CARDIOLOGY

Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates (CVCA)


RVRC Veterinary Cardiology Northern VA DC Metro

Bonnie K. Lefbom, DVM, Diplomate of the ACVIM - Cardiology
Jennifer A. Sidley, DVM, Diplomate of the ACVIM - Cardiology

Why does my pet need to see a Veterinary Cardiologist?
What is a Veterinary Cardiologist?
What should I expect during the visit with the Veterinary Cardiologist?
What should I bring to the appointment?
Can I stay with my pet during the exam and echocardiogram?
Does my pet need to be sedated to perform the tests?
When will the doctor explain the findings to me?
When can my veterinarian reach a cardiologist?

A Word About Our Practice

Why does my pet need to see a Veterinary Cardiologist?

Your veterinarian is concerned about your pet and has recommended that your pet see a veterinary cardiologist. The cardiologists at CVCA will provide additional insight into the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease in your pet. With the compassion and care of both your veterinarian and the CVCA team, we can achieve life saving and life prolonging management of your pet’s cardiac condition.
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What is a Veterinary Cardiologist?

A board-certified veterinary cardiologist has completed three to five years of post doctoral training after graduation from veterinary school. A doctor of veterinary medicine has completed undergraduate training, and then four years of veterinary school. Board-certified veterinary specialists are similar to their human medical counterparts and complete an internship and residency in their specialized field. They then must pass examinations 2 separate years to achieve board certification. The doctors of CVCA are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine within the College of Cardiology.
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What should I expect during the visit with
the Veterinary Cardiologist?

The cardiologist will perform a complete physical examination on your pet and, based on these initial findings, additional tests will likely be recommended. The gold standard for noninvasive diagnosis of structural heart disease is the echocardiogram. CVCA’s echocardiogram is performed by a veterinary cardiologist with state of the art equipment and interpreted immediately using our background of additional specific training. If your pet is having a heart rhythm abnormality or is a potential candidate for anesthesia, an ECG and/or a 24-hour Holter Monitor may also be recommended. The cardiologist will interpret the ECG immediately to define the cardiac rhythm and determine if medications are required.
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What should I bring to the appointment?

Please bring any medical records, current medications, blood results, X-rays or ECGs that may recently have been performed on your pet. This prevents unnecessary repetition of previously performed tests.
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Can I stay with my pet during the exam and echocardiogram?

Absolutely, yes. We believe an accurate assessment of your pet’s heart is best made with you present to keep your pet calm during the echocardiogram.
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Does my pet need to be sedated to perform the tests?

Usually not. We feel the most accurate evaluation is achieved on the awake patient.
Occasionally, pets that are particularly uncooperative require sedation to achieve a thorough examination.
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When will the doctor explain the findings to me?

The findings will be explained thoroughly during your visit. We allow plenty of time for a complete explanation and discussion of your pet’s diagnosis and proposed treatment. Also, we welcome your calls after the visit if you still have concerns or if anything changes with your pet.
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When can my veterinarian reach a cardiologist?

CVCA is on call for telephone consultations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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A Word About Our Practice

Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates (CVCA) is a team of Veterinary Cardiologists, technicians and veterinary assistants working together to achieve the highest level of service for you and your pet. CVCA sees the most veterinary cardiac cases in the United States. This vast experience stimulates open discussion to tailor the optimal treatment for each individual pet’s needs. Together, we provide advanced cardiac diagnostics and treatment for your pet including:
• Non-invasive echocardiography
• Cardiac Catheterization procedures
• Invasive congenital heart defect repair
• Pacemaker implantation
• Cardiac Surgery
Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates provide compassionate, state-of-the-art, veterinary cardiac care to the community.
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Bonnie K. Lefbom, D.V.M., Diplomate A.C.V.I.M. Cardiology

Dr. Lefbom, D.V.M received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and was a primary care veterinarian for three years. She then completed a small animal medical and surgical internship at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She completed her residency with Chesapeake Veterinary Cardiology Associates and then achieved Diplomate status in veterinary cardiology. Dr. Lefbom offers surgical repair of the congenital defect Patent Ductus Arteriosus for the practice. On average, she repairs 20 PDA’s per year with outstanding success. Also, Dr. Lefbom’s private practice experience keeps her centered in the practical approach to the medical side of veterinary cardiology. She is well aware of the emotional and financial considerations involved in treating her patients, and works closely with owners to achieve the optimal treatment in every situation. Dr. Lefbom is active in the veterinary community both locally, as past president of the Northern Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, and nationally, on various committees of the ACVIM College of Cardiology. She has a special interest in breed-specific cardiac disease, has several articles published in refereed veterinary journals, and lectures regularly on cardiac related diseases. Dr. Lefbom sees patients primarily at the HOPE Center for Advanced Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, VA, with limited hours in the Regional Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield, VA.
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Jennifer A. Sidley, D.V.M., Diplomate, A.C.V.I.M. Cardiology

Dr. Sidley received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota. She then completed both her internship and residency training at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. While at the University level, Dr. Sidley participated in various clinical research projects and teaching duties, while managing cases in a busy clinical cardiology practice. She has contributed to many articles published in various refereed journals, including primary authorship in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine on the use of percutaneous balloon pericardotomy for the treatment of recurrent pericardial effusion. Dr. Sidley’s clinical practice focuses on client education, state of the art treatment plans and achieving good quality of life for her patients. Dr. Sidley sees patients primarily in the Regional Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield, VA, with limited hours in Vienna, VA and Rockville, MD.
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