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.