An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure that your veterinarian in El Paso at TLC Animal Hospital uses to help detect heart problems and to diagnose heart conditions. 

Symptoms that indicate that your pet may be experiencing heart problems include persistent severe coughing, difficulty breathing, fainting, and lack of stamina. You may notice that your pet develops less ability to exercise. They may experience a loss of appetite, which results in weight loss. There may be some behavioral changes. Severe heart disease may cause rear limb weakness. 

Some pets will not show any symptoms at all until a heart condition gets worse.

Echocardiogram for Pets

For this procedure, your pet is held still on a padded table. The echocardiogram procedure is done by the veterinarian doctor at the El Paso animal hospital by placing an instrument that emits an ultrasound frequency and moving it over the animal’s heart area so that a computer can interpret the sound signals and produce a visual image of what the animal’s heart looks like.

Ultrasound is a very low frequency. Most animals, who can remain calm, do very well with this procedure. It is usually not necessary to sedate them unless they are very nervous types and cannot hold still enough for the procedure. 

The echocardiogram is an ultrasound procedure that is very similar to the one used for pregnant women to see their baby in the womb.

Diagnosis Using an Echocardiogram

The veterinarian at the animal hospital will use this procedure to look for heart problems such as areas with reduced circulation, heart muscle enlargement, and other signs of heart disease. If there is a serious problem with a heartworm infestation the doctor will be able to see this as well. The doctor will look for problems with blood flow in the heart and problems with leaks in the valves. 

Echocardiography is helpful for the early diagnosis of many heart diseases and most heart problems such as:

  • Chronic Valvular Disease: Abnormalities in the heart valves.
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Dilation of the heart.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Thickening of the heart muscle.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Congenital heart disease.
  • Heart Tumors

This diagnostic test is part of good heart health care by your vet to make sure that early detection and treatment can be used for your pet’s heart problems. Early detection is useful because with proper treatment, and possibly surgery, many of these heart conditions can be managed. This may increase the lifespan of your pet.

After a full examination of your pet, your vet will make a recommendation of whether this exam is warranted along with other possible tests.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

If your pet has heart problems, an echocardiogram is a useful way to determine if any conditions of heart disease exist. Make an appointment to have an examination and the veterinarian will determine if the procedure should be done at the TLC Animal Hospital in El Paso. You can call us at 915-592-6200 to schedule an appointment today!


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