We’re committed to keeping clients and staff safe during COVID-19 with NEW admittance and check-out processes. Learn more.

Kristin MacDonald

DVM, PhD, DACVIM/Cardiology
Kristin MacDonald
Veterinary Specialist
Kristin MacDonald

At a Glance

Practicing Since:


Board Certified:


Specialties Include:

Feline cardiomyopathy
Congestive heart failure

My Pets:

Hazel & Chase - Tonkinese

Kristin MacDonald, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM
Dr. MacDonald is a board certified veterinary cardiologist in the College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and has worked at the Animal Care Center of Sonoma since 2003. Dr. MacDonald graduated veterinary school from Auburn University in 1998, and completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Michigan State University in 1999. She finished a residency in veterinary cardiology at UC Davis in 2000, and earned a PhD at UC Davis Comparative Pathology graduate group in September 2005. Her doctoral research involved hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Maine Coon cats, and the effects of ACE inhibitors. Dr. MacDonald taught on faculty at UC Davis for one year, before becoming a full-time clinical cardiologist at VCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma. She is active in clinical research involving canine congestive heart failure and feline cardiology, and enjoys working closely with referring veterinarians and clients to help their beloved pets. Dr. MacDonald also enjoys performing interventional cardiac procedures such as pacemaker implantation, pulmonic stenosis valvuloplasty, and percutaneous catheter based closure of patent ductus arteriosus. She is coauthor of Feline Cardiology, a textbook released November 2011, which is the only text dedicated specifically to feline heart disease. She has published several chapters in Veterinary Clinics of North America, The Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, section editor for Handbook of Small Animal Practice, as well as authored several articles for Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine and American Journal of Veterinary Research. As a mother of 2 young girls, Dr. MacDonald spends free time with her family and yellow Labrador Retriever Stanley, as well as hiking and enjoying food and wine.

Papers Authored
Feline Cardiology

Summary: Feline Cardiology is the first book dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in cats.  Designed for use in clinical practice, this reference combines cutting-edge information with practical applications, using a consistent format for ease of use. 
Authored By: E Cote, KA MacDonald, K Meurs, M Sleeper.  Wiley Blackwell
Published: November 2011

The Effect of Ramipril on Left Ventricular Mass, Myocardial Fibrosis, Diastolic Function, and Plasma Neurohormones in Maine Coon Cats With Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Without Heart Failure

Summary: Ramipril will reduce LV mass, improve diastolic function, and reduce myocardial fibrosis in cats with HCM without congestive heart failure (CHF).
Authored By: KA MacDonald, MD Kittleson, RF Larson, P Kass, T Klose, ER Wisner
Published: J Vet Intern Med. 20 (5) 2006: 1093-105

Book Chapters Authored

Authored multiple chapters in Small Animal Critical Care Medicine, Veterinary Clinical Advisor, Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Current Veterinary Therapy, and Vet Clinics of North America, section editor Handbook of Small Animal Practice.


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.

VCA Animal Care Center of Sonoma County

6470 Redwood Drive

Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Main: 707-584-4343

Fax: 707-586-9042

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

Loading... Please wait