Why a Board-Certified Veterinary Cardiology Specialist? All general practitioners have completed a minimum of two to four years of undergraduate schooling and four vigorous years of veterinary school to achieve the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent (VMD) degree. A veterinary cardiologist has completed an additional three to four years of post veterinary medical training to become specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the companion animal heart. This training often includes either a one-year rotating internship or two years of general practice followed by several years of specialized residency training under the direct supervision of board-certified veterinary cardiologists. During this rigorous training process a resident is required to complete at least 400 new echocardiograms, as well as specific minimally invasive fluoroscopic procedures, including but not limited to transvenous pacemaker implantation, balloon valvuloplasty, PDA ductal occlusion, heartworm retrieval, endomyocardial biopsies and basic angiography. Board certification/diplomate (DACVIM) status is achieved by successfully completing an approved cardiology residency, passing an extensive credentials packet, passing a general internal medicine examination and finally, passing the cardiology board certification examination. At the current time, there are less than 250 board-certified veterinary cardiologists across the United States.
How do I schedule an appointment with Heart to Heart for my pet? Routine Patients, Clinically Ill (sick) Patients and Patients Maintaining Chronic Disease Our routine cardiac screening services are available at any of our offices for those pets that are clinically doing well but need to be evaluated before receiving anesthesia, due to a new physical exam finding or diagnostic laboratory result (ex: murmur, proBNP level elevation) or prior to breeding. For those pets that are clinically ill (sick) or are under long-term care to manage their cardiac disease and need more extensive diagnostics, a full range of diagnostic services can also be performed during your pet's cardiac examination. Please see our schedule for more details. Critical (intensive care) Patients Unfortunately, sometimes pets become critically ill and are in need of extensive diagnostics, close monitoring, IV drug therapy and oxygen therapy. For critically ill cardiac patients in need of emergent support and hospitalization, emergency services can sought at either MedVet Akron or MedVet Cleveland West. Both of these fully-equipped facilities provide 24/7 emergency care.