We Are Your Local Heart Experts
Our team of board-certified veterinary cardiologists has had to undergo extensive training, including veterinary school graduation, 3-5 years of cardiac training, 2 years of examinations and registration with the ACVIM College of Cardiology.
CVCA partners with you and your primary care veterinarian to ensure ongoing communication, guidance, and advice. When managed by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist, pets with conditions like heart failure live 75% longer.
Cardiology Pet Care
Although your family veterinarian can diagnose and treat many problems very well, there are some conditions that require specialized diagnostics and care in order to optimize the outcome for your pet.
At CVCA in Springfield, our board-certified cardiologists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) disease in pets.
This includes such disorders as congestive heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, degenerative valve disease, systemic hypertension, arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, and cardiac tumors.
CVCA Cardiology FAQs
- Why does my pet need to see a veterinary cardiologist?
The ideal way to figure out the severity and treatment options for any pet with heart disease is to see a board certified veterinary cardiologist in person. Board-certified specialists have four years of advanced training after veterinary school and pass two consecutive years of testing with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine to demonstrate their advanced expertise in cardiology.
Taking your pet to a cardiologist allows a hands on thorough cardiac examination of your pet along with the expert actually performing an echocardiogram – a non-invasive ultrasound of the heart that is done with the family present. The board certified veterinary cardiologist will explain the results to you during the course of the visit. Based on their findings, the cardiologist will determine exactly what type of therapy will best treat your pet.
- What should I bring to the appointment?
- A list of all medications with strengths and dosages or pill vials with labels.
- Any medical records or chest x-rays that have not been sent electronically by your veterinarian.
- If your pet takes any anti-anxiety medications, you may administer those prior to the appointment.
- Your pet.
- What should I expect during the visit with a veterinary cardiologist?
We will update your information in our computer system during check in. In the exam room, a blood pressure reading may be performed by the doctor’s assistant, based on your pet’s age and current medications. The doctor will then come in and perform an examination on your pet. An echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) will likely be done on your pet.
The echocardiogram is considered the “Gold Standard” of diagnostics and is how our cardiologists obtain the best information regarding your pet’s cardiac function. Typically, we encourage you to be present with your pet during the echocardiogram. This helps to keep your pet calm as well as allows you to see the results and discuss the interpretation right away.
You will receive a detailed home care report to take with you. It will have all of the doctor’s findings and recommendations. A full report will be faxed over the same day to your primary care veterinarian and any other veterinarians who are involved in your pet’s care. Most appointments typically last an hour.
- Can I stay with my pet during their exam and echocardiogram?
Absolutely, yes. We believe an accurate assessment of your pet’s heart is made with you present to keep you pet calm during the echocardiogram.
- Will my pet be shaved or sedated?
It is very rare that we need to shave or sedate pets. Most pets are very calm when their family is by their side. We wet the fur down with alcohol and ultrasound gel to obtain our echocardiographic study.
- What do the medications do?
Cardiac medications are recommended for various reasons.
- To help stabilize your pet’s underlying cardiac disease and delay the onset of symptoms.
- To resolve or stabilize signs of heart failure.
- To treat an arrhythmia.
For some pets, all three types of medications are needed to provide optimal outcomes.