February is American Heart Month. The month is set aside to help Americans focus on heart health. Heart health is important in pets too and this week’s blog post will focus on resources from the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center to educate you on pet heart health.
One of the most common heart conditions seen in dogs and cats is a heart murmur or abnormal heart sound heard using a stethoscope. Heart murmurs result from turbulent blood flow through the heart valves. To listen to a normal heart and one with a murmur, read a previous blog post on heart murmurs.
Non-hereditary cardiomyopathy, also called diet related cardiomyopathy has not gone away and in fact, has been in the news again. Learn the latest by reading our blog about the topic. When you finish that, jump over to the blog by our friends at Petfoodology who also recently updated their information on non-hereditary cardiomyopathy. In summary, while the specific cause is unknown it seems certain diets can contribute to this condition.
Children and Hearts
One of the most popular resources we have about cardiology is our Children’s Resource. This free educational tool provides information on the specialty of cardiology and gives ideas for educational activities for children in various age groups to learn about heart health. Children can view heart x-rays, listen to heart sounds and watch a heart sonogram or echocardiogram.
Interesting Animal Hearts
If you are interested in all kinds of animal hearts, not just those of dogs and cats, watch the video of the Usdan Institute for Animal Health Education’s book club featuring Dr. Bill Shutt talking about his book Pump. Dr. Shutt talks about all kinds of hearts from worm hearts to whale hearts. He details his experience preserving a giant whale heart. To listen to the heartbeat of a whale, click here and scroll down. Be patient, the heartbeat sounds just like one from a dog or cat, but the beats occur very infrequently!
Keeping Your Heart Healthy
One of the best ways to keep your own heart healthy is to get a dog. Read here how your favorite canine is not only a great companion but helps you to achieve this month’s goal of heart health.
Congenital Heart Disease in Pets Event
Some heart conditions are present at birth (congenital) and, if left untreated, may lead to complications over time. If you would like to learn more, AMC’s Usdan Institute for Animal Health Education is sponsoring a presentation “Congenital Heart Disease in Pets” on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 6PM, featuring Schwarzman AMC’s board-certified cardiologist Dr. Carl Toborowsky.
canine cardiomyopathy, Cardiology, dogs, heart disease, Heart health, pets, veterinary,