Don’t forget your pet’s heart health this Valentine’s Day

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – With Valentine’s Day happening Tuesday, and February dedicated as American Heart Month, doctors from Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, a specialty and emergency hospital for pets in Fort Lauderdale, are helping to spread awareness about heart health for our furry friends.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. for people, accounting for more than 30 percent of deaths. Additionally, many pet owners are unaware of the risks their pets face for developing heart disease and how to identify it.

An estimated 10 percent of dogs will develop some form of cardiovascular disease, while the number of cats developing heart disease is unknown. Symptoms of heart disease in dogs typically include trouble breathing, lagging energy, discomfort, chronic cough and collapse. Cats suffering from cardiovascular disease may become abnormally lethargic, have difficulty breathing or suddenly lose mobility in their hind legs.

If a cat or dog begins to exhibit symptoms like these, it is critical to immediately consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

“Scheduling regular checkups with your pet’s veterinarian is the best way to identify cardiovascular diseases before conditions worsen or become fatal,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine and medical director of LVS. “While exercise and proper diet are essential for overall pet health, these lifestyle choices do not necessarily prevent heart disease. If your pet does develop heart disease, your veterinarian can refer you to a veterinary internal medicine specialist or cardiologist that can help to treat the problems your pet may be experiencing.”

Additionally, while many people celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving chocolate as a gift to their loved ones, veterinarians from LVS are reminding pet owners that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Chocolate should always be kept far out of reach from pets.

For more information about Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, visit or call 954.641.1100.

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists

Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, physical therapy, rehabilitation, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.


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