Adonia Hsu

VMD, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Veterinary Specialist

At a Glance

Practicing Since:


Board Certified:


Dr. Adonia Hsu is a board-certified cardiologist she received her VMD in 2003 from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced general veterinary medicine for several years at Park Slope, Brooklyn NY before pursuing the specialty of cardiology. Dr. Hsu completed a one-year small animal internship at Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Lawndale California followed by a residency in cardiology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Hsu has a special interest in interventional cardiology. Dr. Hsu joins us from Seattle, where she was voted one of the Top Veterinarians in Seattle for 2011 in Seattle Met magazine.
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Heart disease in pets is quite common especially as they age which is why early diagnosis and treatment is key in allowing your pet a longer, better quality of life. And while hospitalization may be necessary for some cardiac conditions, most can be managed on an outpatient basis.

First Step

The first step in determining a treatment plan involves a comprehensive cardiac physical examination, reviewing your pet’s medical history as well as tests completed by your primary care veterinarian. After a consultation with the family, a physical exam and diagnostic tests are performed. Results and next steps are discussed with the family as we believe through knowledge and communication, dogs and cats with heart disease can live joyful, dignified lives.

Symptoms of Canine or Feline Heart Problems

In the early stages of heart disease, there may no signs at all which is why it is important your pet is screened annually. The following are common symptoms as the disease progresses:

  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Shortness of breath or apparent difficulty in breathing
  • Fast breathing at rest (although don't confuse this with normal panting)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Cough that continues more than three days
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Distended abdomen

If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms have your pet seen by a veterinarian immediately.

What Can Be Done if My Pet Has A Heart Problem?

Many of the same types of diagnostic tools and treatment options that are used to help keep human heart patients alive and healthy are also available to pets. For example, sophisticated diagnostic options (see box below) can help determine whether heart problems are present and, if so, assess their severity. Depending on your pet's particular problem, cardiac catheterization, angioplasty, pacemaker implantation, and cardiac surgery to repair heart defects are available.. In addition, many of the medications used in pets are similar to those that are also used in humans.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

In most circumstances, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care. In other cases, your referral doctor may take over the majority of your pet's medical care. It depends on your pet's particular disease and condition.

Did You Know?

According to the AVMA, one out of every 10 dogs and cats has heart disease. Many pets with heart disease are asymptomatic.

If you suspect that your dog or cat has a heart problem, contact our hospital's veterinary cardiologists today.

Our Cardiology Team

VCA California Veterinary Specialists - Carlsbad

2310 Faraday Ave.

Carlsbad, CA 92008

Main: 760-431-2273

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Other Hospital Hours:

Specialty services available by appointment

Emergency services offered 24 hours, 7 days a week.


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