In the familiar setting of your family veterinarian’s office, Dr. Casagrande will perform a physical examination and specific diagnostic tests that will help to evaluate the overall health of your pet’s heart. Whether working up a new heart murmur or further investigating symptoms of possible heart disease, Dr. Casagrande will work closely with your family veterinarian to develop the best plan to keep your beloved furry family member happy and healthy. Diagnostic tests might include:
Echocardiogram - This is an ultrasound of the heart, and reveals its structure and function. It is non-invasive and not painful. Your pet will lie on a padded table for this procedure, and generally dogs and cats do great! To obtain the most detailed images possible, a small amount of hair might need to be clipped from both sides of your pet’s chest.
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) - This test looks at the electrical activity of your pet’s heart. Four small clips are attached to the elbows and knees of your pet, allowing the electrocardiograph to detect your pet’s cardiac rhythm. This procedure is not painful and only takes a few minutes. Not to worry, the electrocardiograph just senses electrical activity in your pet…it does not send electricity into your pet!
Blood pressure - Just like with people, a cuff is placed around your pet’s leg. This cuff inflates and deflates, and the blood pressure measurement is determined by a device specifically designed for dogs and cats.