Cardiovascular Veterinary Point of Care Ultrasound (VPOCUS)

Have you ever struggled with trying to decide why a cat is dyspneic (asthma vs. pleural effusion vs. heart disease) and thoracic radiographs are not possible for fear the patient may decompensate? Ever worry about being able to safely give a patient IV fluids or worry that giving additional IV fluid boluses may cause volume overload?  Ever wonder if you are missing something in the abdomen of a collapsed patient that presents in shock? Veterinary point of care ultrasound (VPOCUS) can help you manage these patients! VPOCUS techniques are rapid, easy-to-learn and practical ultrasound skills that ANY practitioner can apply in every day practice. VPOCUS is commonly used as a patient-side diagnostic tool to rapidly identify underlying conditions and help direct further diagnostics and therapy. VPOCUS has a high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of abdominal effusion and other abdominal applications (GI motility, bladder volume estimation, gallbladder halo, pneumoperitoneum), and several thoracic, vascular and cardiac pathologies (pneumothorax, pleural effusion, alveolar interstitial disease, left and right sided heart failure, pericardial effusion, intravascular volume estimation and response to fluid therapy). Have you ever struggled to place an IV catheter in a patients that are dehydrated, have hematomas, thick skin or edema? Ultrasound can help!


Through comprehensive lectures (with lots of ultrasound videos) and several case examples followed by a “how to” video, participants will have the opportunity to learn the skills of VPOCUS. 



Chapter 1 Subxiphoid for CVC and pericardial effusion

The subxiphoid site is a great site for abdominal, pleural and pericardial effusion. By the end of this session attendees will be able to explain how pericardial effusion can be diagnosed via both the transthoracic and subxiphoid windows and be able to explain how the caudal vena cava can be use to estimate intravascular volume. The latter is helpful in directing fluid resuscitation protocols. 


Chapter 2 Left atrial size and IV guided access

The right parasternal short axis view of the heart provides the clinician with a great deal of rapid information at the cage side. By the end of this session attendees will be able to explain how to locate and interpret the left atrium for increases in size and be able to explain the value of ultrasound in assisting with IV catheter placemen tin patients with hematomas or edama, which may preclude blind percutaneous catheter placement. 


Chapter 3 Vascular volume status and contractility of the heart

Building further on the interpretation of left atrial enlargement, the right parasternal short axis evaluation of the heart will be used to explain cardiac contractility and estimations of volume status. By the end of this session attendees should be able to explain the key cardiac features to assess to estimate intravascular volume status (hypo and hypervolemia) as well as the general findings that suggest increased or decreased cardiac contractility. 


Our full list of VPOCUS videos, can be found through the following link:

All VPOCUS videos


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Søren Boysen

Dr. Søren Boysen obtained his veterinary degree in 1996 (WCVM), completed a small animal internship in 1998 (UPEI), and a residency in 2003 (Tufts University, Massachusetts) becoming a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) that same year. He is the former Chief of Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care at the University of Montreal, where he designed the ER and ICU services, created a residency training program, established veterinary ECC as a recognized specialty, and developed the ECC curriculum.  He is currently a Full Professor at the University of Calgary, Canada’s newest veterinary college, where he helped design and implement all 4 years of the veterinary teaching program.  An active member on several ECVECC, ACVECC and VetCOT committees he continues to play a leadership role in the global promotion and education of veterinary ECC. Extensively published (more than 50 research papers and 30 book chapters), and a recipient of numerous teaching and research excellence awards, he has become an internationally recognized speaker. His research interests include hemorrhage, coagulation, perfusion and point of care ultrasound. He has a particular passion for emergency and critical care ultrasound; he published the first translational study on Focused Assessment of Sonography for Trauma (FAST) in small animals, adapted point of care ultrasound protocols for use in non-trauma patients, and is actively involved in clinical point of care ultrasound research (with Dr. Kris Gommeren).  He continues to work on improving hands on training workshops targeted at improving emergency ultrasound training for non-specialist practitioners and making veterinary education free open access around the world.

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  • Proceedings "Cardiovascular Veterinary Point of Care Ultrasound (VPOCUS) "

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