Images of a pet's functioning heart.
When pets experience heart issues, ultrasounds and x-rays are often used to make a definitive diagnosis. Echocardiography, put simply, refers to an ultrasound utilized for the heart.
When an ultrasound is performed, it shows us an image of the heart in real time, referred to as an echocardiogram. From there, our veterinarians can evaluate the heart’s size and shape as well as the way it functions. Specifically, they’ll be able to measure wall thickness, examine the heart valves, and assess blood flow.
Echocardiograms can be used to detect the following conditions:
- Birth defects
- Heart disease
- Cardiac tumors
- Some heartworm infections
Like other ultrasounds, echocardiograms are painless, non-invasive, and usually don’t require any form of anesthesia. The most your furry friend will need to worry about is getting a patch of their hair shaved prior to the procedure.
If your pet has been diagnosed with heart murmurs or irregular heartbeats, call us at (616) 364-1211 to discuss whether an echocardiogram would be beneficial.