What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. It allows to evaluate the different structures of the heart including chamber sizes, wall thickness, valve appearance and function, blood flow and contractility. It is a non-invasive and low-stress diagnostic test that will be performed with your pet lying on a padded table.

In order to improve contact with the ultrasound probe to the skin, we will recommend having a little area around the axillary region clipped of fur. If you would prefer to have your pet not clipped please let us know in advance and we will try to accommodate your wishes. In most cases no sedation is necessary. However, some of our patients may be more relaxed if used and improved the quality of the assessment. We will therefore ask for your permission to do so, if we feel it is in the best interest of your pet.

This test, when performed by an experienced clinician, is essential in diagnosing most heart diseases. It allows determining the nature of the heart condition, assessing its stage or severity and deciding of the best therapeutic approach.