Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Cardiovascular Disorders

Congestive Heart Failure

General Information
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump enough blood to meet normal body needs.

Pets with congestive heart failure tire easily, are short of breath, and cough deeply due to poor circulation through the lungs. They may actually lose weight, but the abdomen becomes enlarged due to fluid accumulation. The legs may also be swollen and puffy. Often these patients faint or collapse after excitement or exertion, and the tongue appears bluish-gray.

Congestive heart failure can result from heart-valve disease, heartworm infection, or heart defects present at birth.

Although congestive heart failure cannot be cured, many patients can live a comfortable life with proper medical management.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Treatment is aimed at removing accumulated fluids, improving the heart’s pumping efficiency, and decreasing the heart’s workload.
2. Radiographs (x-rays), echocardiograms and electrocardiograms (ECG) are used to diagnose the condition and monitor the response to treatment.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.