Dr Rita Singh
BSc BVMS DipVetClinStud FANZCVS DipACVIM
Registered Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology
It is important to obtain a full medical history and perform a thorough physical examination on every patient as this can provide great insight into the possibility of and cause of any potential cardiac disease as well as identify any other important confounding factors. Rita will perform this part of the evaluation with the client present. We can then, together, design a personalised and effective diagnostic and treatment plan for your pet.
Echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound) is the most efficient, accurate and non-invasive way to look for cardiac disease. There is no discomfort involved. Your pet only has to lie on a padded table with none or, occasionally, very light sedation for the examination. The cardiac ultrasound allows us to visualise the heart and great vessels. It allows us to quickly reach a diagnosis and start an individual treatment plan for your pet.
Electrocardiography (ECG) is a method for diagnosing an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Arrhythmias can be benign and of no consequence but they can also be life threatening. In the later situation, it is important to be able to accurately diagnose the origin of the arrhythmia and explore possible causes and treatment options.
Occasionally a heart murmur or arrhythmia is detected during a pre-anaesthetic examination. In this situation, a cardiology workup prior to the anaesthetic can be essential to determine the risk of general anaesthesia for your pet and to formulate an appropriate anaesthetic plan.
HEART CERTIFICATES AND BREED SCREENING CLINICS
Certain breeds of dogs and cats
are predisposed to congenital or
inherited heart diseases. It is the recommendation of many breed clubs that breeders have their stock screened for heart disease prior to breeding. Rita can do this on an individual basis at your regular veterinary clinic or through breeder screening clinics organised by your club.
Often, the first sign of heart disease occurs as an emergency. Your pet may develop breathing difficulty,
a distended abdomen or collapse.
In these emergency situations, stabilisation at an emergency hospital (Northside Emergency Veterinary Service in Terrey Hills, Small Animal Specialist Hospital in North Ryde or Eastside Veterinary Emergency and Specialists in Roseberry) is essential. Rita works closely with these hospitals to make sure that every cardiac patient gets the treatment it needs.
A Holter monitor is an ECG that can run for 24-72 hrs. This is often required for monitoring response to treatment in severe arrhythmias or in diagnosing the cause in animals whose symptoms are not occurring all the time. This is a pain free procedure where the patient goes home wearing the monitor for the designated time period. Once the Holter monitor has been returned, Rita will then look at the entire ECG and discuss treatment options.
CARDIAC CATHETERISATION AND INTERVENTION
Occasionally invasive procedures are required for both diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases. Such procedures include electrical cardioversion of certain heart arrhythmias, closure of congenital defects, balloon dilation of obstructive defects and pacemaker implantation for slow heart rates.
RADIOGRAPH AND ECG INTERPRETATION
Occasionally, referral of a patient may not be possible or your family veterinarian may just want some extra input on a case. Rita provides an online ECG and thoracic radiograph interpretation service to assist your family veterinarian in times of need.
photo of Rita.
Veterinary Cardiac Referrals is run by Dr Rita Singh BSc BVMS DipVetClinStud FANZCVS DipACVIM. Rita is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in Cardiology the ONLY registered specialist in Veterinary Cardiology in NSW.
Rita obtained her veterinary degree from Murdoch University in Perth, WA in 1995. After a two year stint in the UK, she returned to Australia to complete a rotating internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Sydney. This was followed by a three year residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the Veterinary Specialist Centre in Sydney. It was during this time as a resident that she came to realize that cardiology was her true passion. In 2008 Rita commenced a cardiology residency at the University of California, Davis and became a Diplomate of the American College of Internal Medicine in Cardiology in 2011.
Rita loves all aspects of veterinary cardiology and is devoted to providing quality and compassionate care for your family members. While the majority of our patients are dogs and cats, Rita has also been trained in cardiology of horses and exotic species including ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, turtles, snakes, iguanas, monkeys and large cats. Rita is also experienced in providing surgical and interventional procedures for your family members including pacemaker placement and correction of certain arrhythmias.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0457 964 114 should you wish to make an enquiry.
To schedule an appointment or sign up your clinic please email email@example.com or call 0457 964 114 (during business hours)
If you are experiencing a patient emergency (heavy breathing or collapse)
please call and take your pet to your nearest 24 hr emergency centre
Northside Emergency Veterinary Service (Northern Beaches):
335 Mona Vale Road, Terrey Hills, NSW
Ph: (02) 9452 2933
Small Animal Specialist Hospital (North Shore):
Level 1, 1 Richardson Place, North Ryde, NSW
Ph: (02) 9889 0289
Sydney Veterinary Emergency and Specialists:
675 Botany Road, Rosebery, NSW
Ph: (02) 9197 5800