Articles about heart-disease

Treatment of animal disease may not be an easy task. For one, not all animals are being watched for or looked after 24/7. Most animals just stay in the back yard or in animal cages especially those domestic pets that we own in our homes so that they would not mess up with so much dirt from the streets. And since most animals just stay outside the homes, the probability of acquiring disease will certainly be high. Aside from this, other factors such as other insect carrier of disease may just be flying near your pets home. These instances pet owners may find hard to solve since pets normally stay outside. Diseases therefore may easily be passed on as they are most likely to be exposed with other carrying agents.

One of the diseases is heartworm disease. This disease when diagnosed should be treated after the symptoms are observed. Pets undergo an evaluation from the veterinarian to check the degree of infection in the hosts body a kind of treatment is done. Certainly, the health condition of the pet is examined. It is highly advisable therefore that when your veterinarian recommends a certain preventive and treatment to your dog, an immediate response must be executed on your part or else the life of your dog will be at risk. Below are the treatments that may be done to a pet dog once the owner sees the symptoms of heartworm disease:

First is treatment of heartworms called adulticide through arsenic-based compound to treat adult worms in the body of the host. A toxic drug indeed, therefore it may introduce certain complications to the hosts body systems.

Second is the microfilariae treatment or the egg treatment is done to kill the presence of egg heartworms in the blood since this may be transmitted to another host through mosquito bites.

Third is the administration of post-adulticide. This is highly suggested to make sure that the adult worms are dead. A test is done to make sure that there are no living adult worms that survive. If theres none, then it can be announced that the adulticide treatment was successful. Meanwhile, dogs that may still have adult worms in its system need to undergo the same first adulticide treatment to totally flush and kill the worms. Lastly, the dog should rest and must be monitored for at least 8 hours. This is vital since the complications may result to weakening of the dogs body organs leading to its expiration.

Heartworm Disease or Dirofilaria immitis is carried by mosquitoes that ingested microfilariae from the blood of an infected host that they bit. These microfilariae or eggs grow and become larvae which stays in the mouth of the mosquitoes. The larvae leaves the mouth of the mosquito when the mosquito bites another animal and these larvae will then enter the skin and muscle connective tissues where they go to reach the right side of the heart and mature in that specific part until they become adult heartworms. How they go to the heart from the skin and muscles is not known.

Heartworm disease is a parasitic roundworm that develops inside the right side of the heart. These worms damage it and lessen the efficiency of the lungs and liver amongst the other vital organs of the body.

It has been reported by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that every year 785,000 Americans have their first coronary attack. Unhealthy lifestyle and stress are one of the biggest contributing factors that are responsible for heart disease. However, developments in the field of cardiology gives the advantage of timely detection. Superior detection methods such as nuclear stress test help in timely treatment to prevent any future complications. Any symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, indigestion and chest pain should not be avoided and referred to a cardiac specialist immediately.

In the section below, we have discussed more about the various aspects of nuclear stress test

What is stress testing?

It is quite common for a patient to undergo cardiac stress testing that is extensively used in cardiology for measuring the performance of the heart. There are two ways of inducing a stress on the heart, which can be either in the form of exercise or a drug. This test is done by measuring the patient’s circulation at rest in comparison to that during the maximum physical exertion. It is only through this comparative study, a cardiologist is able to evaluate blood flow to the heart tissue.

Most stress tests are performed depending on various factors that may include the age, history, symptoms and risk factors for an individual’s health. Those complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, high levels of blood lipids, lightheadedness and dizziness have to undergo these tests. Those with a history of smoking and heart disease are also included in this category.

A nuclear stress test is one of the most commonly preferred types of stress tests. A comprehensive test, it helps to ascertain if there are any cardiac abnormalities and helps to determine the extent to which the disease has progressed.

How is the nuclear stress testing performed?

The nuclear stress testing is also called myocardial perfusion imaging and is a non-invasive procedure that gives an insight of the functioning of the patient’s heart. This test helps the cardiologist to find out the extent and the location of the abnormal blood flow. A radiotracer is used for the imaging process that is detected with the help of a gamma camera. Healthy heart muscle will accumulate more amount of tracer as it is receiving normal blood flow. However, affected areas will generally have lesser accumulation that helps in identification. The patient’s arteries are subjected to dilation with the help of external stress in the form of some exercise. The radiotracer is injected and then the imaging process takes place.

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Heart disease patients now have a new way to combat symptoms: listen to music. At least that’s the conclusion made by a team of Temple University researchers. It seems that listening to music could help to lower your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure — all key risk factors for those suffering from cardiovascular problems.

The team of researchers belongs to the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center at Temple University. They looked at the results of 23 previous studies. In total, 1,461 patients were analyzed. All of the patients were given music to listen to either during a cardiac procedure or within two days of hospitalization for cardiovascular disease.

Patients who listened to music (which tended to fall into the category of mellow, slow-tempo tunes) recorded lower breathing rates, heart rates, and blood pressure. The research team also discovered that these calming effects were strongest when the patients were allowed to choose their own musical selections. A patient’s pulse rate, for example, fell by more beats per minute when they choose
their own music compared with those who listened to music selected by researchers.

Music therapy could do more than help your heart, of course. It could increase positive social interactions, positive emotions, and motivation in patients, too. When music therapy is combined with traditional therapy, researchers note that it improves rates of recovery, and emotional and social problems in stroke victims. One study examined the impact of music therapy when combined with traditional stroke therapy in a community-based rehabilitation program.

Thirty-three stroke survivors were randomized into one of two groups. One group was an experimental group, which combined rhythmic music and specialized rehabilitation movement for eight weeks. The second group was a control group that received referral information for traditional therapy. Results of the study showed that participants in the experimental group gained more flexibility, wider range of motion, more positive moods, and increased frequency and quality of social interactions.

For anyone who is a closet pop or Broadway star, here’s some motivation to give karaoke a try. In another study focusing on stroke victims, researchers examined the incorporation of music along with therapeutic exercises on pain perception. Over the course of eight weeks, stroke victims participated in exercises using the hand, wrist and shoulder joints in combination with one of the three music therapies: song, karaoke accompaniment, or no music. Patients participated in each therapy once and then rated their perceived pain immediately after the session. The researchers discovered that there was a significantly more positive effect while performing upper extremity exercises with both music and karaoke accompaniment.

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