VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital offers Echocardiography as one of our many veterinary cardiology services. An echocardiogram is an ultrasound (sonogram) exam 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 behind their elbow may be clipped to allow adequate visualization of the heart during the ultrasound. Gel is then placed in this area and the ultrasound probe records images of the heart. The power of echocardiography is the ability to look inside the heart at various structures. Echocardiography uses sound waves to safely image the heart valves, assess blood flow, determine the cause of heart murmurs and assess the strength and health of the heart muscle and its chambers. These, and other parameters, allow our specialist to diagnose and provide appropriate treatment recommendation for diseases of the heart.