Cardiac emergencies are life-threatening conditions that must be diagnosed quickly to avoid delays in therapy. A timely and accurate diagnosis leads to early relief of symptoms and improved survival. This article provides both a comprehensive review and updated management recommendations for common cardiac emergencies in dogs and cats. Specifically, the article confers updates for the efficient clinical recognition of decompensated cardiac patients, including focused echocardiography, cardiac biomarkers, and electrocardiogram interpretation. This article also reviews the latest recommendations for the treatment of heart failure (including the use of pimobendan) and the management of arrhythmias, pericardial effusion, and aortic thromboembolism. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
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