Written by Trina Bellinger, CVT
Bringing your pet in for a cardiac evaluation can be an intimidating experience. At Port City, the Cardiology team works hard to make this experience as calm and worry-free as possible for both you and your pet. A visit with the Cardiology team often involves a discussion of your pet’s history followed by a thorough physical examination. Upon completion, there will be a performance of cardiac diagnostics, as deemed necessary, to diagnose your pet’s cardiac condition.
The most commonly utilized cardiac diagnostic is a cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram) which allows us to evaluate the cardiac structure and function. Echocardiograms are performed with the owners present to minimize patient anxiety. Animals are restrained on their sides throughout the procedure by skilled technicians that make sedation often unnecessary as they calm patients by petting them and providing belly rubs during the exam.
In addition to echocardiography, other common cardiology diagnostics performed at Port City include:
- 6-lead electrocardiogram (EKG) to monitor heart rate and heart rhythm
- Ambulatory ECG monitoring (24 Hr. Holter examination or event monitor)to monitor heart rate and rhythm for up to 7-days for intermittent arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
- Digital radiography
- A full range of laboratory testing
Port City is one of few locations capable of performing a procedure called biphasic cardioversion for patients with an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. The procedure involves shocking patients under light sedation/anesthesia to help convert the arrhythmia to a normal rhythm improving heart rate and quality of life.
Therapeutic plans are tailored to your pets needs and the Cardiology team will work with you to provide the best care. The cardiology serviceis available at Port City Monday through Thursday from 7AM-5PM. Port City is also a 24/7 emergency hospital. We encourage our readers to feel free to call and reach out to a cardiology team members anytime with questions or to further discuss our offerings.