Another one of our Advanced Care services offered is Echocardiography!
If your pet's doctor recommends an examination of the heart, several methods may be used to gather information. One way to take a look at the heart is through the use of radiographs (X-Rays). Another is by performing an echocardiogram.
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound, or sonogram, of the heart. While radiographic images are helpful when assessing the size, shape and position of the heart, an echocardiogram will allow the doctors to take a look the interior of the heart.
Echocardiography is very non-invasive, and is well-tolerated by most pets! Sedation is typically not required, although it is offered for those patients who may become anxious. Prior to the echocardiogram, a small patch of hair is usually shaved from the chest wall in order to allow adequate and unobstructed views of the heart during the ultrasound. During the procedure, ultrasound gel is spread across the area to be examined in order to assist the ultrasound probe - which is then placed against the skin to gather the image. Through emitting high frequency sound waves, which bounce off of the heart, ultrasound produces a cross-sectional, two-dimensional image.
The resulting images allow the doctor to assess the internal structure of the heart. Things like wall structure and thickness can be observed, valves can be thoroughly examined and the flow of blood throughout the heart can be evaluated.
If you have any questions or concerns about echocardiography and the ultrasound procedure, give us a call and speak to one of our doctors or trained technicians!