At VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital our general practice and emergency doctors are able to diagnose and treat a variety of cardiovascular disorders, including heart murmurs, valvular diseases, congestive heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, congenital heart disorders, fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion), and high blood pressure.
Evaluation of the cardiovascular system begins with a thorough physical examination, including chest auscultation (listening with a stethoscope) for heart murmurs, abnormal rhythms, and abnormal lung sounds; visual inspection and palpation of the pulses; and evaluation of mucous membrane color (usually assessed on the gums) and capillary refill time. If there are abnormal findings on examination, additional testing available at VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital includes digital radiography (x-rays) of the heart and lungs, blood pressure measurement, electrocardiograms (ECG), and thoracic ultrasound examination.
Because we offer 24 hour care at VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital, we are equipped to treat, stablilize, and monitor life-threatening cardiovascular emergencies including congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and pericardial effusion.
Based on initial findings, referral to a board certified veterinary cardiologist for a complete echocardiogram (detailed ultrasound evaluation of the heart function and measurements) may be recommended. At VCA Central Kitsap Animal Hospital we have regular visits by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist to provide this evaluation on-site to stable patients with cardiovascular illnesses.