Heart in focus: Basic echocardiography in dogs and cats

9 weeksCardiology11 CPD hours

This veterinary thought exchange online tutored course is aimed at veterinarians in practice that have little to no experience of echocardiography.

In this 9-week course we will cover everything from acquisition of an echocardiographic examination through to interpretation of more common disease processes that can be diagnosed from right-sided views. We will cover Doppler echocardiography briefly, but otherwise focus will be on both B and M-mode. Diseases covered will include acquired heart disease in the cat and dog. Congenital heart disease will not be discussed as this requires more advanced understanding of Doppler and is beyond the scope of this particular course.

The course is run by our very own Liz Bode (EBVS and RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Cardiology). It runs over a nine-week period and takes around 11 hours to complete. The course is delivered via video webinars and supplemented with a real-time discussion forum, giving you the opportunity to ask questions or discuss cases you may be facing in your practice.

(Access to this course is for 12 months from the start of the course going live on our website. The discussion forum will be monitored for the course duration only).

Course Content

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Lesson 1: Introduction to echocardiography 1 Quiz Available on 18/11/2024 8:00 am 18/11/2024
learning outcomes
  • Describe how ultrasound waves are generated.
  • Choose the correct probe and settings for your echocardiography examinations.
  • Describe patient preparation.
  • Summarise the different ways that echo images can be optimised through use of your machine’s buttons and dials.
Lesson 2: Introduction to cardiovascular anatomy and physiology; the important stuff for interpreting echocardiography 1 Quiz Available on 25/11/2024 8:00 am 25/11/2024
learning outcomes
  • Review gross cardiac anatomy.
  • Explain important concepts of cardiovascular physiology including terms such as afterload and preload, the cardiac cycle, systolic function and wall stress.
  • Name certain conditions that we might see in cats and dogs and how they relate to these concepts.
Lesson 3: Basic review of Doppler echocardiography: what is it and when to use it 1 Quiz Available on 02/12/2024 8:00 am 02/12/2024
learning outcomes
  • List the different types of Doppler echocardiography.
  • Recall when to use the different types of Doppler echocardiography.
  • Calculate basic pressure gradients between chambers in the heart.
Lesson 4: The right-sided examination; what views are what? 1 Quiz Available on 09/12/2024 8:00 am 09/12/2024
learning outcomes
  • List the standard views of the right-sided examination.
  • Understand how we obtain these images.
  • Describe what we can see on each of the views discussed.
Lesson 5: Measurements from the right side; what we do and what they mean 1 Quiz Available on 16/12/2024 8:00 am 16/12/2024
learning outcomes
  • Describe what measurements we use to answer specific questions.
  • Explain how we obtain certain measurements.
  • Determine what is normal and what isn’t based on these measurements.
Lesson 6: Part 1: Echocardiography of acquired disease in the dog 1 Quiz Available on 23/12/2024 8:00 am 23/12/2024
learning outcomes
  • Determine from your echocardiography examination when a dog has MMVD.
  • Determine from your echocardiography examination when a dog has DCM.
  • Outline the diagnostic approach to these cases from the echocardiography examination to recommending further tests.
Lesson 7: Part 2: Echocardiography of acquired disease in the dog 1 Quiz Available on 30/12/2024 8:00 am 30/12/2024
learning outcomes
  • Demonstrate your ability to diagnose pericardial disease and know when to treat it.
  • Identify cardiac tamponade.
  • Describe how to perform effective pericardiocentesis and further diagnostic tests associated with pericardial disease.
  • Review criteria for the diagnosis of endocarditis.
  • Outline changes on echocardiography that might be associated with pulmonary hypertension.
Lesson 8: Echocardiography of acquired disease in the cat 1 Quiz Available on 06/01/2025 8:00 am 06/01/2025
learning outcomes
  • Categorise feline heart disease based on its echocardiographic appearance.
  • Determine when a cat requires treatment for heart disease.

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