Heart murmurs are often detected on routine physical examination with your family veterinarian, requiring the need for a complete cardiac evaluation including echocardiography.
Echocardiography is the term used to describe an ultrasound of the heart. An ultrasound is obtained with harmless sound waves which are reflected back from the heart showing the natural changes in tissue density and giving a detailed account of the size, shape and function of all the different chambers and valves of the heart.
Arrhythmias, or abnormal heart beats, are often detected on routine physical examination with your family veterinarian, requiring the need for a complete cardiac evaluation including an electrocardiogram.
An electrocardiogram (referred to as an EKG or ECG) is the representation of electrical conduction through the heart and is essential for the rhythm diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. Electrocardiography can be obtained in a variety of ways, most commonly during the out-patient examination. However, if indicated, an electrocardiogram can be obtained in a patient’s home with the use of a 24-hour Holter monitor or an Event recorder. A 24-hour Holter monitor is an electrocardiogram that obtains information over a 24 hour period. The device is worn by the patient and gives a more accurate quantification of arrhythmias on a daily basis. An Event recorder is also worn by the patient in the home but over the period of a week(s), and when clinical signs of an arrhythmia are occurring, the device is activated to capture the pathologic arrhythmia.
Thoracic radiographs (also called x-rays) are essential to evaluate a patient’s lungs, also called the pulmonary system. Radiographs are used to diagnose congestive heart failure, or fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema. Thoracic radiographs can also be used to asses the size and shape of the heart.
Echocardiography, electrocardiography and radiographs do not require general anesthesia and often can be performed without sedatives. Your pet will lay on their side on a table while our veterinary technical staff provides comfort and support for your pet. These diagnostics are a painless procedure, and, in experienced hands, is the optimal way to obtain a cardiac diagnosis with minimal stress to your pet.
Blood pressure is considered the fourth vital sign after temperature, pulse, and respiration rate. It has been referred to as the silent killer in human medicine. Blood pressure plays a pivotal role in how the heart is able to function. A cardiac physical examination is not complete without a blood pressure examination.
Most common therapeutic interventions are given on a long term outpatient basis. Potential medical options are discussed after appropriate diagnostics are performed and a diagnosis is obtained. During your appointment, we will discuss prognosis with and without medical therapy, desired results and potential side effects of each medication. A follow-up schedule for recheck appointments, both with your family veterinarian and our Cardiology Team will be outlined.
There are some cardiac emergencies that can require urgent hospitalization and critical stabilization in an oxygen-enriched environment. Advanced Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week emergency treatment hospital with a state-of-the-art, temperature controlled, carbon dioxide scaveraging oxgen cage. The teams at Advanced Veterinary Specialists are always ready and able to stabilize all cardiac emergencies, and consultation with Coast to Coast Cardiology can provide optimal care for your pet.
Minimally-invasive interventional catheter-based procedures
There are a number of cardiac conditions that may require a procedural intervention. The most common procedures performed are Patent Ductus Arteriosus occlusions, Pulmonic Stenosis balloon valvuloplasty and Pacemaker implantation to correct pathologic arrhythmias. These procedures are performed at partnered hospitals with the use of a Fluoroscopy unit, a diagnostic modality similar to radiographs but which also allows a moving image to be visualized. Usually, patients are hospitalized for 1-2 days, and their small incisions heal quickly. These procedures are deemed minimally-invasive because of the small catheters used through the patient’s arteries and veins which allow access to the heart instead of opening the chest cavity. Recovery times are significantly shorter for these minimally-invasive procedures as compared to open-chest surgery.
For additional cardiology and prescription services information provided by Coast to Coast Cardiology, please visit CCCvetService.com