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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Horses

By Davin Borde, DVM, DACVIM, Staff Cardiologist, Veterinary Heart Institute ; Benjamin J. Darien, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin ; Ase Risberg, VMD, Large Animal Internal Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin

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.

Common Types of Drugs for Cardiovascular Disease

There are many medications that a veterinarian can prescribe to treat cardiovascular disease and heart failure. The type of disorder will determine the type of medication prescribed. Medications must be given directly as prescribed; otherwise, they may not be effective and may even cause serious complications and harm.