Purchase over $400 free delivery

【VMC Vets Tips | Common Heart Disease in Pets】

There’s no single cause of heart disease in pets. Aging, obesity, breed, and nutrition can all play a role. For dogs, heart valve problems are common and typically affect small breed dogs that are five years or older. Just like dogs, cats can develop various unseen heart problems that can result in feline heart failure if left untreated. Therefore, it’s essential to know the warning signs and to act quickly once you recognize them.

1) Valvular Degeneration

Degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) is the most common type of valvular degeneration to affect dogs. As dogs age, the mitral valve—the valve separating the left atria from the left ventricle—thickens and becomes weaker, allowing a small amount of blood to flow backward through the valve with each heartbeat.

As mitral valve regurgitation increases, progressive heart enlargement can occur, and dogs become at risk of developing congestive heart failure (CHF).

2) Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

DCM can result in weakening of the heart muscle. As a result, less blood is pumped out of the heart with each heartbeat, causing the walls to stretch and the chambers to dilate. As this stretching worsens, the effectiveness of the heartbeat reduces and places dogs at risk of developing CHF. DCM most often affects large- and giant-breed dogs. DCM in dogs is irreversible but can be managed through medication, ideally following full assessment by a veterinary cardiologist.

3) Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

HCM is the most prevalent cardiac disorder diagnosed in cats. It is characterized by thickening of the left ventricular muscle, which impairs relaxation of the muscle wall and in turn affects the filling and pumping functions of the heart. As a result, pressure within the heart increases, causing dilation of the atria; the chamber next to the ventricle. This leads to an increased risk of CHF. Regular body check is important for cats as they are masters at hiding illness and rarely show symptoms of HCM until heart failure develops.

4) Congenital Heart Disease

Causes by abnormal heart development, congenital heart disease is present from birth. This is typically diagnosed when your family veterinarian detects a heart murmur during your puppy or kitten’s exam. Depending on which congenital heart disease is present, a variety of treatment options may be available to help.



3650 3000 (Mon-Sun: 9:00am – 7:00pm)


G-2/F, Trinity Towers, 339 Lai Chi Kok Road, Sham Shui Po

Online booking for revisit with primary care veterinarians or vaccination: