Cardiology is the medical science of treating problems of the heart and blood vessels, so a veterinary cardiologist is a vet who specializes in treating your pet’s heart and blood vessels. Hamilton Hills Animal Hospital in Noblesville, IN, describes what you need to know about pet cardiology.
How Long Do Veterinary Cardiologists Have to Study?
A veterinary cardiologist goes through four years of undergraduate college, four years of veterinary school, does an internship for a year, then has to go through another four years of training in veterinary cardiology. That’s nine years of schooling, although the learning never ends. All veterinarians need to undergo classes regularly to renew their licenses.
What Veterinary Cardiologists Do
Like regular vets, specialists in pet cardiology first go over a pet’s history. They do a hands-on examination of their patients, then run diagnostic tests. These tests include chest X-rays, radiograms, electrocardiograms, and ultrasounds. Cardiac ultrasound is a slightly different machine than the ultrasound that your regular vet has. A veterinary cardiologist may spend long hours in surgery.
When Pets Need to See a Veterinary Cardiologist
If your regular vet has run out of options for treating your pet’s heart, then you should take your pet to see a veterinary cardiologist. You may also want a second opinion. Your vet may not have the equipment to perform tests of your pet’s heart or be able to perform a surgery required to keep your pet alive or greatly improve the quality of your pet’s life.
A Special Note for Owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, or Cavaliers, make wonderful pets, the breed is plagued by mitral valve disease. Half of all Cavaliers die from this disease by the time they are five. Almost all Cavaliers die from mitral valve disease before they are ten. All owners of a Cavalier need their dogs checked regularly by a veterinary cardiologist when they are a year old.
Do Pets Ever Need Pacemakers?
There are pacemakers for dogs and cats. When interviewed by Oklahoma State University, veterinary cardiologist Dr. Ryan Baumwart explained that fitting a pet with a pacemaker could vastly improve the quality of a pet’s life. He explained that one of his patients was a dog that passed out ten times a day. With a pacemaker, the dog is now able to have a normal life, without passing out at all.
How to Find a Veterinary Cardiologist
Your veterinarian would be happy to recommend a veterinary cardiologist in your area. You can also check out the website VetSpecialists.com to find any kind of veterinary specialist, including veterinary cardiologists.
Still Have Questions?
If you have
further questions about pet cardiology and live in the Noblesville, IN area, contact
Hamilton Hills Animal Hospital at