Mass. Veterinary  Cardiology Services, Inc.
Specialized care for your pet's heart! find us on facebook
LOCATIONS: Agawam, MA • South Deerfield, MA
(413) 734-1292


Cardiology Consultations

Cardiology Consultations
The mitral valve. Short axis view showing the anterior and posterior valve leaflets.
The initial cardiology consultation is scheduled for one hour. Our cardiologist will review your pet's medical history. Then she will examine your pet and listen for a heart murmur, abnormal lung sounds and abnormal heart beats. Additional diagnostic tests, may be suggested based upon the initial evaluation. The primary test used to determine the cause of heart murmurs is an ultrasound or "echocardiogram" of the heart. A summary of the findings and treatment plan is sent to your primary vet(s), and you receive a copy as well.

The Echocardiogram

click to expand
An "echo", or ultrasound of the heart, is performed during the one hour consultation. It is a non-invasive test that does not cause any pain or discomfort. Unlike abdominal ultrasonography, fasting is not required prior to the visit. You will be present for the procedure as we find our patient's are less anxious with their owner(s) present. A small amount of fur is clipped on either side of the chest. Water soluble, non-toxic, gel is applied to the skin to aid in imaging the heart. Except in rare circumstance, your pet will not be sedated for this procedure.

The echo provides information on the structure and function of the heart. Abnormalities of the heart muscle, congenital defects, or older age valvular degeneration can lead to abnormal blood flow and leaky heart valves which can be identified with color flow Doppler. The echo images are also used to determine how advanced or serious your pets heart condition is.


Abnormal heart beats, an arrhythmia, can cause your pet to not feel well or even faint. Many arrhythmias can be treated with medications or a pacemaker implant. If an abnormal heart rhythm is suspected, your pet may require an ECG.

An ECG measures the electrical activity of your pet's heart. It is necessary to diagnose and classify the type of arrhythmia present and is used by the veterinary cardiologist to make treatment recommendations. It is a simple test where by wires are clipped to your pets skin to record the electrical activity of the heart.

Holter Monitoring

Holter Monitoring
24- Hour holter monitoring may be suggested to better define an arrhythmia, or determine how well controlled your pet's rhythm is controlled on medications. Similar to an ECG, the holter records 24 hrs of your pet's heart rhythm. This enables the cardiologist to look in closer detail at your pet's high, low and average heart rate; along with the frequency of arrhythmias, type(s) of beats, and how long that irregular rhythm is sustained.

Your pet will wear a comfortable vest with a pouch for the monitor. You will need to keep a diary of your pets activity while wearing the monitor. You can remove the monitor approximately 24 hours later and return it to the office. The tape or SD card is scanned and a cardiology report of the findings along with treatment recommendations will be faxed to your primary care vet. Click here for more information >>

Blood Pressure

Similiar to people, animals can also suffer from high blood pressure. Blood pressure readings can also be an indicator of other medical conditions. We use a Doppler machine to measure the blood pressure. A small amount of fur is clipped on the underside of your pet's paw or tail. A blood pressure cuff is placed on your animals paw or tail; then a sensor with gel is placed below the cuff on the shaved spot. We then take three(3) blood pressure readings.

SPO2 Monitoring

SPO2 monitoring is a non-evasive way to measure the percent of oxygen in the blood. It is typically done on pets with difficulty breathing to determine if your pet would benefit from oxygen (02) therapy.

Oxygen Therapy

O2 therapy is used for patient's experiencing difficulty breathing due to congestive heart failure (fluid in the lungs). The oxygen cage is climate controlled and blankets and water is provide so your pet is comfortable.

Mass. Veterinary Cardiology Services, Inc., 305 Suffield St., Agawam, MA 01001 • Tel: (413) 734-1292 • Fax: (413) 372-5127

Web Design by
find us on facebook Home