What to Expect at Your Exam

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First Visit

We understand that heart disease can be scary! Our goal is to make the diagnosis process as easy as possible, for both you and your pet. Prior to your first appointment, our cardiologist and staff will review records provided to us by your referring veterinarian, and any other specialists your pet may be seeing. If your pet has had any diagnostics performed with a primary care doctor (x-rays, EKG, lab work, etc.) please let us know before your appointment!

The morning of your appointment your pet should eat, drink, and take medications per their normal routine. Sedation is rarely necessary for cardiac examinations.

Upon arrival, your pet will be admitted by one of our experienced technicians. During this initial consultation we will recommend diagnostics and provide you an estimate of costs. We perform the majority of our diagnostics with you present. This allows the doctor to explain his assessment of your pet’s condition in real-time. After the diagnostics are completed, we’ll ask you and your pet to have a seat in our waiting room while we complete your discharge paperwork.

At the end of your visit we will send you home with a packet which includes the doctor’s summary, prognosis, treatment recommendations, and condition-specific handouts. This summary will also be shared with each of the veterinarians committed to your pet’s care, so their treatment never misses a beat.
 

Our standard initial appointment includes:

Consultation and Examination: $125
Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound): $475
For urgent (same- or next-day) appointments: $80 Emergency fee. (additional charge)

 

Recheck Exams

Future rechecks with our office are common and allow us to appropriately manage your pet’s heart health and quality of life! For a more detailed description of what your pet’s recheck appointment entails, please contact our office.
 

Frequently Recommended Diagnostics

Echocardiogram: Also referred to as an “echo” or ultrasound of the heart. This invaluable diagnostic allows our cardiologist to study the inside of your pet’s heart to evaluate the size of chambers, condition of valves, and speed and velocity of blood flow. We recommend an echocardiogram for most initial visits and annual recheck examinations.

Blood Pressure: This non-invasive test helps us to determine if medications need to be adjusted or if new medication is necessary. This is generally performed in the comfort of your arms to help reduce stress.

Laboratory tests: Blood work is often necessary to assess your pet’s tolerance for medications and determine if any adjustments are required. Additionally we may recommend a specialized test called the proBNP, which allows us to test overall heart health based on the prevalence of certain enzymes in the blood.

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): helps determine the rhythm of your pet’s heart. An abnormal rhythm is potentially life threatening and can have serious health repercussions if not treated.

Holter Monitor: Like the ECG/EKG, this also monitors the rhythm of the heart, but in a 24 hour interval. This device is worn by your pet with a trendy vest.

Radiographs: X-ray pictures of the chest provide vital information about the size and shape of your pet’s heart as well as the condition of the lung fields, airway structures, and surrounding vessels and organs.

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