What can I expect during a visit?

You may follow your normal routine for medications and feeding that day, unless it has been arranged in advance that your pet will need to be sedated or anaesthetised for a procedure. Procedures that require anaesthesia include rhinoscospy, bronchoscopy and CT. If you are in any doubt please phone 0410 363 620.

If we are not seeing you at your regular vets please bring along a list of all medication strengths and dosages or the pill vials.  Most of the time, records can be faxed or emailed to us from your primary care veterinarian prior to the appointment.  If your pet has had any X-rays taken recently, please bring those with you as well, as they cannot be faxed. 

If you are not being seen at your regular vets please arrive to your appointment approximately 10 minutes early to complete any necessary paperwork.

Under most circumstances you will be able to stay with your pet through the entire appointment.  

Once in the exam room, Richard will take a full history of your pet, identifying any clinical signs that you may have detected and medications that your pet has been prescribed. Then Richard will perform a focused cardiac and respiratory examination on your pet. 

After the examination and discussion if heart disease is suspected an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) will likely be done on your pet. 

The echocardiogram is not painful and takes from 20-30 minutes in most cases.  Due to our expertise and the latest level of technology in our machines, the echocardiogram gives us valuable information into the location, type, and severity of heart disease.  

The procedure involves your pet lying down on a table with you present for comfort.  An ultrasound probe is placed on the chest against the heart through a hole in the table.  A small patch of hair behind the elbow may shaved for the procedure and the area wet down with alcohol and ultrasound gel. Very large dogs, or patients with respiratory distress may have the procedure performed standing or sitting if they are more comfortable. 

Richard will explain the echocardiogram as it is being performed and then further discuss the findings after the echo is completed.  A full report will be provided to your family veterinarian.  

In some cases further tests or procedures such as ECG, radiographs, or blood work will be recommended. 

If respiratory disease has been identified radiographs may be taken while you wait and further diagnostics such as rhinoscopy/bronchoscopy (a camera to look into the nose/lungs) or a CT scan may be discussed. 

We welcome your progress reports, questions and concerns at any time and will maintain an ongoing relationship with your primary care doctor to ensure the best service for you and the best care for your pet. 

© CardioRespiratory Pet Referrals Victoria 2012