Cardiology Services

Rocky Mountain Veterinary Cardiology (RMVC) provides state-of-the-art veterinary cardiology services at Alpenglow Veterinary Specialty + Emergency Center.

Highly-specialized care for cardiac patients includes:

  • echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound)
  • electrocardiogram
  • blood pressure measurement
  • pericardiocentesis
  • wireless telemetry
  • holter and event monitoring
  • hospitalization
  • fluoroscopy
  • digital radiography
  • cardiac catheterization
  • pacemaker implantation
  • Snyder ICU oxygen cages
  • Echocardiography

 

RMVC is equipped with a state-of-the-art cardiac specific ultrasound machine with Colorflow, spectral, and tissue Doppler capabilities. Echocardiography is the mainstay of cardiac diagnostics as it allows for both structural and functional evaluation of the heart.

Electrocardiography

We perform ECGs when appropriate. Although insensitive for the diagnosis of heart enlargement, the electrocardiogram is the gold standard in arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) diagnosis and management.

Blood pressure measurement

Knowledge of your pet’s blood pressure may affect drug dosage and administration as well as long-term management of select patients with cardiac disease.

Pericardiocentesis

Pericardiocentesis is performed when there is fluid accumulation between the heart and the sac that surrounds the heart (the pericardium). Performance of an echocardiogram prior to pericardiocentesis is often critical in cases of pericardial effusion. Pericardial fluid can highlight soft tissue masses facilitating the diagnosis of neoplasia.

Holter monitoring

This 24 hour ambulatory ECG is ideal for the evaluation of tachyarrhythmias (fast heart beats). The holter exam may influence whether to treat some arrhythmias and greatly aids in their management. The holter may be worn home by the patient so that he/she may be evaluated in their home environment.

Event monitoring

Ideal for a syncopal (fainting) dog, the event monitor is an ambulatory ECG that houses a continuous loop recorder. The monitor is typically worn for one to two weeks to optimize the probability of capturing an event. When an event occurs the owner depresses a button that captures the ECG at the time of the event.

Hospitalization

RMVC offers cardiac care that is unparalleled. Oxygen cages are used for patients who are having trouble breathing. The environment of our cages can be humidity and temperature controlled as well as provide a finely calibrated oxygen enriched environment. Wireless telemetry is used to monitor patients with severe heart rhythm disturbances. Because it is wireless, the pet may move freely in its environment and their ECG may be monitored even while out on walks. Our nurses are specially trained to monitor and meet the needs of our hospitalized patients.

Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy is used for catheterization. These procedures include pacemaker implantation, PDA occlusion, and balloon valvuloplasty.

Digital radiography (X-rays)

Digital x-rays allow for rapid and detailed image acquisition which not only greatly decreases the time and therefore stress associated with taking x-rays but also enables high resolution imaging for more accurate diagnoses.

Cardiac catheterization

Fluoroscopy is used for cardiac catheterization and is best described as “real time x-rays”. This makes it possible to visualize catheters as they move through the heart. RMVC offers the following non-invasive procedures: pacemaker implantation, PDA occlusion, balloon valvuloplasty, angiography and other advanced cardiac catheterizations.