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The Fixer of Broken Hearts

Friday, January 30, 2015

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought we’d take the opportunity to focus on the vet who fixesour pet’s hearts here at the hospital.  Highcroft’s specialist cardiologist, Kieran Borgeat, has been put in the spotlight this month as we find out what happens in ‘a day in the life of a veterinary cardiologist’.  Let’s see what he got up to on a not so calm Friday at Whitchurch…

A day in the life of Kieran Borgeat, American and European Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology

9.00am: Kieran is involved in quite a few patient studies, both here and at the Royal Veterinary College in London. Currently he is conducting a study on ‘Boxer Cardiomyopathy’ due to it being the most common heart disease in Boxers in the UK. As part of the study, Kieran and the cardiology team are performing ECGs on as many Boxers as they can; so this morning they roped in fellow vet Polly’s dog, Monster. In contrast to his name, he was very well behaved and happily had a 10 minute lie down and a cuddle whilst Kieran read the ECG machine.

9:30am: First consultation of the day was with the gorgeous Gizzy, a 6 year old King Charles Spaniel. Gizzy was referred to us by his own vet following an episode of severe breathing difficulties and an extremely fast, irregular heart rate. Gizzy was very brave and had an ECG and an echo ultrasound of his heart, as well as a few blood tests. Thankfully, Gizzy could be sent home with some medication and instructions for his owners.

11.30am: Patient number two was to recheck little Skyy (pictured right), a 7 month old Collie who had a heart operation with Kieran at the beginning of December. Skyy had a PDA, which is a blood vessel in the heart that had failed to close after birth. The surgery performed places a small device in the vessel to close it off permanently. Skyy was doing really well and everything looked in perfect order!

14:00pm: A beautiful Dogue de Bordeaux called Roxy required surgery due to suffering from pyometra (which is where the uterus becomes infected and fills with pus) Unfortunately, Roxy also suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy, so the anaesthetic for the surgery was a bit of a worry. To make sure everything went smoothly, Kieran scrubbed in to Roxy’s operation with surgeon Dan, just to keep an eye on her heart rate. Thankfully the operation went without a hitch.

15.30pm: Last consultation of the day is another Boxer. Jack had suffered from a fainting episode so was referred to see if it was due to a heart problem. After an echo and an ECG (another one to add to the study), Jack was sent home in a fancy vest to cover the ECG pads that he’ll need to wear for the next 24 hours to get a better idea of his heart rate.

16:00pm: Uh oh, it must be Friday! Kieran’s just been informed of an emergency heart case that needs to come in asap. Looks like the weekend doesn’t start quite yet…

18:00pm: Poor Diesel, a 6 year old Labrador, is a complicated case. Not only is he in remission for cancer, he presented with complete heart block which, if not treated urgently, can be life threatening. The only way to help Diesel was to do an emergency pacemaker implant. After a CT scan of his chest to make sure there was no evidence of cancer cells there, it was time to take him to surgery.

23.30pm: Kieran had finally finished the procedure and called Diesel’s owners to report that his operation went very well and was in recovery. After a full handover to the night vet to round off the 15 hour day, Kieran was finally ready to go home. Let’s hope he didn’t wake up the kids on the way in…

What a day. Thankfully Kieran assures us that not every day is quite as manic as this one, but it definitely goes to show there’s plenty going on at Highcroft to keep him busy. We’re all very appreciative of the level of expertise and dedication our vets give to their patients, it’s great to know they’re in such good hands.

Does your pet have a heart condition and need to see Kieran? Give Referrals Reception a call on 01275 838473 to book an appointment or to find out more visit the Highcroft Referrals website.


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