Frequently Asked Questions:
Why choose Southeast Veterinary Cardiology?
SEVC is here to serve you and your clients, allowing you to have direct input from a board-certified cardiologist to help you manage heart disease, inside the walls of your clinic - there's no referral to outside hospitals needed! The echocardiogram is performed only by a board-certified cardiologist using the latest generation of portable cardiac ultrasounds (GE Vivid iq). Our goal is to provide you with accurate and timely cardiac consultations and give you the detailed recommendations you need to manage your cardiac patients long term. SEVC is also available to answer future case questions as they arise during long-term management.
What is a board-certified veterinary cardiologist?
Board-certified veterinary cardiologists have chosen to pursue further training after graduating veterinary school. Typically, this includes 1 year of post-DVM internship (if not more) and 3-4 years of a cardiology residency. During this time, the focus of learning is on cardiac physiology (how the heart works in health and disease), cardiac imaging (ultrasound/echocardiography, x-ray, CT, and MRI), and treatment/management of cardiac disease - both with medicine as well as cardiac catheterization. During the residency, the individual must pass two board exams to become board-certified in cardiology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). Due to this experience, cardiologists will be able to perform the most complete and accurate cardiac evaluations in your clinic, providing you with the best help with managing your heart-related cases (as compared to traveling ultrasound technicians or non-cardiologist DVMs/specialists).
To know if an individual is boarded in cardiology, look for DACVIM (Cardiology) after their veterinary degree.
How do I schedule echocardiogram at my clinic?
For veterinarians - Please use the referral form at the bottom of the main page to provide the necessary information to schedule a consultation. Please include all pertinent historical information, particularly if medications are given and complete dosing information. SEVC will then contact you via the email address you provide to determine the consultation timing - please make sure you provide a monitored email address. Consultations will typically be made based on your clinic’s location and when we will be in the area. We will give you an estimated time-frame of arrival, please make sure the pet is dropped off at your clinic at least 1-2 hours prior to this time.
**If your patient is unstable or has a very serious condition like pericardial effusion, then immediate referral to a hospital with 24-hour emergency care is recommended (University of Georgia or BluePearl).
For pet owners – contact your primary care veterinarian to schedule your pet’s consultation at their clinic with Southeast Veterinary Cardiology; we are a referral-only service. We do not schedule consultations directly with pet owners or do in-home evaluations.
***Please note that we can only evaluate pets at their established primary care veterinarian office - SEVC cannot facilitate consultations at clinics that have not evaluated your pet previously.***
Do you meet directly with pet owners?
Not at this time - to help SEVC efficiently service a large number and area of veterinary clinics, we currently only provide direct consultation with the referring veterinarian. The results of all diagnostics performed will be given to your primary care veterinarian in the form of a detailed consultation report, and this information will be relayed to the pet owner by the primary care veterinarian. To further help relay information about cardiac disease and therapy, client handouts will be provided for many diseases.
What services do you offer and what are your fees?
**For veterinary clinics only** Please contact us to receive a complete list of our services and associated fees. Fees vary depending on the service selected. If you are a pet owner, please contact your primary care veterinarian for the cost of a cardiac evaluation by SEVC.
What diagnostics are required prior to the consultation?
No specific diagnostics are required to schedule a consultation.
If any respiratory signs are present (coughing or difficulty breathing) - Thoracic radiographs (x-rays, 3 view if possible) are strongly recommended, ideally prior to consultation. Without thoracic x-rays, we cannot determine if pulmonary edema (CHF fluid) is present in the lungs or not, echocardiogram is not a reliable test to determine if congestive heart failure is active.
Bloodwork can be performed if cardiac medications are being taken or other signs like collapsing/fainting, or arrhythmias are noted.
All pets will receive a review of the previous pertinent medical history related to cardiac disease, cardiovascular exam, and echocardiogram. Please have this information readily available and a member of the veterinary care team familiar with the case available to discuss history, if needed. Without a complete history and current medication information, it is very difficult to give accurate and helpful future treatment recommendations.
Other tests may be performed as needed based on clinical signs or test results. Feel free to send test results for upcoming appointments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you offer OFA certification for breeding dogs/cats?
SEVC does some limited OFA certification echocardiograms (advanced OFA clearance), only in group screening clinics organized by breeding groups/kennel clubs. We do not usually perform OFA evaluations for a small number of animals (<12) outside of these screening clinics. For more information, or if you are a breeding organization and would like to discuss scheduling a screening clinic, please email email@example.com - include the breed(s) of dog/cat, the number to be evaluated, the desired date(s) of the clinic, your contact info/location, and your primary veterinarian's name and clinic.