What to Expect: Initial Consultation & Benefits

Why has my pet been referred to CVCA?

CVCA is the world’s largest veterinary cardiology service offering access to:

  • Board-certified cardiologists
  • Experience – 32.000 cardiac cases seen annually within our practice
  • 27 locations in California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Virginia
  • State-of-the-art pediatric echocardiography with the latest software and imaging technology
  • A collaborative partnership with your primary care veterinarian
  • Coordination of urgent and same day referrals
  • Echocardiograms and ECGs performed with you present to comfort your pet and aid in the explanation of your pet’s condition
  • Detailed visit summary with diagnosis, treatment plan, prognosis, and follow up care recommendations given at visit

Early, accurate diagnosis and collaboration between the cardiologist and primary care veterinarian result in the best outcome for your pet and peace of mind for you.

What can I expect during a visit?

Prior to the Appointment:

We encourage you to fill out a New Patient Registration Form ahead of time.

Most of the time, records can be faxed to us from your Primary Care Veterinarian prior to your appointment.

Please bring along a list of all medication strengths and dosages or the pill vials. You may follow your normal routine for medications and feeding that day, unless it has been arranged in advance that your pet will need to be sedated for the procedure (very few patients require sedation).

If your pet has had any X-Rays taken recently, please bring those with you as well, as they cannot be faxed.

Check-in for Appointment:

Arrive approximately 10 minutes early.

CVCA will verify, or provide you with, a New Patient Registration Form. Returning clients, CVCA will take a few moments to confirm your contact information.


  1. A blood pressure reading may be performed by the veterinary nurse, depending on the age of your pet and his or her current medications.
  2. The board-certified cardiologists or cardiology resident will perform a focused cardiac examination on your pet. Under most circumstances, owners will stay with their pets during the appointment.

After the Exam, the Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) will be done. The echocardiogram is not painful and takes about 15 – 25 minutes in most cases.

  1. The doctor will explain the echocardiogram as it is being performed and then further discuss the findings after the echo is completed. (Due to our doctor’s expertise and the latest level of technology with our equipment, the echocardiogram gives us valuable information on the location, type, and severity of heart disease.)
  2. The exam involves your pet lying down on a table, with you present for comfort, and an ultrasound probe is placed on the chest against the heart through a hole in the table.

Note – very large dogs, or patients with respiratory distress, may have the procedure performed standing or sitting if they are more comfortable.

Completion of the Exam

You will be given a printed visit summary with the diagnosis, treatment recommendations and follow up care. A full report will be forwarded to your primary care veterinarian the same day.

Checklist of items to bring to your CVCA Appointment:

  • Welcome to CVCA Form
  • Medical records
  • Current medication
  • Blood test results
  • ECG or X-rays that may have recently been performed on your pet

After your appointment, we welcome progress reports, questions and concerns at any time and will maintain an ongoing relationship with your primary care veterinarian to ensure the best service for you and the best care for your pet.

Initial Consultation Includes Multiple Services for One Price

In addition to the services listed above, you also get:

  • Unlimited Follow Up Communication–includes primary care veterinarian and clients
  • Clients Receive at Least one hour of our time-during the appointment to ensure accurate diagnosis, complete communication and an optimal treatment plan for the family

Benefits to Using CVCA

Saving Money – keeping the clients out of the ER with early accurate diagnosis is less expensive overall

Hesitant About Funds? – potential clients can contact CVCA and we will talk through payment options

Expertise in Complicated Cases – primary care veterinarian and clients have access to 18 Board Certified Cardiologists and 5 Residents that round on cases.

No telemedicine

After Evaluation – CVCA directs clients back to the primary care veterinarian for all follow ups and send them reminders to return to you for follow up exams, labwork, etc.