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Our hospital offers Echocardiography as one of our many Cardiology Services. An echocardiogram is an ultrasound (sonogram) exam of the heart. Many times both radiographs (X-rays) and ultrasound of the heart are recommended for best evaluation of heart disease. X-rays show the size, shape and position of the heart and the ultrasound allows your veterinarian to see the internal structure and function of the heart.

Echocardiography is very non-invasive and well-tolerated by most pets. Most pets do not require sedation or anesthesia but this depends on their temperament. The hair on the chest wall behind their elbow area may be clipped to allow adequate visualization of the heart during the ultrasound. Gel is then placed on the skin in this area and the ultrasound probe to record images of the heart. Ultrasound produces a cross-sectional two-dimensional view of the heart by bouncing high frequency sound wave off the heart. The sound that is reflected back to the probe is used to compose an image. Because sound is used this exam is very safe to the patient.

The power of echocardiography is the ability to look inside the heart at various structures. Wall thickness can be measured, valves can examined and the flow of blood can be evaluated. These, and other parameters, allow your veterinarian to diagnose and provide appropriate treatment recommendations for diseases of the heart.

Cardiology

We are here to provide gentle compassionate care for your cat or dog in the field of cardiology. We have the latest equipment and treatment modalities available to best help your pet. We are happy to discuss our recommendations and procedures with you during your appointment so you can make the best decision for your pet.

What Is Veterinary Cardiology?

Veterinary Cardiology is the branch of medicine that treats diseases of the canine and feline cardiovascular system, which includes the heart and blood vessels. Dogs and cats can suffer from a variety of problems related to their heart and lungs, many of which are similar to their human companions. This encompasses such ailments as canine and feline congestive heart failure, hypertension, dilated and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and valvular disorders. Because the function of your pet's heart and lungs are interrelated, veterinary cardiologists are also knowledgeable about lung disease as well as diseases of the chest cavity. A board certified veterinary cardiologist is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in veterinary cardiology and has been certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM).

While your veterinary general practitioner can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases and conditions require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in veterinary cardiology in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet.

Symptoms of Canine or Feline Heart Problems

  • Weakness
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Shortness of breath or apparent difficulty in breathing
  • Fast breathing at rest (although don't confuse this with normal panting)
  • Collapse
  • Fainting spells
  • Cough
  • Elevated heart rate

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 Services

Cardiology Overview
Echocardiography
Electrocardiography (ECG)
Holter Monitoring

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