Small Animal Cardiology

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About our Team

Our Cardiology team at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center is here to help pets with heart problems. Our team will work with your primary care veterinarian to manage your pet’s heart condition. Recent research on pets with heart disease has shown that pets examined by a board-certified cardiologist, working in conjunction with the pet’s primary veterinarian, have longer lifespans than those pets not evaluated by a cardiologist.

If your veterinarian says that your pet has heart disease, a heart murmur, abnormal heart rhythm, an enlarged heart, has fluid in the lungs, chest, abdomen or around the heart or has heart failure or a heart tumor, your pet may benefit from being referred to the UTVMC Cardiologists.

Fortunately, our pets do not suffer heart attacks as people do. Instead, the most common outcomes of heart disease in pets include heart failure, sudden death, and throwing clots (cats).

Some common heart problems that animals can have include:

  • Degenerative valve disease (leaky valves)
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathies)
  • Congenital abnormalities (problems present from birth)
  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Heart tumors

Common signs of heart disease in animals:

  • Coughing (less common in cats)
  • Difficult, labored breathing
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Passing out
  • Dragging the hind limb(s)(in cats)

If your pet has any of these symptoms, take him/her to your primary veterinarian or, if it is after hours, to an emergency clinic.

If you have a question about your pet’s heart disease, you are welcome to call the hospital and ask for our cardiology technician/nurse, who can answer most of your questions. If needed, one of our cardiologists will return your call.

We are available for routine appointments during the week, and we are always available for emergencies working with our Emergency Service.