What should I expect during my appointment with cardiology?
The cardiologist will have already reviewed the past and present history provided by your family veterinarian prior to your appointment if we have received it ahead of time. During your appointment, a complete physical will be performed to assess your pet’s condition and retrieve a current set of vitals such as heart rate, respiratory rate, weight and temperature. Further testing or treatment will be recommended based on the doctor’s assessment of your pet’s exam and history. A detailed estimate of the potential treatment plan will be reviewed with you, and your consent will be confirmed prior to starting any diagnostics or treatments.
What are some symptoms of canine or feline heart problems?
Some symptoms associated with heart problems are:
- Difficulty breathing, or increased breathing rate or effort
- Exercise intolerance
- Fainting or collapsing episodes
- Significantly increased or decreased heart rate
- Weakness or lethargy
What is a heart murmur?
A heart murmur is a sound caused by turbulent blood flow. Murmurs can occur secondary to congenital heart defects, acquired or age related heart diseases, or can sometimes be benign (i.e. not due to underlying heart disease). Some causes include leaky heart valves, obstruction to blood flow within the heart, and abnormal connections between areas of the heart.
When does my pet require hospitalization?
Patient hospitalization is dependent on the needs of each patient. A patient may require hospitalization when a corrective procedure is necessary, such as pacemaker implantation. Hospitalization is sometimes necessary to monitor a patient’s condition and vitals while making adjustments to medications, or when initiating treatment for problems such as congestive heart failure, when close monitoring as well as intravenous medications and oxygen supplementation are often necessary.