Puppies and kittens beating a path to heart murmur clinic
Davies Veterinary Specialists
Cardiology, Veterinary Professionals
14th November 2023
Davies Veterinary Specialists is making sure puppies and kittens are getting off to the best possible start with a potentially life-saving screening service.
Davies is now running a puppy and kitten heart murmur clinic which has the potential to warn vets and pet owners of possible heart conditions which can then be investigated for the underlying causes.
The referral clinics are available for healthy, asymptomatic pets aged nine months and younger with a heart murmur, allowing for early detection and intervention for patients born with heart abnormalities.
Lara Barron, American specialist in veterinary cardiology and head of service at Davies said: “In puppies and kittens, heart murmurs are relatively common, and many resolve on their own with age. However, some heart murmurs may be the result of a more serious condition, such as a congenital heart defect, which is a heart problem present from birth.
“Congenital heart defects include problems with heart valves (leaks or narrowing), abnormal blood vessels, or holes within the heart. These defects can affect the overall health and lifespan of a pet, so this is why our heart murmur clinics are so important.”
As a specialist-led referral centre, pet owners wanting to book an appointment will need to contact their primary veterinarian who can then refer them to Davies.
One such puppy who has benefited from the heart murmur clinic is Zuzu, a French Bulldog with pulmonic stenosis, a narrowing of the pulmonary valve, whose heart murmur was noted during a routine veterinary visit. Because the puppy was screened, its heart condition was detected and it was able to have pulmonic balloon valvuloplasty, which improved her pulmonic stenosis.
Lara added: “Treatment for heart murmurs in young animals will depend on the cause and severity of the condition. In some cases, no treatment may be necessary, and the heart murmur may resolve on its own.
“In other cases, medications or surgery may be required to correct the underlying problem and improve the pet’s quality of life.”
For more information about Davies, visit vetspecialists.co.uk
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