Q: My veterinarian believes that my dog or cat has heart disease. What should I do?
A: With this difficult news, it is important to know as much about the problem as soon as possible. Many companion animals have heart disease that is mild and not a cause of concern. Other animals may have a heart problem in the early stages that may be controlled with medication. If serious heart disease is present, early treatment can often improve your pet’s quality of life and prolong it as well.
Evaluation of your pet’s history and an exam by the cardiology department is the first step. If there is evidence of heart disease then an echocardiogram is often indicated. This test is an ultrasound of the heart that allows the cardiologist to look inside the heart to see if their are any abnormalities. It is also very effective at assessing the severity of any heart disease that may be present. This is a very safe test and rarely requires sedation. Depending on the type and severity of heart disease, other tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure, and chest radiographs (x-rays) may also be indicated. The Oradell Animal Hospital Cardiology Department is fully equipped to perform whatever therapy is needed to improve the length and quality of life of your pet. This includes many types of cardiac surgery.
Q: How do I arrange for my pet to be seen by the Cardiology Department?
A: First, have your pet examined by your family veterinarian. If your veterinarian feels that your pet needs to be evaluated by a cardiologist, then please call and make an appointment with our cardiology service. 201-262-0010. If your veterinarian believes that the problem is urgent and cannot wait for an appointment, then your pet may be admitted through our emergency service and stabalized. Please come directly to our hospital. If it is possible, please call ahead of time to notify us of your arrival. Your pet will then be evaluated by our cardiology service as soon as necessary.