Take Me Through an Echo, Please
Lillie has her 5 month echo with a Cardiologist in a few days.
Since her original one was at a hospital after heart failure...I have
no idea how it works. I know that it is some kind of ultrasound of
the heart, but nothing else.
Do they take "snapshots" like xrays? Are the cats (please say no)
anesthetcized? Do they shave their fur? (This really worries me,
because Lillie had a VERY traumatic experience at a terrible vet's
office that shaved her, and she is supposed to be under NO STRESS per
her I.M. specilaist). Also...have any of you been there while they
do it? How long does it take? How do they have them lay while doing
it? Are they held down by anything (does the procedure hurt/stress
them?) Thank you to anyone who can take me through this.
An echocardiogram is generally used without sedation, depending on how
stressed the animal is. I believe the fur is always shaved. This is
the best test to determine heart function. It works on sound waves
that record images of the heart. They use a little 'wand' type thing
which produces the sound waves. They put a type of gel on this also.
We were always present when Gus was having his echo. It took about 20
minutes or so. They do take little pictures to read all the
It is a painless procedure. Usually there is a technician there to
help hold your animal. I always stood by Gus' head and tried to relax
him which was sometimes hard. Yes, they can get stressed out.
I would recommend keeping the fur they shave off. I did this one of
the last times and was really glad I did. It's the only big clump of
fur we have from our boy.
Don't be afraid to ask questions and write them down. I always wrote
things down because it's easy to get overwhelmed w/ all the info the
vets give you.
If you do a search on the web, you can get all sorts of detailed info
Good luck w/ Lillie.
Please support the Winn Feline Foundation - Feline Hypertrophic
In memory of Gus 10/31/98 - 6/13/03
The Best Kitty Ever
- It isn't necessary to shave a cat for an ultrasound. The other option
is to really soak the cat's belly and chest down with alcohol. It works
just as well. My vet shaves on procedures only when *absolutely*
necessary, since he is used to dealing with show cats and dogs.
(Talking not only about ultrasounds here!).
Minty (my cat with VSD ) is no show cat, but alcohol was still used for
his ultrasound when the specialist came in. There's no advantage to
When PKD clinics are organized in different areas, there are no Persians
shaved down, only alcohol is used. There, the ultrasound is for kidneys
and there is aLOT of fur... the results are sound.
I would ask about using alcohol for Lillie's ultrasound.
Tracey Tranen (t2)
Favoreats Freeze-Dried Pet Treats
Adorabir Birmans http://www.adorabir.com
- --- turkishangoraathumanesociety
> Okay...It is just like what you see when babies are
> Lillie has her 5 month echo with a Cardiologist in
> a few days.
> Since her original one was at a hospital after heart
> failure...I have
> no idea how it works. I know that it is some kind
> of ultrasound of
> the heart, but nothing else.
> Do they take "snapshots" like xrays?
ultrasounded only you see the pumping and there is a
band under the heart picture that has wavy lines that
tell the vet how the heart is beating. Then they take
snapshots that end up in the chart.
Are the cats
> (please say no)If at all possible they are not.
Do they shave their fur? (This
> really worries me,Most are shaved, Rudy does not get shaved just jelly
> because Lillie had a VERY traumatic experience at a
> terrible vet's
> office that shaved her, and she is supposed to be
> under NO STRESS per
> her I.M. specilaist).
on the instrument. The picture is supposed to be
better without fur but I've seen the ultrasound and I
can see it just fine, but Rudy is a DSH and even as
DSHs go his fur is not thick.
Also...have any of you been
> there while theyI am always there and help hold him. I am told to
> do it?
stroke his forehead because that is what mother cats
How long does it take?
About a half hour.
How do they have them
> lay while doingRudy is really small, the Dr. holds him up off the
table and then kind of guides him over the ultrasound
Are they held down by anything (does the
> procedure hurt/stressI have a feeling larger cats may need more restraint,
> them?) Thank you to anyone who can take me through
Rudy is too small to be able to get away so he doesn't
BTW Rudy now weighs 8.25 lbs. Must be middleage
Rudy: Male DSH brown tabby, feral mom, diagnosed 09-2002 at 19 months of age with idiopathic HCM: grade 2 murmur, hyperkinetic heart, borderline normal thickening, considered asymptomatic, 12.5 mg Atenolol 1x day, 1/2 baby aspirin 2x week administered via pilling
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I was allowed to stay with Deagan when he was having his done.
They did shave the hair off behind his front legs under his elbows,
it took about 30 seconds for each side and he really hates the
clippers too. He lay on a table with a cut out in the top and his
chest was over the cut out. They used the wand (and gel) from the
underside of the table and the whole procedure took about 1/2 hour.
I held one end, his head and front legs for the first half and his
back legs after we flipped him over. Deagan is *excellent* for the
procedure, he doesn't move (much to my relief and stress level). It
doesn't hurt at all, they just have to lie still on their side and
have a thing rubbed against them while they get petted. Sedation is
used only rarely from what I can gather.
The echo is shown on the screen with the blood flow capnography
at the bottom. They can measure wall thicknesses, outflow speeds and
the amount of blood turbulence present, and examine the functionality
of the valves. I completely agree with writing down all your
questions before you go, I forgot to ask at least half of mine and
came up with about 20 more after we left! Researching what all the
terms and dimensions mean is really good as well - wall thicknesses,
outflow tract speeds and resistances - something I wish I had done
beforehand. Finally, request that a copy of the report be sent to
you, and pull out the medical dictionary for interpretation!
jen, deagan and kira the dog