Charity vet is keeping over 30,000 pets’ hearts beating this Valentine’s Day

Every year vet charity PDSA cares for over 30,000 pets suffering from heart disease.

Without ongoing care and medication, many of these pets would die, but thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, PDSA is able to keep pets’ hearts beating this Valentine’s Day.

Alfie from South London is one such pet whose ticker is still ticking happily away thanks to this vital support. This little Spaniel was diagnosed with heart disease in 2018 and his worried owners turned to PDSA as they couldn’t afford the lifelong medication that Alfie now needed to keep him alive and well.

Lynne James, a vet with PDSA, said: “Every year PDSA provides long-term medication and ongoing care for tens of thousands of much-loved pets like Alfie, who sadly are suffering from various types of heart disease. This year we’ve had an extra boost thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who are supporting the cost of this life-saving medication for our pet patients eligible for free treatment.”

Hazel Johnstone from the Charities team at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that our pets hold a hugely special place in our hearts – they’ve been there for us through all the challenges of the pandemic, made us laugh even during the darkest times and, for many, they are the reason to keep getting out of bed in the morning. So, to know the support of our players is helping provide peace of mind for those owners whose pets suffer from life-long conditions such as heart disease is wonderful.”

Alfie’s owner, Jacky Webb, said: “Alfie has been a rock for us over the last year. I care for my disabled brother Jeffrey, who is severely autistic and blind, and Alfie has helped us both through these very challenging times. The amazing team at New Cross PDSA Pet Hospital have ensured his pills were delivered throughout the lockdowns. And to know that the cost of all of his essential medication this year is covered by players of People’s Postcode Lottery is wonderful – we’re so thankful for their support!”

Lynne added: “While any dog can develop heart problems, certain breeds such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known to be more prone to this condition. Problems can develop at any time in their life, but frequently surface as pets get older. While most heart diseases can’t be cured, the good news is that they can be successfully managed to keep pets well and comfortable for many more years.”

Signs of heart problems in your pet include:

  • Slowing or stopping on walks
  • Heavy breathing or breathlessness
  • Breathing a lot faster than normal, even when they’re resting
  • Coughing
  • Falling over or fainting suddenly (often while exercising or excited)
  • A bloated stomach (caused by fluid build-up in the abdomen)

 If owners notice any of these symptoms in their dog they should contact their vet as soon as possible for advice. For more advice on keeping pets’ hearts healthy, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/hearthealth