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Holter monitoring is a means of recording an electrocardiogram (ECG), a trace which shows the electrical activity of the heart. Unlike a conventional ECG, a Holter monitor is a portable device which your pet wears for 1 to 7 days to give us a sustained overview of the heart’s electrical activity. The technique is especially useful for assessing disturbances in heart rate and rhythm investigating whether such disturbances may be responsible for clinical signs including fainting.
Echocardiography is used to assess the structure and physiology of the heart. It utilises non-harmful sound-waves to produce images of the heart and blood flow. It is best performed in conjunction with other assessments of heart disease and cardiologists interpret findings with echocardiography in the context of a physical examination, medical history and, usually, radiographs. Echocardiography is best performed by experienced cardiologists with a high level of expertise in interpretation.
A ‘heart murmur’ is a sound usually caused by turbulent blood flow within the heart and detected by a vet after listening to your cat’s chest with a stethoscope. Most cats with heart murmurs have heart disease, but occasionally murmurs turn out not to be related to significant heart problems. The murmur itself doesn’t tell us how severe a heart problem is or whether it needs treatment. Sometimes disease doesn’t need treatment but may do in the future.
Many excellent treatments exist for cats and dogs with heart disease, but knowing which patients benefit from these is at the core of cardiology.
Dick White Referrals
Station Farm, London Road
Six Mile Bottom
Cambridgeshire, CB8 0UH
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