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Pet Health Concerns: Cardiomyopathy

Occurring in humans and pets alike, cardiomyopathy is a serious and hereditary health condition. Cardiomyopathy is the weakening of the heart muscle structure. Symptoms of this condition include heart muscle enlargement, thickening or thinning of heart walls, blood pumping deficiency, and congestive heart failure.  Congestive heart failure usually results in fluid accumulation in the lungs and reduced blood flow to the remainder of the body. Other symptoms include appetite loss, panting, fatigue, exercise intolerance, fainting, and coughing while at rest. There are several diagnostic tests that can be conducted to diagnose this condition, such as electrocardiograms, xrays, and ultrasounds.

After diagnosis, pets are usually able to live several months, however, life can be prolonged with a variety of medications. Unfortunately there is no current cure for this condition. Initial examination vet fees vary from area to area, however, on average they may be around $50, and additional tests can be on $500 or so.

Although cardiomyopathy cannot be cured, there are some ways to help prevent it. Affected dogs should not be bred and breeds with a high incidence of heart problems should be screened early. By doing so, this could help prevent some dogs of passing it on to their offspring.

To read more about cardiomyopathy in pets, check out our Pet Health Concerns Guide. By enrolling your pet with Trupanion pet insurance, your cat or dog’s policy will include coverage for diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, hereditary and congenital disorders, as long as treatment for a certain condition is required after enrolling and is not pre-existing. 

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