Images of a pet's functioning heart.
When pets experience heart issues, ultrasounds and x-rays are often used to make a definitive diagnosis. Echocardiography, put simply, refers to an ultrasound utilized specifically for the heart.
When an ultrasound is performed, it shows us an image of the heart in real time, referred to as an echocardiogram. From there, our veterinarians can evaluate the heart’s size and shape as well as the way it functions. Specifically, they’ll be able to measure wall thickness, examine the heart valves, and assess blood flow.
Echocardiograms can be used to detect the following conditions:
- Birth defects
- Heart disease
- Cardiac tumors
- Some heartworm infections
Like other ultrasounds, echocardiograms are painless, non-invasive, and usually don’t require any form of anesthesia. The most your furry friend will need to worry about is getting a patch of their hair shaved prior to the procedure.
If your pet experiences heart murmurs or irregular heartbeats, reach out to us at (319) 351-4256 to discuss whether an echocardiogram could be used to help us identify and treat an underlying condition such as heart disease.