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Just like humans, companion animals can be prone to conditions of the heart. Thanks to advanced technology like echocardiography, however, experienced vets are now able to quickly, easily and painlessly assess heart health. 

The sooner we can diagnose a cardiac condition, the better the prognosis will be for your best friend. Walnut Lake Animal Hospital is pleased to offer this innovative service to both existing patients as well as referrals and second opinions.

What is an Echocardiogram?

Echocardiography is a diagnostic tool that uses ultrasound technology to examine the structure and function of the heart. This technique uses a hand-held device to produce an ultrasound beam using high frequency sound waves. The beam is then reflected back to the device to construct a real-time image of the heart in motion. 

Best of all, it is a safe, non-invasive and highly informative tool for diagnosing cardiac conditions in both human and veterinary medicine. 

What Can Echocardiography Diagnose?

We can use echocardiograms to examine the structure of the heart, including the heart walls, valves and chambers. We can also use this advanced technology to assess blood flow velocity and direction as well as evaluate the velocity of the heart wall motion.

Echocardiography is considered the most effective test for the diagnosis of heart disease because it provides an image of the inside of the heart. This enables the doctor to determine how well the heart muscle is pumping, how well the valves are working and whether there are any defects present.

Signs of a Heart Problem

Cardiac conditions can be challenging to diagnose because they often do not present any external symptoms. Those that do exhibit symptoms may present with a cough, have difficulty breathing, be exercise intolerant or, in serious cases, may faint. If you notice any of these red flags in your furry friend, contact Walnut Lake Animal Hospital right away.

Our experienced team is also available to perform echocardiograms on patients referred by other vets or as second opinions to confirm an existing diagnosis.

The good news is, with the right veterinary partner, pets with heart disease can often live long, happy and relatively normal lives. The key is catching the problem early. If you are concerned that your animal companion may be experiencing issues with his or her heart, get in touch. We’re here to help!

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