What is a board certified veterinary cardiologist?
A cardiologist is a board-certified veterinary cardiology specialist who has undergone additional training (a one-year internship followed by a three-year residency) in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases in animals.
Preparing for Your Appointment
- Before making an appointment with our specialists, you must request a referral from your pet’s primary veterinarian. He or she may call us or send a brief note
NOTE: ***A referral is not necessary if seeing our urgent care service***
- Please ask your primary doctor to fax/email your pet’s records prior to the appointment and/or bring a copy of all pertinent information [e.g. records, radiographs, blood test results, etc].
What to Expect During Your Appointment
- The cardiology veterinary assistant will first greet you, collect vitals on your pet and ask some routine health questions.
- The cardiologist will then perform a detailed physical examination, listen to your concerns, ask additional pertinent questions and discuss the next steps.
- We pride ourselves in timely communication with your pet’s primary doctor and will call them the same day with an update and send paperwork within 24 hours.
- If diagnostics are sent to outside laboratories, we will call you with results as soon as they have been made available and interpreted by the clinician.
- We will always have your pet best interest at heart and may refer you to another hospital if a particular diagnostic modality or treatment option is recommended but currently not offered at Skyline Veterinary Specialists (or example, overnight hospitalization, surgery or some forms of advanced imaging such as computed tomography or MRI).
How to reach us during regular business hours, after-hours and on weekends:
- Regular business hours: Call our main line at 704-672-5590 or send an email to the cardiology service. Messages received after 5 pm will be returned the following day.
- After-hours (after 5 pm): Ask to speak with a doctor or assistant (urgent care available until 8 pm), leave a message or send an email.
- Weekends: We currently do not offer weekend hours. Please direct your calls to your primary doctor or to one of the hospitals that we recommend for after-hours care:
Some conditions we commonly see:
- Chronic degenerative valve disease (mitral valve regurgitation)
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms such as VPCs, atrial fibrillation, complete heart block)
- Congenital heart disease (when a patient is born with a heart defect)
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (often referred to as “Boxer dog cardiomyopathy”)
- Thyrotoxic heart disease
- High blood pressure (systemic hypertension)
- Pulmonary hypertension
Outpatient procedures that we provide depending on patient’s condition:
- Echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart and lungs)
- Electrocardiography (evaluation of the cardiac rhythm)- often referred to as an “EKG”
- Blood pressure measurement
- Chest x-rays
- Transthoracic pacing
- In the future: surgery (interventional radiology) for congenital heart disease and pacemaker therapy
Treatment options and procedures currently referred to other hospitals:
- CT/contrast or MRI
- Other specialty services such as oncology
- Hospitalization requiring 24 hours (e.g. renal failure, mechanical ventilation, oxygen therapy for severe congestive heart failure)