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Cardiology is the clinical specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of heart and large blood vessel diseases. The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialty of Cardiology (ACVIM Cardiology) is the recognized governing body for the specialty and is responsible for establishing training requirements, evaluating and accrediting training programs, and examining and certifying veterinary cardiologists. Residents are provided training in understanding how to obtain a thorough history and perform complete examinations, with particular emphasis on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Students will gain experience in identifying, defining, and prioritizing health problems. They will learn to develop and initiate rational diagnostic and therapeutic plans and to communicate these plans and results to the client. Students will also perform various diagnostic procedures (e.g., blood pressure measurement, ECG, thoracic radiographs, transtracheal aspiration , etc.).

Residents also learn to interpret results of diagnostic tests and determine their importance to the patient and client. They will also communicate with clinicians, clients, veterinary technicians and staff, fellow students, and referring veterinarians in an appropriate and effective manner. In addition, this program provides the opportunity to learn the presenting signs, historical findings, breed predilections, methods of diagnosis, and medical and surgical interventions for the most commonly seen cardio respiratory conditions.

To gain board certification in cardiology, a licensed veterinarian must first complete a minimum of three years of accredited advanced training after graduation and pass a series of rigorous examinations administered by the ACVIM. As part of their training program, board-certified veterinary cardiologists receive specific and extensive training in a variety of diagnostic imaging techniques (including echocardiography and angiography) as well as interventional and medical treatments for heart and vascular diseases.

The NC State Cardiology Service has six board-certified veterinary cardiologists on staff and is an accredited residency training center of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialty of Cardiology.

Learn about our cardiology clinical service

The Cardiology Service at NC State Veterinary Hospital offers a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services to clients whose animals are suspected of having heart disease.

students examining dog patient


  • Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (Cardiology/Neurology): Are you interested in learning more about cardiomyopathies (diseases of the heart muscle)? DNA testing is available for the following breeds: Feline HCM (Maine Coon, Ragdolls) or Canine cardiomyopathies (Boxer, Doberman).
  • The Cardiology Care Network: In addition to the medical and surgical services available directly through the NC State Cardiology Service, the Cardiology Care Network devotes significant resources to helping veterinarians in private practice provide optimal care for pets with heart disease.
  • NC State Cardiology Clinical Trials: Clinical trials for cardiology specialty