If your pet is suspected to have a heart condition, they will be referred to see our cardiology service. We know the possibility of a heart condition can be a real worry, but the first step is a thorough evaluation and the correct diagnosis.

Chris Linney heads the cardiology service at Paragon Veterinary Referrals.

We are the only specialist-led cardiology team in Yorkshire.

Under the guidance of our highly-experienced team, your pet will receive the highest standard of diagnosis and care.

We treat cats and dogs for a range of heart conditions and related issues:

  • Heart murmurs
  • Breathing problems
  • Collapsing episodes
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Congenital heart conditions such as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)and pulmonic stenosis
  • Diseases involving the heart sac (pericardium)

Your initial consultation will usually last from 20 to 60 minutes, where we will take a thorough history and examine your pet. We will always discuss potential costs, outcomes and possible risks.

Your pet will usually need to stay with us for a few hours, but sometimes overnight, for investigation and treatment after the consultation. We have extensive hospitalisation facilities, including an Intensive Care Unit, to care for your pet if they do need to stay with us.


Minimally-invasive procedures

We offer a range of minimally-invasive cardiac procedures and have invested £145,000 in state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment and operating facilities to support our interventional cardiology service.

Our veterinary cardiology specialist Chris Linney is one of the most respected veterinary cardiologists in his field and has specialised qualifications in interventional cardiology.  and

Treatments we offer include:

  • Balloon catheter dilation to treat valvular pulmonic stenosis and options such as stenting
  • Closure of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) using interventional or surgical techniques
  • Fitting and monitoring pacemakers for abnormal, slow rhythms
  • Fitting Holter monitors (24-hour ECG) for diagnosis and monitoring of arrhythmias
  • Management of congestive heart failure

Drainage and management of pericardial disease:

Cardiology Team

Chris Linney

BVSc MSc CertAVP(VC) DipECVIM CA (Cardiology) MRCVS
Head of Cardiology

Chris is both an RCVS Specialist and a European Specialist in Small Animal Cardiology and sees both medical and surgical cardiology cases.

Chris graduated with Honours from the University of Liverpool in 2007 and following 2 years in small animal practice in Lincolnshire, returned there to complete further specialist cardiology training. This included an internship and three-year residency in Cardiology before being promoted to the position of Lecturer in Cardiology. Chris has also undertaken further training in human interventional cardiology and is the first veterinary cardiology specialist to hold a Master of Science in the subject.

Having already developed the busiest interventional cardiology service (key-hole surgery) in the UK during his 5 years at Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service in the Midlands, Chris moved to Yorkshire and joined the Paragon team in 2021 where he is the clinical lead and Head of the Cardiology team.

Chris loves developing patient-vet and owner-vet bonds and believes it is the key to successfully caring for his cardiology patients. He has a keen interest in congenital heart disease and performing cardiac catheterisation procedures for correction of heart defects. Due to the excellent reputation of the cardiology service amongst fellow cardiologists and primary practice vets, Chris is one of the most experienced minimally invasive cardiologists in the UK and Europe.


He has close links with the charity Animals Asia in Chengdu, China and is involved with investigating heart disease in rescued moon bears from the bile-farming trade and helping to improve their health and general well-being. Chris is also an avid instructor in cardiology to both undergraduate students and vets in practice, he has presented and lectured around the globe and loves to share his passion for cardiology with others.


Debbie Hyman

Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Cardiology

Debbie is our lead cardiologist. She grew up and went to university in South Africa and gained her veterinary degree in 1996. After 2 years of working in South Africa, she moved to the UK where she worked for various small animal practices, gaining experience in medicine, cardiology and soft tissue surgery. She has been a Clinical Director in various veterinary hospitals for 9 years. She played an integral part in designing, setting up and running a new veterinary hospital in South of Glasgow, for 3 years, before moving to Leeds in 2017.  She has always had an interest in cardiology since her university days, after diagnosing a heart murmur in my little pet dog. This interest was further developed over the last 21 years and  she then subsequently gained the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons accredited Certificate in Veterinary Cardiology in 2010. She then achieved and maintained the accolade of Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Cardiology since 2014. Debra went on to join the Paragon Referral team in November 2017.

She is passionate about delivering an exemplary level of service and prides herself in maintaining a high level of care with every patient she sees. She hopes to develop a strong relationship with the referring vets and clients alike and through this dedication, hopes to develop the cardiology service at Paragon in the years ahead.

In her spare time she enjoys renovating houses, reading and traveling and currently owns 2 boisterous cats called Dexter and Coco.


Julie Kavanagh

MVB MVetMed Dip ACVIM (Cardiology) MRCVS
Interventional Cardiologist

Julie qualified from University College Dublin in 2012 and worked in first opinion small animal practice for the following 2 years. She then began a rotating internship, followed by a cardiology internship at Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire, before embarking on a cardiology residency at the Royal Veterinary College. Julie obtained the ACVIM diploma in Cardiology in 2019 and then moved to her homeland of Northern Ireland to set up the first cardiology specialist service in the country.

Julie has a particular interest in congenital heart disease and can perform advanced interventional procedures.


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