About my referral
Once your vet has requested an assessment by one of our cardiologists, we will contact you directly to arrange an appointment at your most convenient clinic, depending on how urgently your pet needs to be seen. Initial consultations are in the mornings and any procedures such as heart scans or ECGs will usually be performed the same day.
The cardiologist will review the case details and any additional information from your vet, and then sit down with you for a consultation which typically lasts around 30 minutes. During this time your pet will be examined and the options for investigation and potential treatment will be discussed, along with an estimate of cost for any procedures. Most patients will require an ultrasound scan (to look at moving pictures of the heart beating) and/or and ECG (recording of the electrical activity of the heart). Both tests are non-invasive and usually performed without sedation.
When you return to collect your pet later that day the cardiologist will discuss the results of any tests, and form a plan for ongoing treatment and monitoring. We will then provide both you and your vet with a written report of our findings and treatment recommendations. We will update you with any further results (e.g. blood tests) as they become available.
Below are some questions which are frequently asked by owners before their appointment:
Do I need to starve my pet before the appointment?
Yes it is best not to give them breakfast on the morning of the appointment, unless a small amount of food is needed with medication. Water can be offered as normal. Although many of our patients do not require any sedation, feeding may also interfere with blood test results so is best avoided
Should I give medication on the morning of the appointment?
Yes. please give medication as prescribed your vet unless this has been specifically advised against by one of our cardiologists.
Will my pet have hair clipped?
Yes hair clipping is usually necessary, although for cardiac ultrasound scans this is usually minimal. Further hair clipping may be needed for Holter monitoring (wearing a portable ECG monitor) or abdominal scanning/ blood tests.
How long will it take?
The initial appointment is usually around 30 minutes and then your pet will be admitted to the clinic for a few hours at least. Therefore it is best to plan to stay locally for the day, or arrange to come back for an appointment in the afternoon for test results.
What will my pet's investigation and treatment cost?
It is usually possible to give you an approximate estimate before your appointment, however the cardiologist will be able to more accurately discuss costs of investigation after examining your pet. Fees are payable on the day, to the clinic where your pet is seen. If you have pet insurance then the insurance company will reimburse the cost to you and we will complete the appropriate forms without additional charge. In some cases a direct payment by the insurance company may be possible but this must be agreed by prior arrangement. Please let us know if you would like more information regarding payment or insurance claims.