VCA Braelinn Village Animal Hospital

Cardiology

Heart and lung disease in animals take on many forms. Signs of heart or lung disease vary, but may include weakness or exercise intolerance, shortness of breath, fast breathing at rest, collapse or fainting spells, or coughing. In order to obtain a definitive diagnosis there is a certain amount of information we will obtain by asking about your pet’s health history, by performing a physical examination, and by utilizing unparalleled diagnostics tests such as measuring blood pressure, obtaining chest radiographs and a cardiac ultrasound. Once the diagnosis is made, we will devise a treatment plan that will best suit both you and your pet’s needs.

Questions About Cardiology

What information should I bring to my first visit?

Please bring your pet's medical records as well as recent blood test results, x-rays and electrocardiogram (ECG) rhythm strips your family veterinary has performed. This will help to prevent unnecessary duplication of tests.

What should I expect during my first visit for a cardiac evaluation?

Your initial consultation appointment will last approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours, which allows ample time to discuss your pet's disease and to answer your questions. A technician or assistant will obtain your pet's vital signs and history. Our doctors will then review any prior diagnostics performed at your veterinarian's office along with your pet's medical history. Typically, an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) is necessary to diagnose your pet's heart disease, which can be performed during the time allotted for your appointment. Unlike in human medicine, the cardiologist will complete the echocardiogram and interpret the results during the same visit. To conclude your visit, our doctors will discuss the findings, diagnosis and the prognosis of your pet's cardiac disease, and will also discuss the case with your family veterinarian, and create a discharge letter summarizing your visit and your pet’s customized treatment plan.

Will my pet need to be sedated for the echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) or ECG?

No. The echocardiogram and ECG are both non-invasive and non-painful. Most patients tolerate these procedures very well.

Will my pet’s fur need to be shaved?

No. The advanced technology used by the cardiology staff allows the ultrasound machine to work through most hair types.

Are cardiac medications expensive?

Most of the medications prescribed by our cardiologists are used in human medicine. Some of these medications are still under a patent and can be more expensive, but most are available in generic forms. Our staff is knowledgeable about the cost of these medications and will help you keep costs to a minimum while still offering optimal care.

Our Cardiology Expertise

  • Echocardiography

  • 3D Echocardiography

  • Electrocardiography (ECG)

  • Holter monitoring

  • Telemetry (continuous wireless electrocardiography)

  • Event monitoring

  • Doppler and oscillometric blood pressure monitoring

  • OFA certification (cardiac)

  • Pre-surgical screening

  • Digital radiography

 

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact Southern Crescent Animal Emergency Clinic at  770-460-8166. They are located at 1270 Georgia 54, Fayetteville, GA 30214.

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