Echocardiograms for Dogs and Cats

What is an Echocardiogram?

Typically performed by a veterinary cardiologist, an echocardiogram is a diagnostic tool for looking closely at the heart. This can be used to determine a variety of health problems like tumors and congenital heart defects.

Why Would My Pet Need an Echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram may be recommended if something concerning is discovered when reviewing an x-ray. It may also be proposed if your dog has symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, or fainting, or if a heart murmur is discovered. This procedure is the best way to calm any concerns about your pet having a heart disease.

How Does an Echocardiogram Help My Pet?

An echocardiogram reading produces live images of your pet’s heart. The machine uses high frequency sound waves to create live images that allow veterinary cardiologists to see how the heart is functioning in real time. During this procedure the cardiologist will also take measurements to check how well the heart is functioning. These results provide important information about the heart health and function in real time such as:

  • Size & shape of your pet’s heart
  • The thickness of the heart walls
  • Any abnormalities
  • If there are any blood clots present
  • If there is any damage to the heart

This information can help your pet’s veterinary cardiologist ensure that your pet’s heart is working properly. Symptoms of heart disease usually take time to be noticeable to pet owners. An echocardiogram will provide a piece of mind that you and your veterinary cardiologist can give your pet the support and care they need.

What is an Echocardiogram Exam Like for My Pet?

When your pet comes in for an echocardiogram, they will lie on their side on the examination table. A probe will be held against the skin over the heart to perform the exam. For most pets, a small amount of alcohol will be used to separate their hair and a small amount of ultrasound gel will also be used. If you pet has a thicker coat, a small amount of fur may need to be shaved to ensure the cardiologist can get an accurate reading.

 

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You can learn more information from these helpful sources we used as references.

Berger, S. (2022, January 31). Echocardiography for dogs & cats. MedVet. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://www.medvetforpets.com/echocardiography/

Brister, DVM, J. (2022, July 29). What to expect from Your Pet's Echocardiogram. VIN. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&catId=102903&id=9453775

Echocardiogram for my pets heart issues. FirstVet. (2022, June 16). Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://firstvet.com/us/articles/why-does-my-pet-need-an-echocardiogram