At the moment that a client feels that his pet is sick, the veterinary specialist must attend initially to the symptoms presented by the animal in question. When we refer to cardiovascular diseases, we distinguish several signs that can identify a cardiovascular problem such as: cough, dyspnea, tachypnea, intolerance to exercise … These symptoms do not have to offer a problem in the cardiovascular picture, but they do create an alert state that must be identified in order to solve it.
It is worth mentioning that it is convenient to analyze the patient’s medical history to find additional information that facilitates the diagnosis. On the other hand, it is decisive when performing the analysis of the clinical history, to know both the race, age and congenital diseases of the animal.
Once all the information in the clinical history has been identified, the physical examination must be imminent. This analysis should be considered as a constant practice in each annual visit or review, whether the animal is sick or not. In a guided manner, a physical study of the pet must be carried out following several steps:
|Inspection||Detect, observe and discriminate, in a precise way, abnormal symptoms in relation to normal anatomy.|
|Palpation||Examine the animal’s body using the sense of touch.|
|Percussion||Physical examination that, by means of small strokes with the fingers on the patient’s body surface, delimits the areas of different sounds.|
|Auscultation||Using phonendoscopes such as eKuore, abnormal or pathological sounds are assessed.|
Among all the previous steps, auscultation, preferably through phonendoscopes, is the procedure that shows the most reliability and effectiveness with respect to the results collected.
To identify normal heart sounds during the auscultation of canine and feline animals, it is noteworthy that the presence of two sounds and two silences of different duration is perceived. The first sound is due to the closing of the antriventricular valves and vibrations in the great arteries. The second sound, shorter and more acute than the first, occurs when the aortic and pulmonary valves are passively closed. Audio registered with eKuore. Normal auscultation of a canine:
But also, thanks to listening to auscultation, we can determine several sounds that present cardiac abnormalities:
Finding a murmur in the auscultation of the pet is the most common way to find a cardiac pathology.
The sound that is collected is due to the turbulence that occurs when the blood goes through some cardiac or vascular structures due to a disorder of the heart valves.
It is very important to listen in different body areas like in the left and right Hemithorax or cranial thoracic area.
The intensity of the murmur can be classified according to its volume in 6 degrees, from very weak to very strong.
One of the difficulties a veterinarian can find is the inability to hear a murmur in pets that present obesity, nervousness and panting, tachycardia or dyspnea.
ATTENUATED OR ABSENT SOUNDS:
It is a warning sign when we observe the absence of sound or when it is weak.
This can be produced by several cases:
– Pericardium effusion. Abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pericardial cavity.
– Pleural effusion: Pathological accumulation of fluid in the pleural space.
– Obese patients, body position, thoracic physiology.
They occur due to small alterations in the heart. They can be galloping sounds (the name you receive because it resembles the noise of a galloping horse) or when there is an unfolding of the first or second tonus.
The arrhythmias are caused by problems in the electrical conduction of the heart, and in the listening collected in the auscultation we find an alteration in the frequency and heart rate.
They can be slow, fast or an abnormal interleaving of sounds.