skip to Main Content

Cardiology

Our Cardiology Specialists

Marc Kraus

DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Michael Miller

MS, VMD, ABVP

Megan Poad

VMD, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Risa Roland

DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Your pet may be referred for cardiac consultation if your veterinarian suspects an underlying heart condition is present or a heart condition has been diagnosed and may help evaluate the heart prior to treatment of other diseases in the body that may affect the heart. Heart disease may be suspected based on your pet’s symptoms (coughing, rapid or difficult breathing, fainting) or abnormal physical examination findings (heart murmer or abnormal heart rhythm). Heart disease may lead to heart failure and early evaluation can be very important.

The cardiology service offers expertise in heart disease evaluation and diagnosis, heart failure and arrhythmia management and interventional cardiology. We specialize in acquired cardiac diseases (such as chronic valvular disease, dilated cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), as well as cardiac manifestations of systemic disease. We are proficient in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease, including catheter-based treatment of patent ductus arteriousus and pulmonic stenosis as an alternative to surgery. We also offer interventional management of acquired diseases such as tracheal collapse and portosystemic shunts. Most importantly, we provide a love for the field, thorough and compassionate patient care and open communication with our referring veterinarians. We’re available for consultation with all in-house veterinary services and we are happy to consult with referring veterinarians over the phone about cardiac cases!

Your appointment will include a cardiac history evaluation, a complete cardiac physical examination, thorough explanation of diagnostic test results, an explanation of the disease and prognosis, and an explanation of drug therapy and side effects.

Our Diagnostic Capabilities Include:

Echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound)

Electrocardiography (ECG)

Radiographic Interpretation

Blood pressure management

Holter monitoring

Cardiac Interventional Procedures:

Diagnostic fluoroscopy

Diagnostic angiography

Patent ductus arteriosus embolization

Balloon valvuloplasty

Pacemaker implantation

Heartworm retrieval

Arterio-venous fistula embolization

Endomyocardial biopsy

Catheter retrieval

Meet Our Cardiology Specialists

Hear from two of MVA’s Cardiologists as they speak about the specialty.

Transcript

Dr. Risa Roland: “Cardiologist specialty is actually pretty fantastic. When we see puppies or kitties that have congenital cardiac abnormalities, sometimes we can fix those abnormalities, or palliate them, so that they have a normal quality and quantity of life, so that’s really exciting. And then when we have older animals, it’s actually quite nice as well, because we’ve got animal that a very sick hearts, but we can often give them a good quality of life, for months to even years, so the goal is to give them as much time, and make them feel as fantastic as I can, for as long as I can. So, it’s actually kind of a nice little specialty to have, ’cause it fixes some things, and it makes some things feel better for a period of time, so it’s kinda warm and fuzzy.”

Dr. Michael Miller: “Many cases come to me with symptoms of suspected heart disease, and after our diagnostic workup, we find out that the heart is not the problem. And very often, in my echocardiograms, I will look at other parts of the body to make sure that there’s no congestion or fluid backup, and I’ll see something. And that will allow me to offer other specialists to fine tune what we see. For instance, I would refer to a radiologist, to detect cancer, or tumor cells in the abdomen, and there the radiologist would refer them to one of our surgeons here, for definitive surgery. So, it’s very rewarding, because very often it turns out not to be a heart case, but we’re able to fine tune what the diagnosis is, and to help that patient, even though it turns out to be something not from our specialty.”

Dr. Risa Roland: “It’s not only a service in and of itself, but it’s also a consultation service. So, anytime you have an animal that has some sort of abnormality, a heart murmur, an abnormal heartbeat or what have you, that means, let’s say, surgery with Dr. Cavill, or one of the other surgeons, or internal medicine that has to give chemotherapy agents that effect the heart, they always need consultations with cardiologists first to make sure things are safe and if they’re not safe, how to go about changing therapies to make it safe for that animal. So, it’s actually very integral in veterinary medicine as a whole, and interacts with all of the specialties almost on a daily basis.”

Dr. Michael Miller: “Clients don’t want their pets to suffer, they’re very concerned not only about the diagnosis and what the problem is, but about their pet’s suffering. And my goal is to, again, diagnose the problem, with attempted medical treatment, or surgical treatment if necessary, but, again, to really focus on giving their pet the best quality of life possible. I let them know that we’re on the same page, I don’t want their pet to suffer, we’re not gonna do anything experimental, all of our medicines are established in the field, with the goal of giving their pet the best quality of life.”

Dr. Risa Roland: “Metropolitan is fantastic, because we have all the specialties here, and everyone works really really well together. And so, you never feel as if you’ve got a client on the cardiology service, versus the surgery service, versus internal medicine versus derm, you know at any one time if something changes with that patient, as often times it does, you know, I’ve got a chronic cardiology patient that needs a derm consult, I know that they’re gonna get to see the dermatologist. So it’s kinda nice that way, because there’s cohesiveness in each one of your cases. And it’s just a fun place to be, everyone’s really nice to each other, and we work really well with each other. We joke around, we have a good time. And at the same time we practice really good, high quality medicine, which is what, you know, we signed up for veterinary medicine to do.”