Many veterinarian patients can develop cardiac problems due to age or pre-existing congenital disabilities. While these heart conditions are manageable to a certain extent, vets should consider consulting with a specialist. As a general veterinarian, when is the right time to consult a cardiac veterinary specialist?
A cardiac veterinary specialist is trained to conduct and evaluate a wide array of diagnostics like Holter monitoring, EGC, echocardiograms, thoracic radiographs, and bloodwork. When cardiac veterinary specialists conduct the necessary diagnostics, they can make the proper treatment recommendations to provide the family vet and pet owner with long-term management and support of their pet’s cardiac disease.
Fluid build-up in the body, fainting, shortness of breath, and fatigue are some of the clinical signs of cardiac disease. The most common findings are murmurs, which are fast blood flow in the heart and a reason to refer to a cardiac specialist.
Many cats and dogs with the severe cardiac disease will need treatment with medications. However, a murmur alone does not always suggest that medicine should be immediately administered; administering medicine too soon can harm the pet. Such medications may require lifelong administration and should be monitored and evaluated regularly.
The pericardium, AV node, sinus node, great vessels and associated valves, and other areas affected by heart disease may from time to time need to be handled with surgery instead or in addition to medications. A cardiac veterinary specialist will help veterinarians devise an ideal surgical plan for your patient, including whether or not a pacemaker is warranted. Other types of heart illness can be treated with procedures also referred to as interventional cardiology; these illnesses most commonly include congenital heart diseases such as PDAs and pulmonic stenosis. A cardiac veterinary specialist can place special catheters in the heart while the patient is under anesthesia. That can be used to measure pressures, open stenotic valves, or occlude abnormal blood vessels.
Cardiac problems in animals can range from non-progressive, asymptomatic disease to severe disease, which requires intensive care and oxygen support.
Cardiac veterinary specialists work closely with family veterinarians to sustain continuity of care. Their eyes on the ECGs, X-rays, and event monitors for your animal patients can make all the difference. No one knows the patient’s disposition, history, and personal details like you, and no one knows the details of cardiology diagnostics like a cardiac veterinary specialist. Working together, you and a specialist can formulate the most efficient, individualized treatment plan for your patient.
Scientific evidence has emerged in recent years with evidence that suggests early treatment can delay the progression of the disease, benefitting the long-term life expectancy of the animal. As such, it is highly recommended that a cardiac veterinarian be consulted as soon as concerns or clinical signs arise.
Cardiac Vet cardiologists holistically evaluate each case in detail to help you provide your patients with a focused treatment approach. If you have encountered patients with cardiovascular problems and are ready to work with one of the most trusted diagnostic specialist teams in the country, give us a call today.
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