What is dopppler echocardiography?
Doppler echocardiography (also known as a heart scan) is a safe, non invasive way of imaging the heart. People are usually familiar with an ultrasound scan of a pregnancy in humans and this is largely the same. The difference being that the direction of blood flow and its velocity can be measured, meaning we can detect abnormalities within the heart and the large blood vessels around it that might be causing your pet to be unwell
Your dog or cat will typically not receive any sedation to have a heart scan done. You can usually stay with your pet if you wish.Your pet will lie on their side on a special table and we will scan the heart from underneath. Only very occasionally do we give mild sedation if an animal is very fractious. Sedatives can affect the measurements taken and give rise to misleading results.
We use echocardiography for the investigation of heart murmurs (to find out where the murmur originates from, a murmur being an extra noise other than the normal heart beats), it is also used to investigate the thickness of the heart muscle, the size of the heart chambers and to assess their function, ie. how well the heart is contracting and relaxing.