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Cardiology

Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as part of the circulatory system.

Overview

Cardiology is the branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as part of the circulatory system. What causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments exist for heart problems in different animals can vary widely.

Why should I consider cardiology work-up for my pet?

Cardiology is the branch of medicine that specializes in the heart as well as part of the circulatory system. This is especially important because if your pet is born with a congenital heart disease, it can lead to heart failure. Heart failure is also more common in older pets. Whether your pet is born with a congenital heart defect or is just getting older, they can both lead to heart failure. The best way to prevent heart failure is through catching the problem early.

When should I consider cardiology work-up for my pet?

The symptoms of heart disease vary widely, and in some animals don’t show at all. The common symptoms of heart diseases include: coughing, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, weight loss, behavior changes, and rear limb weakness. If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, then it could mean their heart is working inadequately and could potentially lead to heart failure.

How is my pet cared for during cardiology care?

Checking for heart disease is routine at every checkup for your pet.  Management of a heart disease will depend on the severity. If the disease is asymptomatic (meaning it doesn’t produce or show symptoms) they may not need treatment, but the animal will need to be monitored. For animals that develop symptomatic heart failure, a combination of medications can be used to increase the life expectancy from months to years.

The most effective way to protect your pet as a pet owner is to visit your veterinarian regularly and catch any problems early. The sooner we can intervene, the better the chance we can give your pet a longer and healthier life.

Veterinary Cardiologists in Colorado Springs, CO

We are proud to have Petcardia and Samantha J. Salmon, DVM, MS, here at Powers full time to care for pets with issues affecting the heart and lungs. Veterinarians like Dr. Salmon are trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat heart and respiratory problems in dogs and cats.

Fortunately, most heart conditions can be medically managed. We use a series of non-invasive tests to pinpoint the issue, then create a customized treatment plan to ensure the best quality of life for your pet.

Our state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities include:

Echocardiography (Cardiac Ultrasound)

The mainstay of cardiac diagnostics, an echocardiogram allows for both structural and functional evaluation of the heart. Equipped with a top of the line cardiac-specific machine, it has Colorflow, spectral, and tissue Doppler capabilities.

Electrocardiography

The electrocardiogram is the gold standard for arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) diagnosis and management.

Doppler Blood Pressure

Knowledge of your pet’s blood pressure may affect drug dosage and administration, as well as long-term management of select patients with cardiac disease.

Holter Monitoring

A Holter monitor is a small, non-invasive, wearable device that keeps track of your pet’s heart rhythm. Information captured on the Holter monitor is used to determine if there is a heart rhythm problem and to what extent.

Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) may present as excessively slow (bradyarrhythmias) or excessively fast (tachyarrhythmias) heart rhythms. Clinical signs may be variable and range from non-symptomatic patients to episodes of weakness or collapse. Many arrhythmias are intermittent and not able to be diagnosed based on short in-hospital ECG, therefore a Holter monitor provides a more accurate tool when diagnosing arrhythmias.

Additionally, Holter monitors may be used in patients with known arrhythmias to monitor the effectiveness of arrhythmic control and to make adjustments to medical therapy as needed.

Event Monitoring

Ideal for a syncopal (fainting) dog, the event monitor is an ambulatory ECG that houses a continuous loop recorder. The monitor is typically worn for one to two weeks to optimize the probability of capturing an event. When an event occurs the owner depresses a button that captures the ECG at the time of the event.

Digital Radiography (X-Rays)

Digital x-rays allow for rapid and detailed image acquisition which not only greatly decreases the time associated with taking x-rays but also enables high resolution imaging for more accurate diagnoses.

Contact Petcardia at Powers

To make a referral or schedule a consultation with Powers' cardiology team, please call Petcardia directly at (719) 602-7800.