Understanding heart and kidney diseases in cats and dogs

October 14, 2022

Heart disease and kidney disease are two of the most common diseases cats and dogs can develop. Veterinary surgeon Richard Black, is here to help pet owners understand more about these ailments and the signs to look out for.

If after reading our article you have any concerns about your pet’s health, book a consult with Richard or any of the vets at our Giffnock practice.

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About kidney disease in cats and dogs

Richard explains that kidney disease can be acute or chronic and caused by many different things. The kidneys are very important organs and are responsible for:

  • Removing toxins from circulation
  • Getting rid of waste product from the body
  • Keeping your pet’s blood pressure regular
  • Stopping your pet from dehydrating

Acute kidney disease means the kidneys have stopped working suddenly. Chronic kidney disease means they have been deteriorating over a period of time.

Treatment for kidney disease in cats and dogs will depend on the severity of symptoms but may include IV fluids or hospitalisation for more intense treatments.

Talk to us if you are concerned about kidney disease in your pet.

About heart disease in cats and dogs

There are many different types of heart disease a dog or cat can have. Some of these are:

  • Mitral valve disease
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Arrhythmias
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Pericardial disease

Each one affects the heart differently, but they all have very similar symptoms. Richard explains that heart disease can affect any dog or cat at any age. Heart valve problems are most common and typically affect small breed dogs aged five or older. Some breeds may be more likely to develop certain heart conditions such as Dobermans are more likely to have dilated cardiomyopathy.

Treatment for heart disease in dogs and cats will depend on the type, severity of symptoms, and your pet’s general health.

Talk to us if you are concerned about heart disease in your pet.

Common signs of heart & kidney diseases

It is always wise to monitor any changes in your pet’s health at home and there are a few common signs of heart disease and kidney disease that you can look out for. Richard advises that the earlier the symptoms are picked up, the sooner your pet can undergo investigations and get the vital treatment they need.

Richard lists the common signs below:

7 signs your pet may have kidney disease:

  1. Drinking more water
  2. Urinating more than usual (may look like water rather than urine a lot of the time)
  3. Feeling tired
  4. Quiet and lethargic
  5. Vomiting
  6. Unexplained weight loss
  7. Off food

7 signs your pet may have heart disease:

  1. Coughing
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Exercise intolerance
  4. Lethargy
  5. Collapse/fainting
  6. Weight loss
  7. Abdominal swelling

Many of these signs can be linked with other conditions but if you have any concerns, it is always best to get your pet looked at by a vet. Richard advises that you should not overlook any symptoms whatever age your pet is as some diseases can affect them at a young age. Another sign of heart disease is a heart murmur, which one of our experienced vets can listen out for during a health check – call us to book now.

Causes of Heart & Kidney disease

There are a few factors that can cause heart disease and kidney disease in cats and dogs. These include:

Kidney disease:

  • Poisoning
  • Underlying health problems such as heart disease
  • Long term urinary issues
  • Genetics
  • Long term dehydration
  • Age related changes

Heart disease:

  • Genetics
  • Age related changes
  • Obesity and nutrition can play a role too

Regardless of which heart condition your dog or cat has, it is important to spot the signs early – the same goes for kidney disease. Take another look at the symptoms above and if you have any concerns, get in touch with our Giffnock team on 0141 620 2580.

Contact us to book a health check

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