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
Telemetry (continuous wireless electrocardiography)
Doppler and oscillometric blood pressure monitoring
OFA certification (cardiac)