To assist veterinarians in discerning normal from abnormal heart sounds, an interactive equine medical CD was created with recordings of 13 equine heart sounds and associated ultrasound images. The recordings include murmurs, atrial fibrillation, atrioventricular block, and premature ventricular contractions.

The sounds are included in the latest CD update of Vetstream's CD~EQUIS, which is used by veterinarians for research, client education, treatment guidelines, and many other purposes. Digital sonography is used to show the heart as the sounds play.

"For years, veterinarians have had to learn to differentiate heart sounds based on written descriptions such as 'lup-dup-de-rup,' and most have struggled to remember them," says Jos Belgrave, BVSc, MRCVS, president of Vetstream. "Now, veterinarians can actually listen to recordings of abnormal heart sounds with detailed supporting text, which is a far more effective way to improve your knowledge."

Jonathan Naylor, BVSc,PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVN, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, is the cardiorespiratory specialist who made the recordings. He explains that heart sounds are difficult to record due to their infrequency, and few recordings exist. "The digital sonography technology makes it simple to audibly identify the sounds in a recording that are normal as opposed to those that represent a lesion. The synchronous visual interpretation helps clinicians train their ears to hear the quieter, and easily missed heart sounds," Naylor says.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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