Echocardiography including color flow Doppler.
- Evaluation of murmurs
- Evaluation of cough or dyspnea (trouble breathing)
- Geriatric examinations
- Pre-anesthetic examinations
- Breed screening for congenital heart disease
- Breed screening for acquired heart disease
- Diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease
- Diagnosis and management of cardiomyopathy
- Diagnosis and management of congenital heart disease
- Diagnosis and management of heartworm disease
- Management and treatment of congestive heart failure
- Diagnosis and management of hypertension
- Diagnosis and management of arrhythmias
- Diagnosis and treatment of pericardial disease
- Evaluation of and treatment for syncope (episodic weakness)
Echocardiography is an ultrasound of the heart. This allows us to non-invasively look inside the heart. We can watch the heart pump and relax and measure changes in the walls of the heart and the chamber sizes. Doppler echocardiography is used as part of this examination to measure blood flow direction and velocity of blood flow. This allows us to detect abnormal blood flow across leaky heart valves, measure abnormal blood flow due to malformations in the development of the heart and allows us to non-invasively measure pressures within the heart itself. This same type of machine is used in many human hospitals. The ultrasound is performed on a specially designed table.
Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG). This is evaluation of the electrical activity of the heart. This allows us to determine the heart rate, heart rhythm and how the electrical impulses are conducted through the heart. If the heart rhythm is abnormal, the electrocardiogram can help us to determine the origin of the abnormal heart beats.
Non-invasive blood pressure measurement (Doppler). This is used to determine if high blood pressure (hypertension) is complicating heart disease. This diagnostic test is also used in the treatment of some forms of heart disease to find optimal dosing of some medications. Detection of high blood pressure can prevent development of sudden blindness, prevent worsening of some forms of kidney and heart disease and stroke.
24-hour Holter monitor. This is a 24 hour ECG that is used in the evaluation of cases where we suspect there are intermittent disturbances in the heart rhythm that can cause fainting, weakness or even sudden death. It is also used as a test in some breeds of dogs (Doberman, Boxer) to screen for irregular heart beats that can occur in conjunction with some forms of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease). This test is also done to monitor the effectiveness of medications that are used to treat irregular heart beats. This is a non-invasive test where the ECG monitor is bandaged to your dog's chest like a backpack and is comfortable for most dogs. Your dog can still exercise while wearing the monitor.
Cardiac Event monitoring. This is a smaller ECG monitor that is bandaged to the chest for a longer period of time to evaluate intermittent cases of collapse or weakness (typically is worn for 7 day period to start) to see if these episodes are due to an abnormal heart rhythm.
Thoracocentesis. Removal of fluid from the chest cavity to obtain a sample for lab analysis to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of chest and heart diseases as well as to provide emergency stabilization of the patient.
Pericardiocentesis. Removal of fluid from the pericardial space around the heart to provide a sample for lab analysis as well as to stabilize the patient.
Abdominocentesis. Removal of fluid from the abdominal cavity to provide a sample for lab analysis as well as to stabilize the patient.
Radiology. Radiographs (x-rays) can be obtained at your regular veterinary hospital and can be reviewed to get an impression of heart size and shape as well as to evaluate the lungs for disease of the airways or the lung tissue, to evaluate for fluid in the lungs or chest cavity, to evaluate the area in front of and behind the heart and to evaluate the blood vessels in the chest.
HCM genetic testing. This is a test that is done in cats (predominantly Maine Coon cats) to test for a heart muscle disease called HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). This is dome with a cheek swab or with a blood sample. This is done prior to using the cat for breeding to see if they carry the gene for this genetic defect.
Emergency evaluation. Depending on Dr. Hosking's schedule and availability, your pet may be seen after hours or on holidays at your regular veterinary hospital or at the Animal Emergency Center in Reno.