Cardiology is the study of the heart and the vascular system. Similar to people, companion animals can be born with heart disease (congenital heart disease) or they can develop heart problems as they age (acquired heart disease). In either case, whenever we detect a heart problem in your pet, we will recommend a diagnostic workup to assess the cause and extent of their condition. This workup usually includes thoracic radiographs (x-rays of the chest), a blood pressure measurement, and an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a tracing of the electrical rhythm of the heart. Because a pet may develop additional medical problems related to their heart disease, and because many pets with heart problems require medication to manage their condition, laboratory testing is usually recommended as well. Some causes of pet heart disease can be related to the endocrine (hormonal) system or as a result of parasitic/infectious diseases. If this is suspected in your pet, additional testing would be warranted.
In order to provide your pet with an even more advanced level of veterinary care, Polo Springs Veterinary Hospital has a board certified veterinary radiologist and a board certified veterinary cardiologist. These specialists at Polo Springs are here to help diagnose and manage our patients with complex or severe heart disease. These pets usually require an extensive and detailed echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) that should only be performed by a veterinary specialist that has several years of additional training in cardiac (heart) imaging and disease management.
The team approach utilized at Polo Springs will significantly benefit your companion, as many dogs and cats with heart disease have other health problems that require ongoing medical treatment. By working together, we are able to successfully manage all of your pet’s medical problems, while at the same time minimize their chances of experiencing any complications.
Whether your older dog is struggling with heart failure due to advanced mitral valve insufficiency, your cat is displaying signs of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or your new puppy has been diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus, our team of doctors is here and ready to assist you and your pet.