Treatment of cardiovascular disease should be specific for the type of disease. Some defects can be repaired or corrected with surgery, while other conditions can be managed with medical therapy using one or a combination of drugs. In general, the goals of treatment are to minimize damage to the heart muscle, control the accumulation of fluids in the lungs, improve circulation, regulate the heart rate and rhythm, ensure that there is enough oxygen in the blood, and minimize the risk of blood clot formation. In heartworm disease, the mature heartworms and larvae should be killed.
Common Types of Drugs for Cardiovascular Disease
There are many medications that a veterinarian can prescribe for cats with cardiovascular disease. The type of disease will determine the type of medication prescribed. Medications must be given exactly as prescribed; otherwise, they may not be effective and may even cause serious complications and harm. (For a more detailed discussion of common medications for heart disease, see Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders of Dogs: Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Dogs.)
Last full review/revision July 2011 by Davin Borde, DVM, DACVIM; Jorge Guerrero, DVM, PhD, DEVPC (Ret); Michelle Wall, DVM, DACVIM; Clay A. Calvert, DVM, DACVIM; Benjamin J. Darien, DVM, MS, DACVIM