For a comprehensive outline of the cardiology physical examination, see The Basic Cardiology Examination by Drs. Mandese and Estrada.
Recognizing subclinical heart disease in a healthy patient can be challenging. When heart disease is suspected, a patient may be referred to a board-certified cardiologist for diagnosis and treatment; however, specialist care may not be an option for all patients because of limited client finances, inconvenience of multiple veterinary appointments, and distance required to travel to a specialty practice. Primary care veterinarians should be proficient in performing cardiology evaluations and examinations to establish differential and definitive diagnoses in patients with cardiac conditions.