West Hills North Veterinary Clinic features the technology to provide cardiac echocardiograms for dogs and cats. Echocardiograms are “real time” images taken of your pet’s heart using ultrasound equipment. The echocardiogram allows our veterinarians to visualize the inside your pet’s heart, and helps us evaluate the structure and function of the heart. With these images, we can detect birth defects, diseases of the heart valves and heart muscle diseases, identify fluid around the heart, identify cardiac tumors, and certain types of heartworm infections. The components of the echocardiogram may include:
- Two-dimensional images to see lesions and overall cardiac structure
- M-mode study to measure heart size and function
- Doppler examination to evaluate blood flow
We may recommend an echocardiogram for your pet if we suspect congenital or acquired heart disease, such as a heart murmur, irregular heart rhythm, or when indicated by the results of an x-ray.
The examination is painless and non-invasive, and typically does not require your pet to be under anesthesia. Ultrasound technology works through sound waves that travel into the body, returning images of the internal organ to a screen, allowing us to visualize the heart in real time.