Heart Disease Resources: Basics | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Dogs | Cats | Treatments | Medications | Nutrition | Forms


red heart with an outline of a dog and cat and the words Heart Smart below.

HeartSmart is intended to help the owners of dogs and cats with heart disease. The site aims to provide information on the common heart diseases in dogs and cats, tests that are commonly done to help diagnose heart disease, drugs commonly used to treat heart disease, and possible outcomes for affected pets.

HeartSmart is created by the board-certified veterinary cardiologists and veterinary nutritionists at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. It strives to be a source of science-based information about heart disease in pets.

We hope you find HeartSmart a helpful resource. If you have specific areas of interest, please use our Heart Disease A-Z.

We are committed to helping you and your veterinarian care for your loved pet.

What is a Veterinary Cardiologist and How Do I Find One?

A veterinary cardiologist is a veterinarian with 3 years of advanced education and training in treating pets with heart disease. Veterinary cardiologists become board certified after finishing training and passing a rigorous examination given by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM)

A veterinary cardiologist will usually be referred to as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the Specialty of Cardiology, or Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology).

If you are in the New England area, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University has a renowned cardiology department. It is home to a team of board-certified veterinary cardiologists, residents, interns, students, and technicians.

Learn more about the Cardiology Service and make an appointment.

Many other options for veterinary cardiologists can be found using the Find a Veterinary Specialist website.

The Creators of HeartSmart

Special thanks to Amanda Oppold for her outstanding assistance in generating content for the HeartSmart site.

Picture of Ramone the monkey

Back to Monkey Business

Howler monkey Ramone returns to family at Roger Williams Park Zoo after successful Cummings School surgery

The Barkley Fund

A Great Dane named Barkley standing sideways posing in front of brick wall
Barkley, the Great Dane the Barkley Fund honors

The Barkley Fund makes the HeartSmart website possible. This fund supports the advancement of veterinary cardiology and veterinary emergency and critical care medicine through research, collaboration, and training.

The Barkley Fund was established to celebrate a special Great Dane and to honor all those who are devoted to dogs and cats. Barkley suffered from a heart disorder that is almost always fatal. Cummings veterinarians devised an innovative program of medication and diet that helped Barkley live a full, high-quality life.

Barkley's owners established the Barkley Fund to foster ongoing innovation in cardiology and emergency/critical care medicine. The fund provides resources for activities that promote scientific inquiry, collaboration, and training.

In addition to supporting the development of the HeartSmart website, the Barkley Fund has enabled many important studies that have contributed to our knowledge of veterinary cardiology and nutrition at the Cummings School, such as:

HeartSmart Disclosure Statement

Dr. Freeman has received research or residency funding from, given sponsored lectures for, or provided professional services for Aratana Therapeutics, Elanco, Guiding Stars Licensing Co, LLC, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Nestlé Purina PetCare, P&G Petcare (now Mars), and Royal Canin.