in or out of the heart, and is usually fatal

Heart worms can be prevented using a number of different methods, including tablets, a topical liquid, or injections. However, there are times when all of us forget to give our pets their daily tablets or ointment, and the period between switching from one preventative method to another may leave pets vulnerable to infection.

The best option available to us to ensure our pets are consistently healthy, especially when it comes to possible cardiovascular problems, is to regularly receive treatments and checkups with veterinarian consultants. For Orange County, that means scheduling a consultation with famed local cardiac vet, Carley Saelinger, the premier expert in pet cardiology.

Carley has been working with owners for decades ensuring their pets are as heart-healthy as possible, and that includes the diagnosis and removal of parasites such as the heart worm to prevent future damage caused by these virulent agents. Carley can help you distinguish between various cardiological issues in order to make the right decisions for your pet’s health and continued standard of living.

If you believe your pet may be suffering from heart disease or parasitosis that is causing issues with their cardiovascular system, give her a call. Your pet is important to you and brings immeasurable improvement to your life, and it’s time to return the favor:

Cardiac Vet

(323) 393-0616 MARINA DEL REY, CA 90292

The Veterinarian With Heart

The west, in particular the United States, is becoming an increasingly pet-centric society. 67% of American households own a pet, compared to 56% of households in 1988. We go all-out in taking care of our furry friends, providing them with a level of care and tenderness other cultures typically reserve for small children or members of the family.

A part of this care involves making sure that their most important organ, their heart, is well maintained and healthy over their lifetimes. Unfortunately, heart problems are relatively common in a number of dogs, either due to their lifestyles, genetics, or even their breed.

Heart conditions usually surface in one of two ways: chronic valvular disease, which involves a leaky valve that reduces the quantity of blood that can be pumped around their bodies, or myocardial disease, in which a weakening or thickening of the heart muscle reduces the efficacy of the organ. These two conditions are attributed to a number of factors, including weight, age, and the breed of the dog. Smaller dogs typically suffer from chronic valvular disease, while larger dogs suffer from myocardial disease.

In heart disease, the best treatment is prevention, and prevention for dogs involves a lot of exercise and a healthy diet. Exercise is a given, and it’s abundantly clear that we as people also often don’t get anywhere near enough of it ourselves considering the rate at which we are diagnosed with heart disease. Taking your dog on runs, short bike rides, and walks at least once a day is absolutely essential in keeping their hearts pumping normally.

Diet is also a key factor many people tend to forget, considering how happy our dogs are to munch away on pretty much anything that escapes the kitchen table and rolls onto the floor. While they are a continually gluttonous bunch, making sure your dogs are getting food that is not too high in sodium and adding in some home made meals like ground meat and organs will make a positive difference in your pet’s health.

One of the best preventative measures is finding a good veterinarian who can screen your pet for early signs of cardiac issues. Cardiac and cardiothoracic specialized veterinary consultants can find symptoms such as palpitations and fluid build-ups early and give you the appropriate routines and diet advice to make sure you keep your furry pal for as long as possible.

Since we are a small business publication, we’d be remiss in not recommending a fantastic local cardiac specialist vet for our southern California readers who are looking for the best in show. That’s why we’re spotlighting Cardiac Vet, a veterinarian office based in Marina Del Rey who has been winning awards for their top-of-the-line pet heart care for over a decade.

From chihuahuas to great danes, Cardiac Vet will give you not only the appropriate medications and treatments, but also a full lifestyle regimen to ensure your pet’s heart is as healthy and long-lasting as possible. If you think your pet might be suffering from one of the aforementioned conditions, or if you just want a brief consultation, contact them today. Your pet may hate going to the vet, but you’ll be secure in the knowledge that their heart is in good hands.

Cardiac Vet

(323) 393-0616

Marina del Rey, CA 90292