Echocardiography

Our hospital offers Echocardiography as one of our many cardiology services. An echocardiogram is an ultrasound (sonogram) exam 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. Color can be used to indicate blood flow to and from the various heart chambers and valves. Leakage or regurgitation of blood can also be identified with this procedure. Technicians can move the wand to get different views of the heart, including inside or behind specific structures.Echocardiography is non-invasive and well-tolerated by most pets.

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. 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.

Echocardiograms are commonly used in diagnosing the following heart conditions:

• Birth defects
• Heart murmur
• Labored breathing
• Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)

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Echocardiography

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