ABOUT VETERINARY CARDIOLOGY
Similar to people, cats and dogs may have acquired heart problems that develop with age or congenital heart problems that are present at birth. If your pet has a heart issue, your local vet may refer you to a veterinary cardiologist. Cardiologists are the experts in caring for the heart health of our furry family members.
Our board-certified veterinary cardiologists know all about your pet’s circulatory system: the heart muscle, valves, and blood vessels. They also know what to do when things go wrong. Although some heart conditions can be very serious, a veterinary cardiologist can help your pet live a better and longer life through proper monitoring and treatment.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF HEART DISEASE IN PETS
Our veterinary cardiologists specialize in evaluating and treating dogs and cats with symptoms of heart disease, which may include:
- Abdominal swelling
- Difficulty breathing or labored breathing, rapid breathing, or a change in breathing pattern
- Exercise intolerance or a change in their routine activity
Some pets we evaluate have no symptoms of heart disease. However, your primary care veterinarian may have detected an abnormality that needs further investigation such as:
- Extra heart sound
- Heart murmur
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- An abnormal radiograph (X-ray) finding
- High or low blood pressure
- Elevated BNP level from bloodwork
- Decreased energy, exercise intolerance, or a change in normal activities
Certain pets may benefit from meeting with a cardiologist. These may include the following patients:
- Geriatric patients
- Patients planning an upcoming anesthesia
- Patients treated with long term corticosteroids
- Patients with other illnesses that may affect the heart (diabetes mellitus, chronic anemia, cardiac tumors, etc.)
- Cardiac OFA certification
- Doppler blood pressure evaluation
- Echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound) with spectral, tissue & color-flow Doppler
- Echocardiogram with agitated saline contrast evaluation for shunt detection, Congestive heart failure (CHF) management including abdominocentesis, thoracocentesis, or pericardiocentesis for body cavity effusions
- Cardiac arrhythmia diagnosis and management
- Electrocardiography (ECG/EKG) for evaluating heart rate and heart rhythm, Holter and event monitoring of heart rhythm in the home environment, Intensive care hospitalization for cardiac emergencies
- Pulmonary hypertension diagnosis and management
- Pre-anesthesia cardiac screening
- Pre-Adriamycin (chemotherapy) cardiac screening
- Radiography to assess the lungs for cardiac complications
We have two convenient locations.
Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists is open for emergencies. We also proudly offer premier specialty veterinary care for your pet in close partnership with your referring veterinarian. Our specialists are board-certified in emergency & critical care, surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, and ophthalmology. Our hours are:
Friday 5pm through Monday 5pm : Emergency Services
Monday - Friday: Temporary Limited Lobby Hours.
Please call ahead for medication refills, to schedule appointments, and with any questions. Specialty appointments continue as usual.