Diagnostics & Treatments

At Coast to Coast Cardiology, we perform a host of specialized tests to ensure a thorough cardiac evaluation, providing crucial baseline information for accurate diagnosis and optimal treatment strategies. Most of these diagnostics can be performed on an outpatient basis.



Heart murmurs are often detected on routine physical examination with your family veterinarian, requiring the need for a complete cardiac evaluation including echocardiography. Echocardiography is the term used to describe an ultrasound of the heart. An ultrasound is obtained with harmless sound waves which are reflected back from the heart with the natural changes in tissue density giving a detailed account of the size, shape and function of all the different chambers and valves of the heart, as well as, direction, turbulence and velocity of blood flow. Proper techniques, technological capabilities and expertise are essential for the proper diagnosis and thereby the most beneficial treatment recommendations.


Arrhythmias, or irregular heart rhythms, are frequently identified during routine exams by your family veterinarian, highlighting the need for a thorough cardiac assessment, including an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). This test tracks the heart’s electrical activity, crucial for diagnosing and managing heart rhythm issues. Electrocardiograms are typically performed during outpatient visits, but for continuous monitoring, a 24-hour Holter monitor or an Event recorder might be used. The Holter monitor continuously records the heart’s activity for a full day, providing a detailed overview of arrhythmias. The Event recorder, worn for a longer period, is activated during symptoms to capture specific arrhythmic events, offering insights into irregular heartbeats in the patient’s usual environment.


Thoracic radiographs (also called x-rays) are essential to evaluate a patient’s lungs, also called the pulmonary system. Radiographs are used to diagnose congestive heart failure, or fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema. Thoracic radiographs can also be used to asses the size and shape of the heart.

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is considered the fourth vital sign after temperature, pulse and respiration rate and has been referred to as the silent killer in human medicine. Blood pressure plays a pivotal role in how the heart is able to function. A cardiac physical examination is not complete without a blood pressure.


Medical Therapy

Most common therapeutic interventions are given on a long term outpatient basis. Potential medical options are discussed after appropriate diagnostics are performed and a diagnosis is obtained. During your appointment, we will discuss prognosis with and without medical therapy, desired results and potential side effects of each medication. A follow-up schedule for recheck appointments, both with your family veterinarian and our Cardiology Team will be outlined.


There are some cardiac emergencies that can require urgent hospitalization and critical stabilization in an oxygen enriched environment, which often requires an emergency and 24-hour hospital. Coast to Coast Cardiology works with multiple 24-hour emergency and specialty centers who can provide optimal care for your pet if hospitalization is required.

Minimally-invasive interventional catheter based procedures

There are a number of cardiac conditions that may require a procedural intervention. The most common procedures performed are Patent Ductus Arteriosus occlusion, Pulmonic Stenosis balloon valvuloplasty, and Pacemaker implantation. These procedures are performed with our human grade Fluoroscopy unit, a diagnostic modality similar to radiographs but which allows for a moving image, such as the heart and vessels, to be visualized. These procedures are considered minimally invasive due to the small catheters used and passed through the patient’s arteries and veins which allow access to the heart without having to open the chest cavity. Recovery times are significantly shorter for these minimally invasive procedures as compared to open-chest surgery.