An echocardiogram, sometimes referred to as a cardiac ultrasound, is a diagnostic procedure that uses sound waves to create a real-time image of a patient's heart. The procedure also involves measuring various aspects of the heart, including the thicknesses of the chamber walls and even the speed at which blood moves through different valves.
Why is this important? Dogs and cats can develop (or be born with) a variety of heart problems. The measurements we would get from an echocardiogram of your pet can help us diagnose which disease, if any, is affecting her, allowing us to come up with a plan for further diagnostics and treatment if necessary.
Smith Vet Hospital is fortunate to have a specially-trained veterinarian, Dr. Amy Land, who has extensive education in cardiac ultrasound. We also have an ultrasound unit equipped with cardiac-specific parts and software, which allows us to perform echocardiograms in-house if necessary.
Watch this video if you'd like to get an idea for the kind of images and measurements we get. Bear in mind that this video is about nine years old, and the quality of the images have improved significantly even in that short period of time.