East Tennessee Veterinary Ultrasound is proud to be one of a handful of veterinary practices in North America who have partnered with Dr. Carley Saelinger and her team of veterinary cardiologists with CardiacVet. Through this partnership Dr. Bacon is able to provide veterinary cardiologist access for small animals patients in East Tennessee.
Through this unique partnership with Dr. Saelinger and colleagues, we are able to diagnose and manage complicated cardiac conditions, all from the comfort of our quiet and convenient referral locations. In addition, Dr. Bacon’s 20 years of practice experience combined with her advanced cardiology and echocardiography training enable her to help pets with more urgent cardiac needs. She is comfortable with treating arrhythmias, removing fluid from the chest, abdomen and pericardial sac, and managing patients with pulmonary hypertension and congestive heart failure.
How do I make an appointment?
The appointment process starts when you or your veterinarian contact us by phone or submitan appointment request through our website. Our Customer Care Manager, Freda, will work with you by phone and email to schedule your appointment and to learn more about your pet’s medical condition and concerns you may have. She will also answer questions and provide helpful information about our services.
What happens after my pet’s appointment is scheduled?
Once your appointment is made, our hard work begins. We will dedicate considerable time to gathering and reviewing all of your pet’s relevant medical information, records, and any x-rays or other diagnostic findings. It is important to us that we have a complete picture of your pet’s medical history so that we can provide the highest level of care for your pet. While time-consuming, this attention to detail is one of our many qualities that makes us special.
What can I expect at my pet’s appointment?
When you arrive for your pet’s appointment you will be greeted by one of our veterinary assistants. Your pet will be signed in for his or her appointment. He or she will then be brought to our imaging room. At this time, due to the small size of our imaging room, we are not accepting pet owners to accompany their pet for their echocardiogram. Please know that your pet’s comfort and happiness are paramount to us and we want to ensure that he or she receives only compassion and kindness from us. If your pet is showing signs of stress or anxiety we will provide injectable calming medication at no additional cost. For your pet’s comfort, if your pet is prone to anxiety or fear or may pant during travel, we strongly encourage your primary veterinarian to provide your pet with oral calming medication to be administered at home before the appointment.
Once your pet is with us in our imaging room we will take vitals including blood pressure if indicated. Dr. Bacon will then greet your pet and perform a comprehensive cardiovascular exam. She will examine your pet’s gum color, jugular and femoral pulse quality, heart and lung sounds, and will palpate your pet’s abdomen. Dr. Bacon will next perform a comprehensive 2-sided echocardiogram that will include color Doppler and spectral Doppler tracings. A screening ECG will be performed. She may also utilize other technologies as needed.These technologies may include the acquisition of digital images or video, 6 lead ECG, and/or bluetooth stethoscope recordings. These will allow us to capture tracings of patient heart rhythm as well as heart and lung sounds to share with our cardiologists.
At the end of your pet’s visit we will meet with you and provide a verbal summary of the findings. This consultation is included with your pet’s visit.
How does the cardiologist review my pet’s case?
After your pet’s visit we will electronically submit the entire case to our cardiologist team. One of our cardiologists will review the entire case and provide us with a very detailed report. The report will include measurements, detailed descriptions of heart structure and function, a diagnosis of acquired and/or congenital heart disease if present, medication recommendations and recheck guidance. The report will also include recommendations for nutrition, supplements, and at-home monitoring.
How long will it take for the cardiology report to come back?
Our cardiologist reports generally take about 3 business days. STAT reporting is available. Dr. Bacon will call you with the results when they are available. Copies of the report will then be emailed to you and your regular veterinarian.
Commonly asked questions about heart disease in pets
What cardiology services do you offer?
We offer the following cardiology services:
- Echocardiogram with Cardiologist Consultation
- Digital ECG
- Holter Monitoring
- Genetic Testing
- Centesis (Fluid Removal)
- Cardiology Case Management (if unavailable from your regular veterinarian)
Is heart disease common?
Although found more often in older pets, heart conditions can affect pets at any age. Some kinds of heart disease can lead to life-threatening issues. Early diagnosis and appropriate therapy of many heart conditions can extend life expectancy and overall quality of life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can even be cured.
What causes heart disease in animals?
Heart disease has many origins and can be congenital (animal is born with the problem), valvular (abnormalities of heart valves), arrhythmias (disturbances in heartbeat rhythm) and caused by heartworm disease or some types of cancer. All can eventually lead to congestive heart failure (CHF).
What is congestive heart failure (CHF)?
Heart disease can sometimes lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
It’s important that you be aware of the symptoms of heart disease, especially if your pet is a senior, a breed that is predisposed to cardiac issues, or has a congenital problem. Symptoms include:
- Rapid breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy/tires easily
- Weakness/trouble exercising
Our goal is to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for your pet’s cardiac health. If your pet is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or you have questions about our cardiology services, please give us a call at 865-315-8263.