Pet Cardiology with our Veterinarian in Rancho Cucamonga

Heart problems are some of the most common health conditions affecting cats and dogs. At Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital, we provide comprehensive cardiac care for pets in Rancho Cucamonga, Claremont, Alta Loma, Ontario, Upland, and the Inland Empire in CA.

Thanks to recent advances in cardiology and veterinary medicine, we are treating our cardiac pet patients with greater success than ever before. Our Rancho Cucamonga veterinarians Dr. Reid Shufer and Dr. Kathy Henderson, use high-tech diagnostics to detect, treat and monitor heart disease.  We use a combination of the following state-of-the-art diagnostics to help us detect, diagnose and treat your pet’s heart condition:

  • Echocardiography, including color, and spectral doppler evaluation for real-time evaluation of the heart function
  • Electrocardiography (ECG) to determine irregular heart rhythms.
  • Doppler blood pressure measurement   to check for high blood pressure which often accompanies heart disease.
  • Digitital radiography (X-rays) to evaluate the overall size of the heart and the condition of the lungs


Thanks to advanced treatments – many of which rival those used in human medicine – our cardiac pet patients continue to enjoy a healthy, active life.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Common Heart Conditions:

An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart rhythm most often seen in animals with heart disease. Depending on the type of arrhythmia, your pet’s heart may beat too fast or too slow, it may beat irregularly, or the electrical signal for the heartbeat may be coming from an atypical site. We use an electrocardiogram to diagnose the specific type of arrhythmia affecting your pet. An untreated arrhythmia may result in fainting and weakness, reduced blood flow (including to the lungs and kidneys), and even death. In some cases, we may need to take an echocardiogram to determine whether the heart itself is the cause for the arrhythmia. Common causes include atrial fibrillation and an atrioventricular block. If your pet is diagnosed with an arrhythmia, treatment typically includes medication to manage the irregular heartbeat and to reduce the risk for a dangerous arrhythmia that could lead to sudden death.

Congestive Heart Disease:

Congestive heart failure is another common cardiac condition affecting pets. When congestive heart failure occurs, the lungs will fill with fluid, resulting in difficulty breathing, coughing,  loss of appetite, and other health problems. We diagnose congestive heart failure based on the physical examination, chest radiographs (x-rays) and Echocardiography.  Echocardiograpy allows us to evaluate the beating heart in real time. Echocardiography employs ultrasound to allow us to determine the severity of valve leakage, wall thickness of the various chambers and the overall capacity of the heart.


Dr. Shufer has a special interest in cardiology and is able to perform echocardiograms with our new GE Versana Color-flow and spectral doppler ultrasound.  Although he is not board certified in cardiology, Dr. Shufer has been diagnosing and treating cardiac problems for over 30 years.  To ensure the accuracy of his findings, Dr. Shufer sends the results to a board certified cardiologist for review, so clients get the convenience of a local echocardiogram as well as dual interpretation of the results.

Treatment for congestive heart failure depends on its severity. Our primary treatment goal is to reduce the buildup of fluid in the lungs and improve the quality of blood being pumped from the heart to the lungs. Several different types of medications can be beneficial for treating congestive heart failure. Diet modification, such as reducing salt intake, is also helpful.

Click this link to view a presentation on heart disease to familiarize yourself with the topic.

For more information on pet cardiac condition diagnosis and treatment, or to schedule an echocardiogram for  your pet,  call Alta Rancho Pet & Bird Hospital today at (909) 980-3575.