Purina-Dog-Content-BrandSudden onset shortness of breath, apparent weakness, or a distended abdomen might be signs of heart disease in either your cat or your dog. But all too often, there are no symptoms, so your pet’s best bet is regular visits to the veterinarian.

Jonathan Abbott, a Cardiologist at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, says there are a number of ways to diagnose heart disease in pets: “x-rays of the chest, electrocardiography and cardiac ultrasound or echocardiography are the tests most commonly used.”

Your veterinarian will also be able to listen for a heart murmur and use a blood test to check for heartworm. Once diagnosed, there are treatment options that will enhance both the quality and length of your pet’s life.