The 3 most common reasons we lose our older pets are Heart Disease, Kidney Disease, Cancer.
Evaluation of senior pets BEFORE clinical signs appear is VERY important!
One of the most important signs that problems may be around the corner , is the development of a heart murmur. The term murmur describes a different sound to the heart beat that can be heard with a stethoscope. A murmur in a older pet means that 1 or more heart valves are not working as efficiently as they should. This means the pump is not as efficient. This, in turn, usually means the heart becomes increasingly stressed and eventually evidence of it failing becomes apparent around the body.
Once a murmur is detected, establishing a baseline of heart size and electric activity is done through the use of:
- Chest X-Ray
- Blood Pressure
Daily medication and management changes may then be considered to help the heart to cope, and "heart failure" may be avoided or delayed for years.
Occasionally, electrical activity that creates the heart muscle to contract (beat) fails so that the heart tries to develop its own muscle beat. Usually this is an abnormal, and very slow beat. This can go as slow as 26 - 30 beats per minute. Under these circumstances, pets can and do pass out and actually collapse. Implantation of a human pacemaker can return the heart to normal function and recreate a normal quality of life.
Dr. Leadbeater works with the company MEDTRONICS one of the largest human pacemaker distributors in the world. Dr. Leadbeater has performed numerous pacemaker implantations in pets throughout the state of Hawaii. During the surgery, a representative of MEDTRONICS programs the pacemaker by computer. Following implantation, periodic check-ups are arranged. MEDTRONICS has been a great friend to veterinary medicine by providing pacemakers and check-ups at minimal to no cost for pet owners.
If pacemaker implantation has been recommended for your pet or you desire further information, our office is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
At Kahala Pet Hospital, every effort is made to understand and correct kidney deterioration. Each case of kidney disease is somewhat different, and each must be considered seperately.
Unfortunately, rarely is there a surgical solution. Renal transplantation is possible and has been performed at Kahala Pet Hospital. However, the circumstances that must be overcome, and the ongoing care, are considerable , as is the expense. By no means are all renal failure cases considered candidates. Kahala Pet Hospital coordinates potential cases with a team at the California Veterinary College at Davis.
Many of the types of cancer that occur in people also occur in pets. Kahala Pet Hospital deals with a large number of cancer patients. Methods of diagnosis may range from C.T Scan, X-Ray, and ultrasound. This is usually followed by a biopsy.
Treatment options we provide include surgical intervention, chemotherapy and pain managment.