They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a helpful image:
This particular image is relatively useless at first glance, because it contains a lot of information. If you take the time to actually trace the flow of blood through the heart, however, it can be very helpful!
After traveling through the body and unloading oxygen in the tissues, deoxygenated blood enters the heart via the following pathway:
From the pulmonary arteries, blood moves into a network of pulmonary capillaries. In these capillaries, carbon dioxide is released from the blood and oxygen is absorbed. Oxygenated blood returns to the heart via the pulmonary veins.
Oxygenated blood travels through the heart along the following route:
Once you have learned this basic blood flow pattern, you will be well-equipped to answer cardiology questions on the VTNE®, as well as in your life as a practicing vet tech.
Cathy Barnette is a practicing small animal veterinarian, freelance writer, and contributor to XPrep Learning Solutions. She is passionate about both veterinary medicine and education, working to provide helpful information to veterinary teams and the general public. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature with her family and leading a Girl Scout troop.