Lyndsay Kong

DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Western Veterinary Specialist & Emergency Centre Team
Veterinary Specialist
Cardiology
Western Veterinary Specialist & Emergency Centre Team

At a Glance

Practicing Since:

2014

Board Certified:

DACVIM (Cardiology)

Dr. Lyndsay Kong was born and raised in Calgary, and completed a bachelor’s degree in zoology at the University of Calgary. She then graduated with a veterinary degree from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 2014.

During the course of veterinary school, as well as a rotating internship at the Atlantic Veterinary College, Lyndsay decided to pursue specialization in cardiology. She completed a specialty cardiology internship at the Animal Specialty and Emergency Center in Los Angeles, followed by a cardiology residency at the University of Missouri.

Lyndsay’s professional interests include congenital heart diseases, minimally invasive interventional therapies, congestive heart failure treatment, and diagnosis and management of arrhythmias.

The cardiology department is pleased to offer the following services:


Diagnosis and treatment of:
  • Degenerative (myxomatous) valve disease
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Systemic hypertension
  • Arrhythmias (tachyarrhythmias and bradyarrhythmias)
  • Cardiogenic thromboembolic disease
  • Infectious endocarditis
  • Pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade
  • Cardiac neoplasia
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Minimally invasive interventional therapies:
  • Patent ductus arteriosus occlusion
  • Balloon valvuloplasty for pulmonic stenosis
  • Pacemaker implantation

Cardiology

Our board-certified cardiologist can examine breeding and show pets for congenital heart disease. Cardiac evaluation procedures include Holter monitoring, pacemaker implantation, balloon valvuloplasties, ECG, cardiac ultrasound and specialized management of dogs and cats with heart disease (eg. PDA in dogs).

Auscultation:

Anomalies discovered when auscultating the heart may be the first clue of heart disease. These anomalies include a heart murmur, extra heart sounds, and irregular heart rhythm.

We use a scale of 6 grades to describe the loudness of a heart murmur. The loudness of the murmur is crudely correlated to the severity of the heart disease. Most of the dogs with heart disease have a heart murmur.
Heart murmurs in cats with heart disease are not always present, and detection of heart disease before major symptoms may be difficult.

Thoracic radiography:

Thoracic radiography helps us determine the overall heart size and shape, as well as allowing us to evaluate the lungs and the presence of fluid in or around the lungs (heart failure).

Electrocardiography:

Electrocardiography is helpful to evaluate the heart rhythm. It is recommended when we auscultate an irregular heart rate (arrhythmia), or when symptoms such as fainting are present. Regular electrocardiogram (ECG): This type of ECG provides a 2-3 minutes recording of the heart rhythm. It can be helpful if the arrhythmia is heard during auscultation.

24hr ECH recording (Holter): Sometimes, arrhythmias can be intermittent and may not be detected by a spot ECG. This is where a 24 hr ECG recording using a Holter can provide better information (24 hr of information versus 2-3 minutes). Holters are also helpful to document the efficacy of medications prescribed to regulate the heart rhythm (antiarrhythmics). Holters are often used in breeds prone to develop arrhythmias such as Boxers and Dobermans, for screening purposes.

Echocardiography with Doppler assessment:

Doppler-echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound) is one of the most important procedures to evaluate the heart. This technique allows visualization of the inside of the heart. Doppler-echocardiography will provide information on cardiac walls thicknesses, inner cavity dimensions, cardiac function (contractility and relaxation), valve competence (normal opening and closing, inability to open properly (stenosis), and inability to close properly (regurgitation)). Echocardiography is also very helpful to diagnose fluid accumulation in the sac around the heart (pericardial effusion), and in the chest (pleural effusion).

Blood pressure assessment:

Blood pressure assessment is a standard part of the cardiac evaluation. It helps us better evaluate the severity of the situation, the appropriate treatment to give, and the response to medications that affect blood pressure (vasodilators), frequently used in cardiology 

Ancillary testing:

Plasma taurine level: Taurine is a protein that is essential to the good function of the heart. Some dogs may develop a taurine deficiency, which may lead to a dysfunction of the heart (characterized by a weak contraction). If the taurine deficiency is corrected by adequate dietary supplementation, then the weakness of the heart can be corrected. A taurine deficiency can be readily documented by measuring plasma taurine levels. Taurine deficiencies have been documented in Cockers and Newfoundland, as well as many other breeds of dogs. It used to be common in cats before taurine levels were readjusted in cat diets. It is now very rare.

Congenital Cardiac Disease and the OFA:

Congenital heart diseases in dogs are malformations of the heart or great vessels. The lesions characterizing congenital heart defects are present at birth and may develop more fully during perinatal and growth periods. Many congenital heart defects are thought to be genetically transmitted from parents to offspring; however, the exact modes of inheritance have not been precisely determined for all cardiovascular malformations.

Developmental Inherited Cardiac Diseases (SAS and Cardiomyopathy):

At this time inherited, developmental cardiac diseases like subaortic stenosis and cardiomyopathies are difficult to monitor since there is no clear-cut distinction between normal and abnormal. The OFA will modify the congenital cardiac database when a proven diagnostic modality and normal parameters by breed are established. However, at this time, the OFA cardiac database should not be considered as a screening tool for these diseases.

Purpose of the OFA Cardiac Database:

To gather data regarding congenital heart diseases in dogs and to identify dogs that are phenotypically normal prior to use in a breeding program. For the purposes of the database, a phenotypically normal dog is defined as:

  1. One without a cardiac murmur -or-
  2. One with an innocent heart murmur that is found to be otherwise normal by virtue of an echocardiographic examination which includes Doppler echocardiography

 

Western Veterinary Specialist & Emergency Centre

1802 10 Avenue SW

Calgary, AB T3C 0J8

Main: 403-770-1340

Fax: 403-770-1344

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

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