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Jefferson Animal Hospital Emergency Cardiology

Cardiology and EKG Services for Your Dog or Cat

HomeServicesDiagnostic • Cardiology

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Heart Health is Good for Dogs and Cats Too!

Cardiology means the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart. If our veterinarians expect your pet has a heart condition, we will usually first listen to your pet’s heart with a stethoscope. An EKG might then be performed to provide additional information about the condition of your pet’s heart. Dogs and cats can suffer from heart diseases such as heart murmur or irregular heartbeat.

What is an EKG (Electrocardiography)?

Electrocardiography is the process used to perform an electrocardiogram, or EKG, test on a dog or cat’s heart. An EKG measures the rate and regularity of heartbeats. In addition, an EKG also measures and provides information about the size and position of the animal’s heart chambers.

EKGs are a painless and non-invasive procedure that involves attaching some electrodes, which are connected by wires to the EKG machine, to the animal’s legs and sometimes its chest. This is usually done with your dog or cat either standing or laying on its side. Because there is no pain and very little stress for your pet, the EKG is generally performed without the use of sedatives or a general anesthesia. A routine EKG typically takes a few minutes to perform. The veterinarian can then interpret the results right away.

In addition to using being used to help detect heart problems, EKG is also used during all veterinary surgeries to monitor the pet’s heart rate and ensure his or her safety while under anesthesia.

Signs of Heart Disease in Cats and Dogs:

Please call us right away if your pet is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, as they may indicate your pet has a heart problem:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Collapse
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Abdominal swelling