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An echocardiogram, also known as an echo or cardiac ultrasound, is a tool to look at the heart as well as inside and around it. An echo creates live images that allows your veterinarian to get an idea of what the heart looks like and how it is functioning in real time. This provides information about the size, shape, and function of the heart, its four chambers, the heart valves, and surrounding structures, such as the pericardial sac.

What does the procedure entail?

Echos are done with the pet lying on an ultrasound-specific table. The ultrasound probe is held against the skin overlying the heart to get an image on the screen. This is a painless procedure and often done in a quiet, dark room. Most pets are able to lie comfortably without stress and with minimal restraint.

Why would my pet need this procedure?

Your veterinarian will recommend an echocardiogram if it is suspected that your pet has a heart disease. This is when your pet has a heart murmur, abnormalities on chest x-rays and other clinical signs like coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath or fainting.

The echo will show if your pet’s heart is working properly, and if not, what the problem is. Understanding the problem will help your veterinarian to tailor specific treatment for your pet’s condition as medications and treatments for heart disease are unique to each animal. Echocardiograms can also be used to see if treatments are helping or if a change in dosage or new medications are needed.

At Honeydew Animal clinic we offer echocardiography with state of the art ultrasound equipment and up to date training and knowledge. Make sure to visit us if you suspect or know your pet has a heart condition so we can guide you on an individualised treatment plan for your pet.

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