Healthy Heart - FREE Health Check

We know that your dogs have a special place in your heart, so we'd like to show their hearts some extra love.

Just like humans, dogs can also develop heart disease, and it can be just as difficult to spot. Some breed types are naturally more predisposed to developing heart disease than others, and unfortunately your pets' breed is one of those at a higher risk.

The most important thing is to identify heart disease early (long before outward symptoms are even visible), so we can slow the progression, giving those affected more valuable time, living life to the full.

Common Types of Heart Disease: 

Mitral Valve Disease:

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) is caused by blood flowing backwards though a leaky mitral valve within the heart, creating a heart murmur and if left untreated, it could lead to heart failure. MVD can affect all dogs, but smaller breeds are more predisposed and becomes progressively more common from 5 years of age onwards. Weight can also be a contributory factor. Symptoms of Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) are:

  • Exercise intolerance
  • Panting
  • Coughing (often worse at night)
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting 
  • Collapse

Mitral Valve Disease breeds most affected:

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Shih Tzu
  • Maltese
  • Poodles
  • Bichon Frise
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Cockerpoos
  • Jack Russell Terriers

Dilated Cardiomyopathy:

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is caused by the heart muscle becoming weakened and floppy, with blood flowing inefficiently and turbulently through the heart, creating a heart murmur. If left untreated, the heart becomes larger and less efficient at pumping blood around the body and can ultimately lead to heart failure.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) can affect ALL medium to large and giant breed dogs, becoming progressively more common from 3 years of age onwards. It is much rarer in smaller dogs. Symptoms are: 

  • Lethargy
  • Off food
  • Panting
  • Coughing
  • Abdominal distention
  • Sudden collapse

Breeds most affected by Dilated Cardiomyopathy:

  • Dobermanns
  • Great Danes
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Boxers
  • Cocker Spaniels 

Early Intervention

For both diseases, early intervention is crucial to prolong life.  If caught early enough, medication can be introduced which can help to slow down the progression of the disease.

The good news is that there have been many advances in the treatment and management of heart diseases and we’re here to help, but early detection is vital.

If you are an existing client and an owner of any of the above breeds, please book your dog in for a Healthy Heart Check where one of our vets will listen to their hearts, and check the rhythm and rate to be sure there's no murmur. If necessary, we will then discuss the need for any further tests with you.

By checking a dogs' heart regularly, we can ensure that if a problem develops it will be picked up at the earliest opportunity, giving them the best chance of a longer, happier life.

What does the Healthy Heart Check include?

  • FREE Health Check with a Vet.
  • The examination will include an ECG, and a heart and chest auscultation (where the vet will closely listen to your pet's heart and chest).
  • If your Vet feels a heart scan is warranted, a 50% DISCOUNT will applied to the cost of the scan and off chest radiographs.  This does not apply to medications.

Where and When?

  • Where: Cara Veterinary Hospital in Ballycoolin
  • When: Each pet is entitled to one free 'Healthy Heart Check' every year
    • *This FREE service is only for existing clients of breeds mentioned above.

Book your Appointment