An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. This non-invasive test is performed to look inside the heart where we can watch the heart pump and relax, and detect heart chamber and wall enlargements. Doppler (including color-flow) refers to the most advanced type of ultrasound that allows us to determine the direction and speed of blood flow in the heart and great vessels. This knowledge allows us to detect abnormal blood flow across leaky heart valves or valves that do not open well, as well as estimate pressures inside the heart.
Your pets are examined with a state-of-the-art, cardiac-dedicated ultrasound machine with color flow and spectral Doppler. This is the same machine you would be evaluated with at your hospital. Your pet will be placed on their side or standing while our veterinarian moves a transducer (a "wand") over a small shaved area on your pet. Please note that shaving can be avoided in show dogs or other pets with special needs. We are proud to have a Board Certified Cardiologist, routinely performing echocardiograms at our facility.
Blood pressure can be very important in the management of heart and kidney disease in pets. Detection of high blood pressure can prevent development of sudden blindness, worsening kidney and heart disease, and stroke. Monitoring of blood pressure is critical to the most efficacious and safest dosing of some important cardiac medications.
Electrocardiograms (ECG, EKG)
An electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) is an evaluation of the electrical activity of an animal's heart. This allows us to determine if your pet's heart rate, heart rhythm, and conduction of the electrical impulses through the heart are normal.
Ultrasound is a valuable tool for diagnostics in veterinary medicine just as in human medicine. This instrument allows us to look at the internal organs of the body to check for normal form and function. Another major benefit is the capability of performing ultrasound guided biopsies. For example, should a small mass be found on the liver, we can use a tiny needle to retrieve a biopsy sample. Without this capability it is necessary to do a much more invasive surgery to obtain the needed tissue biopsy. We consider this instrumentation a necessity for our patients to receive the highest quality veterinary care.
We have onsite capability to take digital x-rays for immediate reviewing for diagnostic recommendations.