The Cardiology Service serves the diagnostic and therapeutic needs of veterinary patients who have heart disease or are suspected to have heart disease. The heart and vascular system are evaluated primarily through use of the non-invasive techniques, including electrocardiography (EKG), Holter monitor (ambulatory EKG), and 2D, 3D, and Color Doppler Echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound).
The treatment of veterinary patients with heart disease may consist of drug therapy and, on occasion, operative procedures. The Cardiology Service offers minimally invasive techniques:
- Balloon dilation of obstructive cardiac disease, including pulmonic stenosis
- Implantation of cardiac pacemakers
- Occlusion of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) through ACDO devices
Clinical trials to advance the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in animals are also performed by the Cardiology Service.
All patients are seen on a referral basis. A client’s primary veterinarian refers the patient to the Cardiology Service by forwarding the appropriate paperwork and radiographs, if applicable, and then calling to discuss the patient’s condition with our clinicians. Speaking to the primary veterinarian often allows our clinicians to better determine the severity of the problem, the services the patient will likely need, and how soon the patient needs to be seen.
After the referral has been made, clients may call the Cardiology Service’s case coordinator to schedule their pet’s appointment.
Emergency services are available to help us receive emergent cases and, if necessary, will consult with us.
The Cardiology Service offers appointments on Monday through Thursday mornings to allow time for diagnostic procedures to be performed. Friday appointments are offered only to participants in ongoing clinical research studies. On Mondays, patients are seen for breed-related certifications. Wednesdays are reserved for surgery or interventional cardiac catheterization procedures.
The duration of your appointment will vary, depending on the nature and complexity of your pet’s condition. A veterinary student will be assigned to your pet and will be your main point of contact during your pet’s appointment. A typical cardiac workup can include thoracic radiographs, an electrocardiogram, and a full echocardiogram. Most of our patients have these tests performed on an outpatient basis with same-day results. Upon discharge, you will be provided with paperwork discussing all findings and instructions on any further care for your pet. All results are also reported to your primary veterinarian for enhanced continuity of care.
Bio ItemMichele Borgarelli, DVM, PhD, DECVIM–Companion Animals (Cardiology) , bio
Professor, Cardiology; Director, Comparative Cardiovascular Laboratory
Bio ItemLezith Desiree Chavez, DVM , bio
Intern, Cardiology; Comparative Cardiovascular Laboratory member
Bio ItemAlessandra Franchini, DVM , bio
Resident, Cardiology; Comparative Cardiovascular Laboratory member
Bio ItemSunshine M. Lahmers, DVM, PhD, DACVIM–Cardiology , bio
Clinical Associate Professor, Cardiology
Bio ItemGiulio Menciotti, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM (Cardiology) , bio
Assistant Professor, Cardiology