Cardiology deals specifically with the diagnosis and management of disorders of the heart and major blood vessels. Evaluation is performed with the use of echocardiograms and radiographs.
Once the nature and type of a heart problem is defined, our veterinary cardiologist will provide repair, and offer options for continuation of care. Through advanced imaging techniques, specific medical management, and pacemaker implantation, our specialists can extend the length and quality of a pet’s life.
- Echocardigrams (ultrasounds of the heart) on symptomatic pets or for pets with suspected heart disease
- Evaluation of heart murmurs in symptomatic pets or in pets with no sign of disease
- Long-term monitoring of chronic heart disease
- Radiographic interpretation of the heart and lungs
- Evaluation of the coughing dog
- Diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias
- Medical evaluation of pets with cardiac defects
- Evaluation of pets with poorly responsive or advanced heart disease
- Advanced surgical treatments, such as the placement of pacemakers or intra vascular treatment of selected congenital heart defects
An echocardiogram is a detailed ultrasound study of the heart, allowing the heart’s structure and function to be evaluated. Patients are often presented because of known or suspected:
- Heart disease
- Assessment of a heart murmur
- Suspected heart tumor
- Fluid around the heart
- Fluid in the chest
Measurements are made to see if significant cardiac abnormalities are present, and if so, to help determine the type and severity of the disorder. Such information is critical for formulating a treatment regimen for your pet’s heart condition. Repeat echocardiograms are scheduled to monitor the heart problem and to guide adjustments to the treatment protocol.
Usually sedation or anesthesia is not needed, but a brief stay in the hospital should be expected.
Pacemakers are electric devices that are surgically placed in the patient to control the heart rate and the rhythm of the heart. This is a procedure very similar to that used in humans.
Pacemakers are often used to control arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) in patients who are responding poorly to drugs being taken for this purpose.
While under general anesthesia, the pacemaker is often placed while using fluoroscopy which allows the cardiologist to watch the placement of the device. In certain situations, surgical placement may be needed.