Your pet's heart beats with a marvellous efficiency, increasing its work of pumping oxygen-rich blood around the body whenever necessary, then returning to a more relaxed beat when 'resting'. While our hearts and cats’ hearts usually beat with an almost machinery-like rhythm, a dog’s heart beat has a natural lack of rhythm. A variety of conditions, both inherited and acquired affect the heart's ability to perform its vital function. The most common forms of heart disease damage the heart's valves or muscular wall. These occur primarily in middle aged or older pets. Echocardiography has dramatically improved the rapid and accurate diagnosis of all forms of heart disease. At the London Veterinary Clinic, Grant Petrie is responsible for cardiovascular medicine. A wide variety of medications, developed to treat human heart conditions, are used to successfully delay the progression of heart failure.