For owners

SSC welcomes every animal owner, irrespective of skin colour, heritage, ethnicity, religion or gender. The veterinary profession is one of the least diverse in the UK, and, particularly in the light of Black Life Matters and related awareness campaigns, we are developing an anti racist agenda to increase diversity in our team.


Heart disease is common in cats with some studies reporting heart murmurs in 40% of the cat population and 15% of the cat population having evidence of a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Cats are remarkably adept at hiding early signs of heart failure and we commonly evaluate cats with heart murmurs using echocardiography to determine the cause and significant of their heart murmurs.

At our practice often only 1-2 patients are on the building at any time resulting in a calm, quiet environment enhanced by you remaining with your cat during the entire consultation and investigation.


Heart disease is common in dogs and can be broadly divided into three categories:

  1. congenital heart disease is present from birth and we frequently examine puppies to determine the cause and significance of their heart murmur
  2. acquired heart disease is not present from birth but develops in adulthood. Two common forms of heart disease are degenerative valvular heart disease and dilated cardiomyopathy.
  3. abnormal heart rhythms can develop at any age and may cause reduced ability to exercise or intermittent collapse. The diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms is Ruth’s special area of interest.

At our practice you can stay with your pet whilst tests such as echocardiography and an ECG are performed.


Services we offer at Sarah Smith Cardiology: 

Auscultation – listening with a stethoscope

Echocardiography – ultrasound of the heart

Resting and ambulatory ECGs – investigation of abnormal heart rhythms sometimes whilst your pet performs normal activities at home

Drainage of effusions – removal of fluid from the chest

Thoracic radiography – chest x-rays

Bronchoscopy – examination of the airways under anaesthetic using a small camera

Bronchoalveolar lavage – sampling of airway fluids

Airway and thoracic surgery – this is one of Sarah’s special areas of interest

Interventional cardiology – keyhole procedures to treat abnormal heart valves and place pacemakers.


We are able to do direct insurance claims for many insurance companies.  If you would like to do this please call us in advance of your appointment to check that we are able to deal with your insurance company directly.

Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) group underwrites a number of pet insurance policies and has created a list of preferred referral practices to control treatment costs. We are not on this list as we strongly believe that the choice of referral practice should be left entirely in the hands of the first opinion vets and their clients, based on clinical priorities. As this list was complied to control costs rather than on the basis of clinical ability, some of the practices in this area that are on the list do not have Recognised Specialists in Cardiology. Therefore if you would prefer to have an appointment with an experienced Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology and also feel that your pet would be reassured by your presence during the echocardiographic examination then please contact your insurance company in advance of the appointment to discuss your policy cover and benefits. However please note that in an emergency it is not essential to use a practice on the RSA preferred practice list.