When you’ve checked the heart of a 600kg polar bear and monitored cardiac trouble in lions and tigers it’s unlikely you’ll miss a beat working with domestic pets.

Not that consultant cardiologist Laurent Locquet makes any distinction between caring for animals big or small.

Laurent, who has joined the renowned Dick White Referrals (DWR) in Cambridgeshire, will be focusing on the diagnosis, medical treatment and management of heart diseases in cats and dogs in his new role, and the correction of common cardiac birth defects through keyhole surgery.

He has thrived in the veterinary world – whether in his native Belgium or working abroad in South Africa and the UK – and he’s certainly enjoyed some big experiences.

Laurent said: “Last year I performed an echocardiographic examination on a polar bear of approximately 600kg which had breathing difficulties. 

“I am also involved in a study which screens big felids, including tigers and lions, for renal and cardiac problems, and even though we have included over 60 animals already, it is still very exciting every single time.

“But I always find it heart-breaking too, when there is a little puppy born with a heart defect.

“Thankfully we can treat the most common birth defects through either keyhole or open-heart surgery and it is so rewarding to be able to give these pets a second chance.”

Laurent, who graduated from Ghent University, Belgium in 2015, is keen to get started at Linnaeus-owned DWR.

He added: “I feel privileged to be part of such a dedicated and ambitious team with like-minded people, striving to provide the best possible care for our patients.

“I will be focusing on the diagnosis, medical treatment and management of heart diseases in both cats and dogs and the correction of some of the most common cardiac birth defects through keyhole surgery.

“It is my ambition to contribute to our open-heart surgery programme and I am particularly interested in perfusion, the passage of fluid through the lymphatic system or blood vessels to an organ or a tissue.

“During perfusion, the artificial heart lung machine takes over the function of the heart and lungs of the patient by perfusing the whole body whilst the surgeon is performing reconstructive cardiac surgery. 

“I believe that there are still many possibilities when it comes to clinical applications and scientific research regarding this kind of care in dogs and cats.”

DWR’s head of cardiology, Dr Anne Kurosawa, has given Laurent a warm welcome to the team.

She said: “I’m delighted that Laurent has joined us. His arrival adds yet more skill and expertise to our highly-qualified team.

“I’m confident he will fit in perfectly at DWR and thrive in his new role. We are all passionate about what we do and dedicated to providing outstanding levels of clinical care to our pet patients.”

Dick White Referrals offers specialist-led care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, diagnostic pathology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, interventional radiology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, physiotherapy and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information, visit www.dickwhitereferrals.com or search for Dick White Referrals on social media. 

Back to news