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VTH Specialists Initiate National Cardiology Care Network

Veterinary cardiologists at North Carolina State University have created an interactive heart-care resource to help veterinarians and pet owners across the country support dogs and cats with heart disease.

The NC State Cardiology Care Network, developed by clinicians with the Cardiology Service at NC State’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), provides a range of educational tools, advanced diagnostics, consultative services and pioneering treatment options to improve the lives of dogs and cats suffering from various heart conditions.

“The cardiology care network is the first of its kind for veterinary patients,” says Dr. Bruce Keene, a professor of cardiology at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We designed the network to serve as a personalized resource for veterinarians and their clients with the goal of improving both the inpatient and outpatient management of pets with heart disease. The network team will coordinate with the consulting veterinarian and pet owner to access advanced cardiac services and ensure optimal care for the patient.”

(Read about the Cardiology Care Network in the NC State Bulletin article.)

The cardiology care network utilizes a web-based platform to provide users access to online patient monitoring tools and other cardiology resources. Participating in the network provides veterinarians with the opportunity to work closely with the VTH Cardiology Service team to develop individual treatment plans that offer the best “therapeutic fit” for both patients and pet owners.

According to Dr. Keene, the NC State Cardiology Care Network is a coordinated, multidisciplinary team made up of veterinary cardiologists, critical care veterinarians, specialized technicians, pharmacists, nutritionists and other veterinary specialists. The network offers:

  • Access to the proprietary online cardiovascular drug and dosage calculator;
  • Telephone and e-consultation with the cardiology team;
  • Referrals to the VTH Cardiology Service when appropriate, including the Heart Failure Clinic;
  • Coordinated follow-up care between the VTH Cardiology Service and referring practices;
  • Access to innovative clinical trials at for appropriate patients;
  • Continuing cardiology education.

 “Our mission is to help both veterinarians and pet owners provide optimal care to their canine and feline patients with heart disease by providing them with the resources they need to make and implement comprehensive, individualized treatment and monitoring plans” says Dr. Keene.

One of the important and popular features of the network is the online drug and dosage calculator that helps veterinarians more accurately determine the currently recommended dosage of frequently prescribed heart medications.

“The drug dosage calculator makes it easy for a veterinarian to determine the correct dosage of more than 40 oral or injectable medications for dogs and more than 25 oral and injectable medications for cats, based on the weight of the patient,” says Dr. Keene. “In addition, the calculator provides a brief summary of the drug’s mechanism of action, available formulations, indications, contraindications and potential interactions. It’s one of the most important tools available to help veterinarians effectively manage their patients with heart disease.”

The Cardiology Care Network was made possible in part by an educational grant from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI). According to Lara Sheeley, BIVI senior brand manager, another important feature of the Network is the extensive information contained within the Cardiology Care website.

“The website is not only a gateway for veterinarians and clients to access the extensive cardiology services that are available through NC State’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, it’s a major source of comprehensive, accurate information on heart disease for pet owners,” Sheeley says. “We are extremely proud of what the NC State Cardiology Care Network professionals have created and believe it will serve as a tremendous resource to companion animal health care professionals and pet owners.”

For more information on the NC State Cardiology Care Network, visit the website or call 919.513.6694.

Posted Feb. 7, 2011