One of the fields of pet medicine that people don’t think about much is pet cardiology. Yes pets can have issues with a bad heart or related internal system and veterinarians these days are trained to diagnose and treat pets with heart and lung problems. In fact there are board certified Cardiologists that go through four years of extensive post graduate training for this field after they have completed their four years of veterinary school.
The symptoms of heart or lung problems in a pet are somewhat similar to humans such as elevated blood pressure, breathing problems or shortness of breath, irregular heart rate and a few others that include coughing, weakness and collapse.
Veterinary Cardiologists can provide pets and their owners with complete diagnosis and management of heart and lung disorders. Pets that have any of the symptoms described above can benefit from a cardiac consultation with a pet cardiologist. The consultation might include strategies for the prevention of heart failure, maybe safe and effective long-term health management of pets that have heart disease. No matter what the plan happens to be, the main focus is to improve and maintain the pet’s quality of life.
A number of non-invasive technologies help the cardiologist determine if the pet does have a heart and lung disease. All of them are similar to the technologies that are used on humans. They include familiar sounding machines such as the echo cardiology machines that use sound waves to image the heart and find out the strength and health of the heart and related systems.
Another technology used is radiology which provides essential information about all that is enclosed in the chest cavity. The field of electrocardiography produces recordings that assess the pet’s heart rate and any potential irregularities. Laboratory blood tests are used to determine the pet’s kidney function, its thyroid status and other important factors. Other important and specialized tests can be performed to detect both the presence and the severity of pet heart disease.
These days can and dogs may even be outfitted with a pacemaker when their heart rates are low and need assistance. Also, there is a procedure that opens up clogged arteries on cats and dogs. It’s called balloon valvuloplasty which might sound familiar to anyone reading this because it is almost the same thing as what doctors use to clear the arteries of humans. As you can see, pet cardiology has come far in recent years.