Echocardiography is a specialized ultrasound of the heart. The heart’s action and functions can be studied in detail with an echocardiogram. Several sets of measurements can be made that aid in the determination of the type and severity of an animal’s heart dysfunction. This information aids veterinarians in prescribing medications that can alleviate signs and symptoms of heart disease. It can also be used as a monitoring technique. Generally, no anesthesia is required, and the echocardiogram is completed during your office visit. Additional information (a database) may consist of chest x-rays, an electrocardiogram, and an analysis of any fluid present in the chest cavity. Patients are often referred because of known or suspected heart disease, fluid around the heart or in the chest cavity, evaluation of heart murmurs, and suspected chest or heart tumors.