The diagnosis of heart disease often carries a wide range of emotions. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and confused. For those heart diseases with no cure, there are many options to consider for treatment and management. We will help you understand your options and formulate a treatment plan every step of the way. The first step is to understand the diagnosis as well as the different treatment options in order to develop a plan that best suits you and your pet.


During your pet’s echocardiogram they will lie on their side on a cushioned table. The cardiologist will use an ultrasound probe to obtain images and videos of your pet’s heart. This allows them to assess the cardiac structure and function, diagnosing all types of heart diseases. This test is non-invasive and does not hurt, but sometimes a very mild sedative is needed to allow your pet to relax on the table. 

A heart murmur is caused by turbulent blood flow. There can be many causes and types of heart murmurs, with not all being pathologic. The audible sound of blood flowing through the heart can be due to anything from healthy heart exertion during exercise to a diseased heart valve or other abnormality. Your veterinary cardiology team will help determine the cause, location and severity of your pet’s heart murmur.

We ask all pets to come to their appointment fasted (no breakfast, but water is okay) just in case we need to assess lab work or use a mild sedative to help keep your pet comfortable and safe during their diagnostic tests. We will always check with you first prior to doing any diagnostics or using any sedatives on your pet.

We generally need at least a couple of hours to complete diagnostics on your pet and prepare a treatment plan. After your pet’s physical exam, the doctor will go over the estimate and plan for the day. At that time you will discuss a time to come back to the hospital to pick up your pet. At the time of discharge (usually sometime in the afternoon) the doctor will go over all findings with you and help come up with the best treatment plan moving forward.