At Your Service

The clinical cardiology service at Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals is a full-service team comprised of two board-certified cardiologists, two cardiology residents, and one full-time cardiology technician, dedicated to providing advanced diagnostics and treatment options and excellence in patient care. We are happy to evaluate animals with suspected or known cardiac disease, including animals with a cardiac murmur, gallop or arrhythmia; cough or shortness of breath; animals with collapse or fainting; animals that might need a pacemaker; and those with known congenital disease that might benefit from a catheter-based intervention or surgery. Advanced diagnostic capabilities include availability of transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, C-arm fluoroscopy for interventional procedures, computed tomography and MRI, Holter and event monitoring, and in-house telemetry (continuous ECG) monitoring.    Continue reading

Cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) study

Pure-bred Labrador retrievers: cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) study
Dr. Randy J. Boudrieau, Diplomate ACVS & ECVS
Professor of Surgery
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
N. Grafton, MA 01536

As a summary of this study, we are radiographing (X-rays) the hind limbs of the Pure-bred Labrador retrievers (femurs, tibia and pelvis). This is a comparison study between normal dogs vs. dogs with cruciate ligament tears; (we prefer to radiograph older dogs > 6-yr, to see if they have avoided a cruciate tear, if so, then it is unlikely they will have one). We see many dogs in our hospital with cruciate tears during our day, and it is most commonly found in this breed.This is the reason we are not actively soliciting dogs with a cranial cruciate rupture (our hospital population takes care of this group). Continue reading

Current Concepts

Current Concepts in the Management of Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure is often the outcome for a variety of diseases in cats and dogs, with the exceptions of congenital disease (e.g., PDA) or certain acquired diseases, like taurine deficiency and idiopathic pericarditis.There is no cure for heart failure, therefore, treatment is determined by improving  clinical signs and improving the quality of life. Treatment options may vary based on the underlying type of disease (e.g., hypertrophic cardiomyopathy versus chronic valvular disease) and it may be more essential to treat the body’s response to the failing heart rather than the appearance of the heart itself. Continue reading


MR spectroscopy: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), also known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, is a non-invasive analytical technique that has been used to study metabolic changes in brain tumors, strokes and other diseases affecting the brain. Dr. March is currently leading a clinical trial to evaluate the use of the technique for the definitive diagnosis of primary brain tumors and strokes.

Stem cell therapy for immune-mediated meningoencephalitis: Dr. March is conducting a trial designed to determine whether after initial stabilization with current treatment approaches, stem cell therapy allows dogs to remain in clinical remission.

Intervertebral disk disease: Dr. Faissler recently completed a clinical trial evaluating the use of trophic factors such as platelet rich plasma and erythropoietin for stimulating spinal cord repair in paraplegic dogs with loss of pain perception in both hind legs – analysis of the results is pending.  We are planning and continuing to explore  novel treatment options for dogs with severe spinal cord damage, including stem cell transplantation. Under the supervision of Dr. Faissler, Dr. Sutton is investigating prognostic factors for paralyzed dogs with intervertebral disk herniation. Our hypothesis is that the degree of dispersion of extruded disk material correlates with outcome.

Brain surgery:  Dr. Faissler has introduced intracranial pressure (ICP) during and, most importantly, after brain surgery.  Knowledge of ICP has improved patient outcomes. Dr. Faissler has also developed a technique for closing large skull defects resulting from cranioectomies which uses a combination of titanium and bone cement. Because titanium is non-ferromagnetic, MRI for assessment of tumor control can be performed during the postoperative period.