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The heart of a dog or cat is very similar to our own, and although our pets don’t frequently suffer from cholesterol related heart and blood vessel problems, they can develop other difficulties which are very similar to human heart disease. However many treatments are available, which have made great improvements to the quality of our pets lives.



Radiology (X-ray) of the chest & heart will determine heart size, deviation of the trachea, and whether pulmonary oedema or fluid is present within the lungs– these both cause the symptoms of coughing which is frequently associated with heart disease.


E.C.G. (Electrocardiogram)

In order to diagnose defects in the heart rhythm an Electrocardiogram or ECG is essential.

We have recently purchased a new ECG machine which is particularly important when dealing with some irregular heart rhythms which are potentially life-threatening and must be diagnosed and treated rapidly. An ECG trace is also simultaneously taken during the doppler ultrasound scan procedure.


Atrial fibrillation is a relatively

common arrhythmia in dogs with cardiac disease.


Doppler Ultrasound scanning of the heart  is also a valuable procedure which is performed at Greenmount Veterinary Clinic. This provides us with an assessment of the thickness of the heart muscle wall and how well the muscle is beating. This is of particular assistance in diseases of cardiac muscle – the cardiomyopathies.

The pictures above show a thoracotomy to correct a congenital heart defect- Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in a young dog. The ductus is closed surgically allowing most dogs to return to a normal life. Without correction most dogs with Patent ductus arteriosus will die before one year old.

PDA

Heart

Lung

Auscultation

A lot of information can be gained about a pets heart by carefully listening to the heart & lung fields (auscultation) using a good quality Litmann stethoscope.


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Contact Us

Greenmount Vets
72 Gilford Road,
Portadown, Co Armagh,
BT63 5EG
Tel: 028 38 358525/352640