Cardiology - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Clients
Can I visit my pet?
You may visit your pet at any time that you and the clinician agree upon. During certain diagnostic or surgical procedures, we may not be able to let you visit your pet because of safety concerns for you (e.g. radiation safety) or your pet.
How risky is heart surgery?
Cardiac catheterization is minimally invasive, and the NCSU cardiology service has an outstanding track record of patient safety during cardiac catheterization. Any anesthetic procedure, and all cardiac procedures specifically, present a small but potentially significant risk to the health and life of the patient. A board certified anesthesiologist will be in charge of your pet's anesthetic needs and care under anesthesia, if needed. The NCSU anesthesia service provides state-of-the-art anesthetic monitoring to minimize risks to patients undergoing surgery. Patients with congestive heart failure, severe ventricular hypertophy, or certain concurrent medical conditions are at a higher risk for anesthetic or surgical complications. The exact nature of any potential complications that might arise as a result of an intervention or anesthesia will be discussed with you by the cardiologist before hospitalization, and you will have a chance to speak frankly with him or her regarding any questions or fears you may have.
Why do I seem to get a different cardiologist each time I come to NCSU?
The three senior cardiology clinicians all have some time off clinics for didactic teaching and research. Each of them will be available on clinics for an average of seventeen weeks per year, rotating about every two weeks. The cardiology service will try to schedule appointments with the cardiologist who has previously seen your pet, but this will not always be possible.
Can you see my pet for other health problems and vaccinations?
The NC State Veterinary Hospital does not provide routine and preventive care for your pet. Your pet should be up to date on all vaccinations for an appointment with us. You should contact your regular veterinarian for these services. As a teaching hospital, we limit our services to referral cases, which will enable our students to see various and often complex cases and will give them the experience to excel as veterinarians in the future.
Should my pet fast before the appointment?
We recommend removing your pet's food for about 12 hours before your appointment time. If your pet is debilitated or is a puppy or kitten, feed as usual. Always allow access to fresh water.
Should I give my pet medications before the appointment?
Please continue to give any medications as directed by your veterinarian or cardiologist on the day of the appointment, even if you know that sedation or anesthesia is planned unless you have been specifically directed by someone from the cardiology service to withhold particular medications.