Cardiology Service

The Cardiology service provides referral consultations in cardiovascular medicine.  Our team consists of two faculty board-certified cardiologists, one DVSc graduate student (resident) who is a specialist in training, and two registered veterinary technicians. Our priority is our patients and our clients, including the pet owners and referring veterinarians. Companion animals with symptoms of heart disease, or with potential heart abnormalities detected by their primary care veterinarian, may be referred to our service for cardiac diagnostics and therapy. In addition, we provide cardiac screening services to breeders. The service functions within the HSC, a teaching hospital, incorporating undergraduate and graduate teaching in its clinical activities.  We also offer a number of clinical research programs, including clinical trials and screening programs for specific heart diseases.

We provide state-of-the-art comprehensive cardiovascular diagnostic services including echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound), electrocardiography (ECG), thoracic radiography, Holter recording (24-hour ECG monitoring) with in-house analysis, cardiac catheterization, and angiography. In addition, we provide cardiovascular case advice to veterinarians. Available therapies include medical therapy for congenital and acquired cardiac diseases, and minimally-invasive interventional therapies including pacemaker placement and catheter-based correction of congenital disorders (e.g. intravascular occlusion of patent ductus arteriosus, balloon valvuloplasty for pulmonic stenosis). We are one of very few centers in Canada providing minimally-invasive interventional techniques.

Specialized Equipment

GE Vivid E90 echocardiographic system, transesophageal echocardiography, GE ECG system, multiple Holter units for recording ambulatory 24-hour ECG, in-house Holter analysis system, fluoroscopy, ADI digital intracardiac pressure and ECG data acquisition system.

What to Expect

The majority of patients seen by the cardiology service are seen on an outpatient basis. Depending on what diagnostics are necessary, appointments and work-ups can take as little as 1-2 hours or up to the majority of the day. Echocardiograms and other cardiac diagnostics are provided on the same day as the cardiology appointments. Some patients with more serious cardiac disease, or those undergoing procedures, require hospitalization in the intensive care unit where they continue to be cared for by our service. We provide ongoing care of our patients through scheduled rechecks, and emergency services are also available. Undergraduate and graduate students (residents) are a part of the cardiology team, being involved in the appointments, diagnostic processes, and patient care under the supervision of the faculty cardiologist. Prompt and ongoing communication with the primary care veterinarians who have referred patients to our service is a priority so that ongoing patient care is optimal. 

Click here for Clinical Trials in Cardiology currently recruiting patients

Members of the Cardiology Service

Dr. Lynne O'Sullivan, DVM, DVSc, Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology)

Dr. Sonja Fonfara, DVM, Dr med vet, PhD, Diplomate ECVIM (Cardiology)

Dr. Shari Raheb, DVM, Cardiology DVSc (resident)