• Dr. Sonya Gordon Discusses the Importance of Cardiology

    1.) Why is cardiology an important part of a veterinary practice?

    Approximately 10% of all dogs and cats have heart disease and the estimates are significantly higher in older pet populations. Approximately 30% of dogs with heart disease will develop heart failure. Canine chronic valvular disease is reportedly the 4th most common cause of death in the dog. We now know that treatment of canine dilated cardiomyopathy and canine chronic valvular disease with pimobendan can extend symptom free and overall survival.

    2.) What can attendees learn in your course that they won’t receive at any other event?

    The most unique aspect of this course is the integrative comprehensive practical curriculum that will emphasize application of the most current evidence based recommendations by 5 outstanding experts in cardiology that share a passion for education. The 4 day immersion in cardiology allows the instructors to provide a depth knowledge that cannot be delivered in a series of stand alone 50 min presentations. The small class size ensures that content will be attendee oriented and tailored on site to fit their needs as well as allow for informal discussion with the instructors. The large proportion of interactive hands on laboratory ensure that practical skills such as performing and interpreting a basic echocardiogram can be achieved.

    3.) How can the skills gained in your course be implemented into the practice immediately after the Institute?

    The entire course is designed to be practical ensuring that new and improved hands on skills and recommendations can immediately be introduced to the attendees practice.

    4.) What would you say are the three biggest takeaways from this course?

    Current evidence based recommendations for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of preclinical canine dilated cardiomyopathy and canine chronic valvular disease.

    How to perform and interpret a basic feline and canine echocardiogram.

    A scaled back approach to diagnostic testing and recommendations for clients who cannot afford the gold-standard.

    5.) What fuels your passion for this profession and/or subject matter?

    I have the pleasure of helping to educate approximately 130 graduating new veterinarians each year and I see cases on the cardiology service at Texas A&M about 40% of the year. But the greatest impact I will ever have on contributing to raising the bar with respect to the veterinary cardiology is by having the opportunity to work with practicing veterinarians.
    I have had the please of being involved in ground-breaking research that will undoubtedly change the way heart disease is treated in dogs around the world. However, performing clinical trials does not in and of itself change practice habits and help dogs and dog owners. But, innovative teaching will!

    Learn more about cardiology treatments from Dr. Sonya Gordon at the NAVC Institute Cardiology Crossfit course.


    About Dr. Sonya Gordon

    NAVC Institute Instructor, Sonya G. Gordon

    Sonya G. Gordon, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM (Cardiology)

    Dr. Sonya Gordon is board certified in cardiology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. She is currently an Associate Professor at Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science where she is part of a busy progressive cardiology program. She is routinely an invited speaker at local, national and international veterinary meetings. Although she considers herself a clinician and teacher first her research interests include; canine chronic valve disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, imaging, interventional procedures and clinical trials. She has published numerous manuscripts and book chapters and recently co-authored a practical small animal clinical cardiology book entitled The ABCDs of Small Animal Cardiology. She considers her home College Station, Texas where she shares her life with her husband, four dogs and two cats.

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