Ashley Jones, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

///Ashley Jones, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Cardiology

DVM:

Ontario Veterinary College – University of Guelph

Internship:

Ontario Veterinary College – University of Guelph

Residency:

University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine

Fellowship:

University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine

Certification:

Board Certified in Cardiology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Dr. Ashley Jones’ interest in becoming a veterinarian was inspired by the amazing doctors she encountered shortly after she adopted a young puppy. Her puppy unfortunately became very sick within a week of owning her. She was treated by Dr. Jones’ family veterinarian, the local emergency clinic and eventually at the Ontario Veterinary College. When she saw the diversity in the skills required to be a veterinarian, she was completely hooked. She liked that she could have the opportunity to function as a medical doctor, surgeon, pharmacist, etc. She also truly appreciated how important it was to trust the team of veterinarians that was caring for her puppy, and wanted to be able to provide this to other pet owners in the future.

Why did you decide to specialize in cardiology?

My passion for cardiology started early – I really enjoyed the cardiology portion of my undergraduate human physiology course, and the incredible cardiologists that taught me in vet school, Dr. Mike O’Grady and Dr. Lynne O’Sullivan, reinforced this interest. They had such a love and passion for what they did, and encouraged us to shadow on clinics during any free time we had so I definitely took them up on this! I loved that the cardiology specialty still offered the option to maintain a variety of skills – from using medical knowledge for refractory heart failure patients that may also have some kidney dysfunction, to specialized surgical skills to perform minimally invasive procedures such as PDA occlusions, pacemaker implantations and balloon valvuloplasty procedures for congenital valve stenoses, and also functioning a bit as a radiologist to perform echocardiograms and interpret thoracic radiographs.

What are some of the cases that inspire you?

Some of my favorite cases are patients with congenital heart disease such as a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA – a blood vessel that connects the two main arteries in the body that should close shortly after birth but remains open/patent in these patients) that we can fix with minimally invasive catheterization procedures and then those patients can go on and live a completely normal life afterwards. I also really like the chronic heart failure patients that require regular check-up appointments to ensure their medications are fine-tuned to balance the needs of their heart and kidneys as best as possible. These owners are so dedicated to their pets and I thoroughly enjoy developing these long-term relationships.

What is your philosophy of patient care?

One of my top priorities is having informed owners that understand their pet’s heart disease and the purpose of each medication their pet may be on. It is the at-home care that truly has the most impact on a patient’s well being so I feel that owners need to be on board and a fully committed member of their pet’s health care team. Sometimes my patients are on five or six medications, with some of these being given three or four times a day – that is a lot for anyone to keep track of! For this reason, I like to take a bit of extra time during the initial consult to explain the benefit/purpose of each medication so they feel more comfortable in the crucial role they play in maintaining their pet’s health.

What are some of your unique talents/capabilities that you’ll bring to VSC?

I take pride in performing thorough and complete cardiovascular evaluations. I always start with a focused cardiovascular physical examination and use this as well as the patient’s clinical history to guide which diagnostic tests are indicated to properly diagnose and treat each patient. Typically, diagnostics will include an echocardiogram to evaluate structure and function of the heart, an electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) to evaluate the electrical system in the heart, a blood pressure reading and chest x-rays to evaluate the lungs, which can be compromised with advanced heart disease. Bloodwork is also often indicated, depending on whether the patient is on or requires certain medications. It is these diagnostic tests that help to guide the careful management of patients with advanced heart disease. I also have extensive training and experience in cardiac catheterization procedures such as pacemaker implantations, balloon valvuloplasty procedures and PDA occlusions with Amplatz Canine Duct Occluder (ACDO) devices. 

What do you like to do when you’re not at work or what inspires you away from work?

When I’m not at work, I love spending time with my dog, Daisy. She is an adorable Maltese (though I may be biased) and she loves to go on walks. I also try to go home (Ontario, Canada) as often as possible to spend time with my family. When I can’t get home, I try to FaceTime with my new niece each week so I can try to keep up as she is growing and changing so quickly! My personal interests include running, spin classes, traveling as well as cooking and baking.