We are very fortunate to have access to veterinary specialists locally, including dentists, ophthomologists and surgeons. They are a great help to general practitioners like me, to give us further insight into specific body systems and diseases, and to provide advanced diagnostic tools and treatments, like ultrasounds, MRIs, and arthroscopy. Fletcher's cardiology appointment consisted of taking a history, a physical exam, blood pressure measurement, ECG and cardiac ultrasound. When Dr. Margiocco went over the possible reasons for the murmur and why doing an ultrasound is important, I was relieved to hear that everything I have been saying to my own clients is correct!
The ultrasound pinpoints to the murmur to a specific valve and looks at the thickness of the heart walls. This allows us to know if there is a disease of the heart muscle, which carries a worse prognosis. Fortunately, Fletcher's heart was functioning well, and the murmur was a caused by the degeneration of a single valve, which can happen with age.Veterinary Partner sums up what degenerative valve disease means. Fletcher's mitral valve is affected, the most common type.
|Fletcher hiking at 13 years old|