Eoin Kilkenny and Samantha Gomart, who have each undergone four years of specialist training in addition to their veterinary undergraduate degrees, and have experience in treating all manners of heart disease in some of the busiest referral hospitals in the UK.
Heart disease is common in cats and dogs so our cardiologists are kept busy seeing their own primary cases, but they also assess many of the patients that have come through other disciplines. If a patient from a different service requires an anaesthetic or sedation, our cardiologists work closely with our anaesthesia team to make sure that each patient is guided through their procedures as safely as possible.
The majority of the patients have no clinical signs of heart disease and may simply come for investigation of a heart murmur or an abnormal heart rhythm. The vast majority do not require any sedation or anaesthetic and our outpatient service means that our patients usually spend no more than 2 hours in the hospital.
We commonly perform tests such as:
- Echocardiography (an ultrasound of the heart)
- ECG and 24-hour Holter ECG
- Blood pressure measurement
- Digital thoracic radiography (X-ray)
For more complex cases, we can also perform tests such as:
- Cardiac CT scan
- Fluoroscopy (a video X-ray)
- Transoesophageal echocardiography (an ultrasound of the heart performed via the oesophagus while the patient is under anaesthetic).
Treatment and management of cases
If our cardiac patients are showing clinical signs, such as breathing distress or fainting, our cardiologists have the capacity to treat them in our wards, or our dedicated intensive care unit.
Most are managed with medications, but some require a trip to our cath lab for surgical intervention. These procedures are minimally invasive (keyhole surgery), accessing the heart via a vein, or artery, on the limbs or the neck.
Using this approach, our cardiologists may:
- Place permanent pacemakers
- Inflate balloons within the heart to open fused valves (balloon valvuloplasty)
- Place stents within the heart to keep vessels and chambers patent
- Place devices within the heart or vessels to prevent abnormal blood flow e.g. to treat patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
- Cardioversion (resetting the patient’s normal heart rhythm in cases of atrial fibrillation/flutter)
Often the above procedures are performed in young patients with congenital heart disease (abnormalities that the patient has been born with), for which we have a discounted Puppy Clinic. Please contact us for more information.
Cat-friendly cardiology clinic
We are particularly proud of our cat-friendly cardiology clinic, which focuses on the specific needs of our feline patients. Cats are often anxious patients but we take great care to perform our investigations calmly and slowly. As a result, it is extremely rare for us to sedate our feline patients.
Services we offer
Our team of Consultants provide top-quality care in anaesthesia & analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology (including radiotherapy), ophthalmology, orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery.