West Hills Animal Hospital & Emergency Center has the technology and experience to provide cardiac echocardiograms. Echocardiograms are “real time” images taken of your pet’s heart using ultrasound equipment. The echocardiogram allows our veterinarians to see inside your pet’s heart and help us to evaluate the structure and function of the heart. We can detect birth defects, diseases of the heart valves and heart muscle diseases, identify fluid around the heart, identify cardiac tumors and certain types of heartworm infections. The components of the echocardiogram can include:
- Two-dimensional images to see lesions and overall cardiac structure
- M-mode study to measure heart size and function
- Doppler examination to evaluate blood flow
We may recommend an echocardiogram for your pet if we suspect congenital or acquired heart disease, for example a heart murmur or irregular heart rhythm or when indicated by the results of an x-ray.
The ultrasound examination is painless, non-invasive and safe and typically does not require your pet to be sedated. Ultrasound technology works through sound waves that travel into the body, returning images of the internal organ to a screen, allowing us to visualize the heart in real time.