Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 8:00am - 8:00pm

Dog and Cat Cardiology

Dr Lynette D'Urso, DVM, DACVIM (cardiology)

Dr. D'Urso grew up in New England, completed undergraduate studies at Gettysburg College, then graduated from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. She completed a year internship at the University of Guelph in Canada, followed by a three year residency in veterinary cardiology in Los Angeles at the California Animal Hospital. Dr. D'Urso was boarded in cardiology in 2005. She is currently providing mobile cardiology services to veterinarians including physical exam, echocardiograms, ECG's, treatment and follow-up recommendations. 

Why does my dog/cat need a cardiologist?

Cardiac abnormalities, if left untreated, can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF) which is a build up of fluid in the lungs or other parts of the body. If we can catch heart disease before CHF develops then medication can help delay going into heart failure. If a patient is already in heart failure, medications can help to clear the fluid and help with discomfort and extend quality and quantity of life.

A murmur is a common finding during an exam that strongly indicates there is an abnormality in the heart which is causing turbulent blood flow. This abnormality may or may not be a problem for your pet that necessitates medication. The echocardiogram (echo) is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that allows us to determine the cause of the murmur and if there are structural or functionally significant changes in the heart. 

Clinical signs you may see that could indicate underlying heart disease include coughing, increased breathing rate or effort with or without exercise, weakness or fainting, or general lethargy. 


Echocardiogram This is an ultrasound of the heart used to characterize abnormalities in structure and function. it will determine the source of a murmur or congestive heart failure. It is also used to determine if a pet is at risk for anesthesia if needed for a dental cleaning or other procedure.

There is no sedation or shaving fur for the procedure, only gel or alcohol is used on the fur which can be easily wiped off and is non-toxic if your pet licks it off. 

6 Lead Electrocardiogram (ECG) This is a 6 lead recording of the electrical activity of the heart to determine if there is an arrhythmia present. There is no sedation or shaving for the procedure. 

Medication and follow-up recommendations  Based on the physical exam as well as the echocardiogram and/or ECG results, recommendations will be made pertaining to medications and follow up that is advised for the individual patient, including anesthetic protocols and risks and future rechecks.