Nashville is growing , and with more people comes more pets. Now, Nashville Veterinary Specialists has hired help for the growing need.
Dr. Kiira Rodriguez is so new she's still waiting on office equipment. Still she's ready to see patients and they're ready to see her.
"There's just so many pets my schedule is already booked out several weeks in advance," she said.
Dr. Rodriguez is a cardiologist and the first of her kind in Nashville.
"So heart disease is very, very common in our pets especially cats and dogs. Especially older dogs and cats and there's not a cardiologist in Nashville area at all. The only cardiologist in the state of Tennessee is in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee," said Dr. Rodriguez. "As I got into my residency I realized that there was a huge need. There is really a lack of cardiologists for the amounts of pets that need one."
Like humans, dogs and cats do develop heart problems. But the reasons have less to do with diet and lifestyle.
"So we don't see coronary artery disease in animals which is what you see in people," she said.
If you do notice your pet is struggling she says it's time for a check-up.
"Some of the symptoms the animals will show if they have heart disease is things like coughing, difficulty breathing, too hard or too fast," she said.