Cardiology

The heart of the matter

Cardiologists treat diseases of the cardiovascular system, which includes the valves and muscles of the heart and blood vessels. Because the function of the heart and lungs are interrelated, veterinary cardiologists are also knowledgeable about lung disease as well as diseases of the chest cavity.

Our cardiology service uses advanced diagnostic techniques to define the nature and type of heart problem suspected in your pet. These may include color-flow echocardiography (ECHO exam), electrocardiography (ECG or EKG), holter monitoring, and contrast imaging to study the blood flow through the heart. Test results are then used to create an appropriate treatment plan for your pet.

Conditions we often treat include:

  • Canine valvular disease
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy, a disorder in which the heart becomes weakened, enlarged, and cannot pump blood efficiently
  • Canine congestive heart failure, a disorder in which fluid backs up in the dog’s lungs, making it difficult to breathe
  • Congenital heart defects, which are defects a pet was born with
  • Pulmonary and systemic hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure
  • Arrhythmias (slow or fast), disorders of the electrochemical impulses that cause the heart to beat irregularly
  • Feline cardiomyopathies and secondary congestive heart failure (CHF), disorders in which the heart is not pumping efficiently
  • Feline aortic thromboembolic events (FATE), where blood clots form, obstructing blood flow to parts of the body; this often leads to hind-leg paralysis because blood flow is limited to the hind quarters
  • Syncope, which is a loss of consciousness due to insufficient blood flow to the brain

For more information about board-certified cardiology specialists, visit the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine-Cardiology at acvim.org.