Your veterinarian may have recommended a cardiac consultation if your pet has a heart murmur, an irregular heart rhythm, or there is concern about possible heart disease due to your pet’s breed, diet, or even other clinical signs like coughing or collapse episodes.
What is involved in a cardiology Consultation?
A cardiology consultation is a 1 hour appointment where the board certified cardiologist reviews your pet’s medical history, examines your pet, listens to your pet’s heart, performs an echocardiogram, and may also perform a 6-lead ECG. The veterinary nurse reviews your pet’s history, current medications, and gathers basic vitals, including blood pressure, on your pet.
The cardiologist then reviews the information, writes a report with the findings and recommendations, and reviews this information with you. Additional diagnostics, such as radiographs, a 24-holter monitor, or blood work, may be recommended as part of the treatment plant.
After your pet’s initial cardiology consultation, follow-up consultations will be recommended based on how advance the heart disease is to best time medication changes and other recommendations.
An echocardiogram collects both still and moving images of your pet’s heart. The cardiologist uses this information to measure the size of the heart chambers, and the hearts function. This information is used to not only diagnoses the type of heart disease your pet, but how significant the heart disease it to your pet’s health at this time. This information is critical to providing the optimal treatment plan for your pet.
An EGC looks at your pet’s heart rhythm, or electrical activity. If your pet is having an abnormal rhythm, this 3-5 minute recording enable to cardiologist to view the rhythm and determine the type of abnormality. Depending on the findings, the cardiologist may recommend treatment or a 24-holter monitor to further clarify the significance of the rhythm.
A 24-Holter monitor is much like an ECG, the only difference is it monitors your pet’s heart rate and rhythm over 24 hours in their home environment. The holter monitor is used for a variety of reasons. The cardiologist uses the holter monitor to identify intermittent arrhythmia’s that may not have been present on ECG, to determine how significant an arrhythmia is to your pet’s health, and determine whether medications are adequately controlling of your pet’s arrhythmia.