The CityU Veterinary Medical Centre (CityU VMC) Cardiology Department is a Specialist service, run by board-certified specialist veterinary cardiologists, who have undergone rigorous training and examination to diagnose and treat cardio-vascular diseases in animals. The reasons for seeing a specialist cardiologist may include diagnostic requirements or advanced treatments that cannot be provided by your primary care veterinarian.
Our services include:
- Detailed general and cardio-vascular physical examination
- Blood Pressure evaluation
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) including ECG-recording in the clinic and long-term 24-h Holter-ECG (ambulatory ECG-monitoring for outpatients in their home environment)
- Echocardiography including color, spectral and tissue Doppler as well as more advanced echocardiographic modalities including contrast, four-dimensional and transesophageal imaging
- Computerized Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Interventional cardiology for certain congenital diseases or heart rhythm disturbances
- Angiograms (visualization of vessels)
- Interventional balloon valvuloplasty of Pulmonic Stenosis
- Interventional Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) closure
- Pacemaker implantation
- Electrical cardioversion of certain heart rhythm problems
What to Expect:
Upon arrival at the CityU VMC, you will be asked to register at the front desk with our reception staff. Thereafter you will be guided to the consultation room of your attending specialist who will ask a series of questions regarding the clinical problem which you are seeking advice on. If Cantonese is your primary language, then simultaneous translation of the consultation will be provided by our highly trained staff.
It is important that any previous diagnostic imaging (e.g. x-rays or ultrasound) or laboratory results (e.g. blood tests or histopathology reports) as well as a complete medical history from your family veterinarian are available latest on the day of consultation. Ideally, this information is already provided prior to your appointment to reduce waiting time and to avoid repeating tests unnecessarily. Please bring your pet’s current cardiac medication (or a photo or list of the drugs) with information about the dosages you are giving at home and when the medication has been started.
After a detailed physical examination of your animal by the attending veterinary cardiologist, a plan including the required diagnostic tests as well as an estimate of costs to achieve a diagnosis will be discussed with you. This will be done in a problem-based approach as we are aware of the financial commitment when seeing a specialist.
In the cardiology service, we only ever proceed with evaluations or treatments once you as an owner fully understand the procedures being performed and the possible implications of that procedure. We are committed to provide excellent veterinary patient care, client service and treatment with leading technology and techniques.
Cardiologic work-up often includes chest radiographs, an echocardiogram, ECG and blood pressure measurement. In case an echocardiogram has already been performed by your family veterinarian or a mobile ultrasound service, review can provide valuable information regarding potential progression of your pet’s heart disease but in most cases it will be required to repeat the heart ultrasound to allow the cardiologist to fully assess the patient’s heart problem.
For optimal imaging quality in ultrasonography, shaving small spots on both sides of the chest might be required.
Sedation is rarely necessary, even in cats, therefore your pet usually does not have to be fastened for cardiac examination. However, in case sedation becomes unavoidable, specialist anesthetists are available who also perform general Anesthesia for our interventional procedures if required.
What should I bring to my Cardiology consultation?
A list of questions is sometimes a good way to avoid forgetting exactly what you wanted to ask the specialist. Only once your questions are appropriately answered we can efficiently work together for your pet.
Previous diagnostic test results, including diagnostic Imaging (e.g. x-rays or ultrasound) or laboratory results (e.g. blood tests or histopathology reports) as well as a complete medical history, which will normally be provided by your family veterinarian in the course of the referral, should be provided. Please bring your pet’s current cardiac medication (or a photo or list of the drugs) with information about the dosages you are giving at home and when the medication has been started (e.g. “Furosemide 20 mg ½ tablet given twice a day - started 1 month ago”).
Always bring your pet!
How long will my pet’s appointment take?
A consultation for an initial evaluation normally takes around 1 - 2 hours – however, in case of more complex problems, your pet’s evaluation might take longer. On that note, we always try to start our consultations on time as we highly value your time – in exceptional circumstances, there might be a delay for your pet’s consultation. In that case we will try our utmost to keep you well informed by our diligent reception staff.
What should I do if my pet seems unwell at home before the time of the appointment?
Any severe illness and especially cardio-vascular diseases could become life-threatening if left untreated or if treatment requirements suddenly change. If your pet feels unwell at home and is showing e.g. signs of breathing distress, coughing, weakness, or fainting you should urgently consult your family veterinarian again before your cardiology appointment to see if treatment has to be adapted. In case of an emergency CityU VMC’s 24-h emergency department is there to help to provide emergency treatment and to proceed with emergency hospital admission for initial stabilization if required.
What should I do if I cannot attend my appointment?
There can always be unexpected circumstances. In case you are not able to attend your appointment, please cancel at least 24 hours in advance.