Echocardiography for Dogs & Cats

  Echocardiography is the art of using ultrasound to view the structure and function of the heart in real time. Ultrasound is a highly informative, non-invasive, and safe diagnostic test in both human and veterinary medicine. This technique uses high frequency sound waves emitted from a hand-held probe to produce an ultrasound beam. This ultrasound beam is reflected from the tissues in the chest and heart and returns to the ultrasound probe to construct…

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Arrhythmias (Abnormal Heart Rhythms) in Dogs and Cats

  The normal pacemaker of the heart lies in the heart’s right upper chamber. This structure, known as the sinus node, normally generates the heart’s electrical impulse. This impulse is then carried through the upper chambers and reaches a structure known as the AV node. Normally, the AV node is the only electrical connection between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, so it conducts the impulse down to the pumping chambers, which then…

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What Does it Mean if My Pet Has a Heart Murmur? 

  The heart is one of the hardest-working organs in the body. It contracts thousands of times a day to move blood and deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. An adult dog’s heart beats between 60 and 140 times per minute. For a cat, it is typically between 140-180 beats per minute. When listening to a normal heartbeat, there are two sounds – a lub and…

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Interventional Cardiology in Dogs and Cats

  Interventional cardiology is an advanced field of cardiology that uses sophisticated procedures and imaging techniques to provide minimally invasive therapy for a variety of cardiovascular problems.  The heart is connected to the blood vessels/vasculature of the body, pumping blood through these vessels.  When needed, these vessels allow for direct access to the heart and vasculature.  Larger vessels in the legs or neck are chosen as entry points for interventional cardiology procedures, with access aided…

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Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of heart disease in cats that results in thickening of the heart muscle, specifically the main pumping chamber of the heart (left ventricle). This thickening (called hypertrophy) can impair the relaxation of the heart and cause secondary enlargement of the top chamber on the left side of the heart (left atrium). This can lead to congestive heart failure, clot formation and even sudden death in severely affected…

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