Cardiology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the heart. The field includes diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology. Luckily dogs don’t get arteriosclerosis so we don’t have to worry about that. Below is a diagram of the movement of blood I nthe heart. The dog and cats heart is very similar to the human heart. Blood enters the Right atrium (RA) then proceeds into the Right Vetricle (RV) via the Tricuspid Valve (TV). From there it goes to the lungs where it is oxygenated via the Pulmonary Artery (PA). Oxygenated blood then travels to the Left Atrium (LA), Left Ventricle (LV), via the Mitral Valve (MV) and then to the rest of the body via the Aorta.
At Vet HQ we start off with listening to the heart with a normal stethoscope. We then have a electric cardiology stethescope (Littman B3100) that magnifies the heart sounds and reduces background noise. This helps us localise the sounds. Depending on what we find we will the proceed to ECG, XRAY and ultrasound. I have attached a few images to show you what can be done at Vet HQ.
An XRAY of a dog’s chest where I have measured a Vertebral Heart Score. The radiograph indicates an enlarged heart and pulmonary oedema.
A capture of an M and B mode Ultrasound of a cat with hypertrophic cardiac disease