Cardiology is concerned with the cardiovascular system, that is, the heart and blood vessels. When a heart murmur or arrhythmia is detected on cardiac auscultation, further investigation is necessary.
These tests are echocardiography, which is an ultrasound of the heart to see the heart valves, the heart muscle, the different chambers of the heart, and electrocardiography (ECG), which looks at the rhythm of the heart.
These two examinations are done in the standing horse without sedation. Specialized equipment is required, so it is an examination that is performed at the clinic. With the help of these examinations, it is possible to determine the origin of the murmur or arrhythmia and to give an appropriate treatment and prognosis for life and sports.
When a cardiac arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat, is suspected, an electrocardiogram at work is necessary. The horse is then equipped with several electrodes during its work. The ECG tracings are then analyzed to diagnose any abnormality.
An echocardiogram is also a test that can be performed in foals when they have an audible heart murmur on auscultation.
The Meslay Equine Clinic treats horses with atrial fibrillation using defibrillation.
For more information on this procedure, contact the clinic.