Echocardiography: It is an exceptionally useful technique for diagnosing cardiovascular diseases, particularly in small animals. It is noninvasive and provides a wealth of data concerning cardiac morphology and function. A well performed echocardiographic study coupled with findings from the physical examination of patient, electrocardiogram and radiography aids in definite diagnosis of cardiac diseases. However, it relies on the proper acquisition and interpretation of results by an examiner who should be familiar with the principles, capabilities and limitations of ultrasound imaging.
All echocardiography units are equipped with M-mode and 2 dimensional (2D) sector scanning capabilities. Higher end units also provide spectral and colour flow Doppler imaging. M-mode echocardiography is one of the oldest imaging modalities and its application toward cardiac evaluation is extensive. The 2D sector scanning displays cardiac structures in a familiar anatomic fashion and is more intuitive than the M-mode study and it forms the basis of diagnostic echocardiography. Doppler echocardiography reveals the pattern of blood flow within the cardiac chambers and great vessels and is typically separated in to spectral and colour flow modalities.