Heart Murmur assessment typically involves echocardiography ultrasound examination of the heart using 2D, M-Mode and Doppler techniques. Echocardiography is a highly skilled, painless procedure to assess the structure, size and function of the heart and is usually performed in awake animals. Heart murmurs can occur without heart disease and blood samples and blood pressure are often checked at the same time.
Investigation of coughing and breathing problems usually involves echocardiography to exclude heart disease with CT or thoracic radiography, (x-rays), under general anaesthesia. CT is a form of advanced radiography that can assess the nose, airways and lungs in great detail in three dimensions. Examination of the airways is often performed with a flexible camera, (bronchoscope), allowing samples of cells and bacteria to be taken from deep within the airway.
Investigation of weakness, collapse or exercise intolerance usually involves echocardiography, thoracic radiography (X-Rays), blood samples and ECG. Some animals may be sent home with a vest containing an ambulatory Holter ECG to monitoring their heart rate and rhythm at home, particularly when they are exercising.
Accumulations of fluid around the heart or within the chest, (pericardial and pleural effusions), are typically assessed with ultrasound and sometimes CT. Pericardial drainage and pleurocentesis is usually performed under sedation or general anaesthesia.
Investigation of nasal disease usually involves CT under general anaesthesia with examination of the nasal cavity and throat with a camera, (rhinoscopy), allowing samples of cells and bacteria to be taken from within the airway.