“One of the questions we are commonly asked is how we sedate cats for heart scans, but the truth is we usually don’t need too! “
Here at Heartvets we believe that all cats ( and dogs ) should be treated as our own, and a gentle snuggle/cuddle is all they need to feel safe and calm while having their heart scan. We ensure the room is quiet, with nobody entering or leaving, and we are careful to speak in quiet voices as loud sudden noises can be unsettling for cats. The patient is allowed time to adjust to the new surroundings in their basket with an open door, and being curious, most cats will come out and explore when they are ready.
We give them a gentle cuddle on a soft bed whilst using extremely quiet clippers and gel to prepare the skin on each side of the chest wall. With careful handling, a quiet environment and low lighting we can position most cats on their side for the scan. Then, due to the high-spec cardiac ultrasound machines we use, our cardiologists can quickly acquire all the necessary images, so that the time the cat needs to be restrained is minimal (the measurements are performed afterwards offline).
Due to the variable and often chronic nature of feline heart disease it is particularly important to us that our cats have a good experience when they come in and see us, as they often need to come back for regular monitoring. We are very proud of our ‘cat friendly’ approach and we find that most cats become more relaxed with subsequent visits – so hopefully we are doing something right!