PVMA District 7 Meeting- Challenges in Feline Cardiology

Challenges in Feline Cardiology

Simon Dennis, BVetMed, MVM, DECVIM (Cardiology)

Weds, October 26th
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location; The Gables at Chadds Ford, Chadds Ford, PA

Sponsored by
Hope Veterinary Specialists


Heart disease is highly prevalent in cats, with multiple studies confirming that the most common group of acquired feline cardiac disease, the cardiomyopathies, affect 15% of healthy cats.  With the AVMA reporting that there were over 74 million cats owned in the US in 2012, that represents at least 11 million cats with cardiac disease in the US alone.  While a notable proportion of cats with cardiac disease have a normal life expectancy and quality of life, cats with severe or advanced disease have a high morbidity and mortality from heart failure, sudden death or arterial thromboembolism.  Identifying those cats at high risk for adverse consequences of their disease and treating them appropriately remain two of the biggest challenges in feline cardiology.  Unfortunately there is little consensus among practitioners and cardiologists regarding the ‘best’ way.  This reflects the difficulties faced with diagnosing and classifying cardiac disease in cats, the high prevalence of functional murmurs in cats, and the paucity of evidence to support the benefit of therapy for both preclinical cardiomyopathies and cats with heart failure.

This talk will provide practical advice for veterinarians in general practice, using the tools in their practice, to identify cats with, or at risk of, cardiac disease and to recognize cats at the highest risk for heart failure and ATE.  The talk will also discuss which cases may benefit from therapy, what therapies have evidence to support their use, when to start them, and what therapies have questionable benefit or may be harmful.

Please feel welcome to ask any questions about this talk or to ask for advice regarding any challenging cases of cardiac disease that you have seen.

Simon Dennis, BVetMed, MVM, DECVIM (Cardiology)

Dr. Simon Dennis was born in the United Kingdom and is a 2000 graduate of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), London.  He completed a small animal internship and a Masters degree in electrocardiography at the University of Glasgow and then worked as a small animal practitioner in England for 4 years before returning to the RVC in 2005 for a 3-year residency in cardiology.

Dr. Dennis completed his residency and became board-certified in cardiology by the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2008.  He subsequently worked as a small animal cardiologist in the south of London and as a lecturer in cardiology at the RVC, completing a post-graduate certificate in veterinary education and becoming a fellow of the higher education academy in the UK.  After becoming a well-known cardiologist and lecturer in Europe, Dr. Dennis moved to Philadelphia to work at the University of Pennsylvania as a lecturer in cardiology in 2013.  He worked briefly as a cardiologist in New York City before moving to Hope VS in 2016 after deciding that the Philly suburbs was the place he wanted to settle down with his wife Sherry, daughter Sienna and their cat, George Washington.

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