Why a board certified Specialist?

This is very powerful and strong evidence that coalition of care is better than managing patients alone. We work for the same team!

What is a Board-Certified Veterinary Specialist?

Veterinary specialists are veterinarians who have advanced training in various veterinary medical and surgical disciplines and are board certified. To become board certified, a veterinarian must have completed, at a minimum, four years of veterinary college, a one year internship or equivalent, and two to three years in a residency program that meets the standards of a recognized specialty college or board. There are additional training and caseload requirements that must be met during the residency and finally, the veterinarian must pass a series of rigorous examinations.

Not all veterinarians that call themselves “specialists” have completed this training. Veterinarians that have passed these examinations and completed all requirements become Diplomates of their respective specialty colleges. This Diplomate status indicates recognition of the board-certified specialty by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) American Board of Veterinary Specialties. Currently, there are more than 20 recognized veterinary specialty organizations (RVSOs) with greater than 40 different veterinary specialties. As part of the continuing development of, additional RVSOs will be invited to participate in the site.

Like most health care fields, the veterinary profession has become multi-tiered. Most conditions that develop in our animals are first evaluated by a primary care veterinarian. If an animal develops a problem or illness requiring advanced care and procedures, your primary care veterinarian or emergency room veterinarian may refer you to a veterinary specialist. Veterinary specialists work closely with animal owners, as well as the primary care veterinarian, to coordinate the best quality of care.

Most specialists work at large hospitals or referral centers; therefore, in addition to having advanced training, they also have access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and support staff that may not be available to your primary care veterinarian. At the same time, they may be able to coordinate treatment with other veterinary specialists to ensure that the highest quality of care is available for each of the animal’s medical or surgical ailments.

Along with seeing cases within their home hospital or institution, veterinary specialists are leading the way for the veterinary community in research and clinical trials to pioneer new diagnostic and treatment options for animals. At the forefront of research breakthroughs, specialists serve as conduits to improve the veterinary community’s quality of medicine by teaching veterinary students, speaking at continuing education events, publishing peer reviewed articles, research abstracts and review articles, as well as consulting with general practitioners one-on-one for individual case management. Veterinary specialists are highly trained veterinarians that are an important member of your animal’s health care team. Veterinary specialists offer expertise that ensures the best possible outcome for the animal and animal owner.

What is a Board-Certified Veterinary Cardiologist?

A veterinary cardiologist is a specialist that has advanced training in the heart and circulatory system. To become a board certified veterinary cardiologist a veterinarian usually completes a one year internship followed by extensive specialized training in an approved residency training program (usually 3-5 years).Most veterinary cardiologists work with small animals; however, some specialize in large animals including horses and cattle.
Board certified veterinary cardiologists focus on diagnosing and treating disease of the heart and lungs, which include:

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Heart muscle disease (Dilated cardiomyopathy or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
  • Age related changes to the valves of the heart (Degenerative mitral valve disease)
  • Coughing and other breathing problems
  • Congenital (present at birth) heart defects
  • Cardiac arrhythmias (problems with the rate and/or rhythm of your animal’s heart)
  • Diseases of the pericardium (sac surrounding the heart)
  • Cardiac tumors
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)
  • Veterinary cardiology specialists will perform a complete and thorough physical examination on your animal, and based on these initial findings, additional tests will be discussed. They will also review your animal’s past history and current medications. Depending on your animal’s condition, diagnostic testing or treatments may include:
  • Echocardiography (sonogram) – non-invasive ultrasound imaging of the heart
  • Electrocardiography (ECG) – non-invasive electrical reading of the heart’s rhythm
  • Blood pressure evaluation
  • Holter monitor – 24 hour ECG performed at home
  • Radiography (x-rays) of the chest and lungs
  • Surgical repair of congenital heart defects
  • Cardiac catheterization procedures
  • Balloon valvuloplasty to dilate narrowed valves
  • Pacemaker implantation for animals with too slow of a heart rate
  • OFA Heart Registry Certification for breeding programs

Board certified veterinary cardiologists are an integral part of your animal’s health care team from the time a potential cardiac abnormality is noted. Early diagnosis and appropriate therapy of cardiac conditions helps your animal live a longer and healthier life.

They work closely with your primary care veterinarian to ensure your animal’s optimal health. While some cardiac conditions require hospitalization, most conditions can be managed on an outpatient basis by a board certified veterinary cardiologist along with your primary care veterinarian. Many veterinary cardiology specialists practice in veterinary teaching hospitals or large referral clinics and are contributing to clinical research programs that aim to improve the cardiac health of animals. Veterinary cardiology research is essential to identify new diagnostic tests and treatments for cardiac conditions in animals and even humans.

Veterinary education is also important to the veterinary cardiologist. From training veterinary students to providing continuing education courses to veterinarians and to training future board certified cardiologists, cardiology specialists are often involved in improving veterinary knowledge and understanding of the cardiac and circulatory conditions.


Obtained from (dated June 2019)

Darcy Adin, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Phone: 352-392-2235

Michael Aherne, MVB, GradDipVetStud, MS, MANZCV, DACVIM (Cardiology)
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Phone: 352-392-2235

Wendy Arsenault, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Southwest Florida Veterinary Specialists
Bonita Springs, FL
Phone: 239-992-8387

Davin Borde, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Institute of Veterinary Specialists
Gainesville, FL
Phone: 352-331-4233

Dewey Carpenter, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Sawgrass Veterinary Cardiology
Delray Beach, FL
Phone: 954-487-8357

Maggie Lamy, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Veterinary Cardiopulmonary Care Center
West Palm Beach, FL
Phone: 561-440-0084

Jennifer Mulz, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners
Clearwater, FL
Phone: 727-572-0132

Robert Prosek, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology), DECVIM (Companion Animals-Cardiology)
Florida Veterinary Cardiology
Homestead, FL
Phone: 305-247-3001

Tacy Rupp, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Veterinary Cardiopulmonary Care Center
West Palm Beach, FL
Phone: 561-440-0084

Laura, Schlater, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Gulf Coast Veterinary Cardiology
Gulf Breeze, FL
Phone: 850-764-1838

Nick Schroeder, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
Leader Animal Specialty Hospital
Cooper City, FL
Phone: 954-437-9630

Margaret (Meg) Sleeper, BS, VMD, DACVIM (Cardiology)
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
Phone: 352-392-2235

Alan Spier, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Cardiology)
BluePearl Vet Partners
Tampa, FL
Phone: 813-933-8944