For Clients

How do I make a cardiology appointment?

Phone (225) 578-9600 to schedule an appointment. Primary appointments, appointments by referral, and second opinions are seen daily Monday through Friday. Breed-related certifications for congenital heart disease are also available. Appointments are generally seen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. After hours, a veterinarian is on duty to accept, triage and manage emergency cases that present to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Emergencies are seen 24 hours a day

 

What should I bring to my pet's appointment?

Please bring any medical records that you have including discharge statements, blood work and case summaries.  Please bring any diagnostic results that you have such as radiographs, ECGs and echocardiogram results.  Please bring any medications that your pet is receiving. 

 

How long will my pet's appointment take?

In general, we will ask you to leave your pet with us for the afternoon in order to carefully and accurately perform diagnostic testing and treatments if indicated. Your pet will most likely be ready to go home between 3 and 5 p.m.

 

Should I give my pet medications before the appointment?

Please continue to give any medications as directed by your veterinarian or cardiologist on the day of the appointment, even if you know that sedation or anesthesia is planned, unless you have been specifically directed by someone from the cardiology service to withhold particular medications.

 

Should I feed my pet before the appointment?

We recommend removing your pet's food for about 12 hours before your appointment time. If your pet is debilitated or is a puppy or kitten, feed as usual. Always allow access to fresh water.

 

What should I expect at my pet's appointment?

Most appointments will follow the outline listed below:


Physical Examination and History 

A fourth-year veterinary student will escort the client and patient into an exam room to take a complete history while they perform a physical examination on the patient as long as the patient is stable. This will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes.    

 

Discussion

The student will then leave the room for about fifteen to thirty minutes to consult with one of our faculty cardiologists and intern. The history, physical examination findings and any previous diagnostic test results will be reviewed. The client will then meet the cardiologist and intern. After a discussion of the diagnostic tests that are recommended, we will ask to keep your pet for the afternoon in order to allow adequate time for complete evaluation. 

    

Diagnostic tests for patients suspected of having heart disease often include electrocardiography, echocardiography, radiography, and various blood tests. Sedation may be needed for some patients in order to obtain accurate diagnostic test results. We will discuss sedation with you if it is needed for your pet.

     

Discharge

At the time of discharge from the hospital (usually between 3 and 5 p.m.), the cardiologist will discuss the findings from the diagnostic tests and the patient's condition. We will answer any questions that arise and send home any medications deemed necessary. Additionally, a typed discharge summary will also go home with the owner and a copy will be faxed to the referring veterinarian. This summary will describe the diagnostic test results, diagnoses, medications, instructions for monitoring at home and follow up information.

 

What do I do in case of an emergency?

Phone 225-578-9600 any time, day or night. The Cardiology Service will see primary cardiac emergencies Monday- Friday from 9 AM – 5PM.  Please call before your arrival so we can be prepared for you and your pet. After hours, a veterinarian is on duty to accept, triage and manage emergency cases that present to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Emergencies are seen 24 hours a day.