SCHEDULE A CARDIOLOGY APPOINTMENT:
Regular clinic hours are Monday through Friday, and our scheduling staff will assist you in finding an appointment with the right veterinary specialist based on your animal's needs at a time that works for you. Our emergency services for all species are also available 24/7 if your animal has a serious problem that requires immediate medical attention.
UW Veterinary Care’s cardiology experts take the confusion out of navigating complex heart health issues in animals. From heart murmurs and fainting episodes to high blood pressure and heart disease, our veterinary cardiologists are dedicated to guiding you through the best possible treatment plan in a friendly, approachable way.
Our in-house cardiac specialists and on-site diagnostics ensure that stress is minimized and convenience is optimized for you and your animal. From the initial exam to testing and evaluation, appointments are typically completed in less than a day. We also accommodate 24/7 emergencies without appointments and monitor seriously ill patients around the clock in our on-site critical care facility.
Our cardiac services include state-of-the-art equipment to detect and monitor cardiac and cardiovascular issues, including:
- Doppler echocardiography (ultrasound)
- Digital radiography
- Blood pressure measurements
- Holter and Reveal monitors
- Clinical trials for the treatment of atrial fibrillation in dogs
- Evaluation and treatment of all species, including horses and exotic animals
- Cardiac certifications for breeding
Cardiology Interventional Procedures
UW Veterinary Care’s cardiologists offer several interventional procedures.
Balloon Valvuloplasty for the Treatment of Pulmonic Stenosis
Pulmonic stenosis is a type of congenital heart disease that results in narrowing of the pulmonic valve. The narrowed valve impedes blood flow as it leaves the right heart to travel to the lungs.
Dogs with pulmonic stenosis can be mildly, moderately or severely affected. Dogs that are moderately or severely affected often benefit from surgical intervention. The most common type of surgical procedure is called the pulmonic valve balloon valvuloplasty. During this procedure, a balloon-dilator catheter is inflated across the pulmonic valve to decrease the severity of narrowing. This is a minimally invasive procedure, and most dogs go home the day following the surgery.
Transvalvular Stenting for the Treatment of Pulmonic Stenosis
Transvalvular stenting may be considered in dogs with pulmonic stenosis where outcomes are not improved with balloon valvuloplasty, or where balloon valvuloplasty is dangerous to perform due to incompatible anatomy.
A metal stent is placed across the narrowed pulmonic valve to improve blood flow as it leaves the right heart. This is a minimally invasive procedure, and most dogs go home the day following the surgery.
Occlusion of Patent Ductus Arteriosus Using the Amplatz Canine Ductal Occluder or Amplatz Vascular Plug
The ductus arteriosus is a normal structure between the aorta and pulmonary artery that is used by the fetus before birth (in-utero). The ductus arteriosus normally closes soon after birth. However, in some animals, closure does not occur and flow between these blood vessels continues (the vessel remains “patent”). The effect of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is to pass too much blood to the lungs, which then overloads the left side of the heart.
In most patients, closure of this abnormal blood vessel is recommended. The UW Veterinary Care Cardiology Service offers a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure to close the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), using an occluder device (Amplatz Canine Ductal Occluder (ACDO) or Amplatz Vascular Plug (AVP)). During the procedure, the device is placed across the PDA using a catheter delivery system. The device is left in the PDA once blood flow occlusion has been confirmed.
Transvenous Pacemaker Implantation
Dogs with slow abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) may require urgent or emergent placement of a pacemaker to control their heart rate.
Transvenous pacemaker placement is minimally invasive and involves inserting a pacemaker lead through a large vessel in the neck (jugular vein) for implantation into the heart muscle. The lead is then connected to a pulse generator which is placed under layers of muscle in the neck.
Dogs with heartworm disease may develop a severe complication called caval syndrome. Caval syndrome is life-threatening and may require emergent surgical removal of the heartworms from the right-sided heart chambers.
Heartworms can be removed by a minimally invasive technique that uses the large vein (called the jugular vein) in the neck. During this procedure, equipment is placed inside the jugular vein and fed into the right heart to ensnare and remove the heartworms.
UWVC Cardiology Team
- Heidi B. Kellihan, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
- Rebecca L Stepien, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
- Sonja Tjostheim, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
- Kelly Flynn, PhD, DVM
- Sydney Fultz, BVMS
- Lisa Murphy, DVM, DACVECC
- Graham Rossi, DVM
- Kim Hoth, CVT
- Annie Johnston, CT
SCHEDULE A CARDIOLOGY APPOINTMENT:
Regular clinic hours are Monday through Friday, and our scheduling staff will assist you in finding an appointment with the right veterinary specialist based on your animal's needs at a time that works for you. Our emergency services for all species are also available if your animal has a serious problem that requires immediate medical attention.