We pride ourselves on a pragmatic, rather than money orientated approach, much appreciated by our long-standing client practices.
History & Physical Examination
A full history and examination are essential to quantify and document the nature of disease and provide a shortlist of probable diagnoses.
Essential for diagnosis and quantification of arrhythmias, ECGs may also provide some information regarding chamber size, drug toxicity and electrolyte imbalance.
Remains the definitive diagnostic test to define cardiac failure especially left-sided failure. In addition evidence of chamber enlargement, pleural effusion and lung parenchymal changes may only be evident on X-ray.
Respiratory investigations using a VES 4mm or 7.9mm bronchoscope and light source.
Haematology, Biochemistry & Other Laboratory Tests:
May be indicated in both diagnosis e.g. hyperthyroidism, electrolyte disturbances; and in monitoring disease e.g. response to drug therapy, renal parameters affected by vasodilators, and monitoring serum drug levels. They are also indicated where drug responses or drug excretion can reasonably be expected to be altered by organ dysfunction. Naturetic peptides and troponin I tests also help to define or rule out some types of disease.
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Identified as a possible cause of cardiac change, hypertension is especially seen in older cats, and some dogs, where specific hypotensive therapy may dramatically improve quality of life and prevent end-organ damage, for example renal damage, retinal haemorrhage and left ventricular hypertrophy
Ultrasonography has revolutionised veterinary cardiology in the last 25 years. We are able to visualise cardiac and valvular motion, detect valvular abnormalities and abnormalities of the outflow tracts, and to visualise abnormal masses including vegetative endocarditis and intra-cardiac tumours. Doppler echocardiography allows the detection and measurement of abnormal flow and is vital for the assessment of some congenital defects and their suitability or otherwise for surgery. Echocardiography also allows us to measure wall thickness and wall motion to enable the definition of both the nature and severity of disease in feline and canine cardiomyopathies.