What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram, also known as an ultrasound of the heart, is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves to create images of the heart and its structures in dogs and cats. This test helps veterinarians diagnose and evaluate various heart conditions such as heart murmurs, valve disease, and congenital heart defects. It is generally safe, painless, and allows for accurate assessment of the heart’s function and structures. Echocardiograms can also be used to monitor the progress of treatment in animals with known heart disease.

How do you utilize telemedicine?

We utilize the latest advancements in telemedicine to make sure you are getting the most accurate and thorough results.

A trained veterinary sonographer is able to remote in to our ultrasound system to provide support to assure us we have obtained proper images and measurements.

Once we’ve obtained the images and measurements, we will then send them to a veterinary cardiologist with Oncura Partners for interpretation. From there, we will contact you to inform you of any diagnosis and necessary follow-up care.

When can we expect results?

When the echocardiogram is completed, we will submit the images and a patient history to a veterinary cardiologist for interpretation. Oftentimes, we will have the interpretation back the same day, but usually no more than 24 hours after the exam.

When is an echocardiogram indicated?

An echocardiogram is indicated in dogs and cats when a veterinarian suspects a heart problem or to evaluate the heart’s function and structure in animals with known heart disease. Some common signs that may prompt a veterinarian to recommend an echocardiogram include a heart murmur, coughing, difficulty breathing, exercise intolerance, and sudden collapse.

Additionally, an echocardiogram may be recommended as a routine screening tool in certain breeds of dogs that are known to be at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

echocardiogramWill my pet need to be anesthetized?

Most of the time, general anesthesia is not necessary for an echocardiogram. However, we will lightly sedate the patient, so she is able to relax and calmly be examined.

Will you have to shave my pet’s fur?

Yes. The ultrasound probes must have direct contact with the skin in order to obtain proper images. We will shave only the amount of fur necessary to complete a thorough echocardiogram.

Learn about ultrasound exams for pets!