“Echocardiogram” is the term used to describe an ultrasound of the heart and related structures.
When a veterinarian suspects heart disease, the first diagnostic step is often radiographs of the chest to both evaluate the size of the heart and look for fluid around the heart. This may or may not be accompanied by a study of the heart’s electrical activity (an ECG) and/or certain blood tests that indicate if heart muscle is damaged.
If more information is needed to guide treatment, a cardiac ultrasound is used to obtain video clips and pictures of the heart chambers as they are contracting. This allows us to see which parts of the heart are too big, which portions of the heart muscle are not functioning well, and where there is abnormal blood flow or pressure.
There is a set of standardized echocardiogram views that veterinary cardiologists have developed to evaluate the function of the heart at various phases in the contraction/relaxation heart cycle. These are the views we obtain.
These echocardiogram images are sent via the internet along with any chest radiographs and ECG results to a board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Kim Hawkes, in Edmonton. Dr. Hawkes will then work with your veterinarian to develop a treatment plan, including specific medication doses as well a schedule of follow-up exams if needed.
With newer medications, veterinary patients with many forms of heart disease are now living longer, happier and more active lives with their people.
Island Mobile Paws Veterinary Services is pleased to offer cardiac ultrasound services to clients and patients in your regular veterinarian’s office.