Dog Owners Can Help in Fight Against Canine Heart Disease

Big hearted dog lovers can now turn their passion for their pets into action by participating in a program that funds new research for canine heart disease – and perhaps win a vacation at the same time.

In the online Million Heart Challenge, as soon as one million visitors click on the website, Boehringer Ingeleheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), will donate $15,000 to the American College of Internal Veterinary Medicine (ACVIM) to support independent canine cardiology research. BIVI also will give away two vacations – one to a pet owner and one to a veterinary professional who participate in the Challenge.

"Diseases such as congestive heart failure (CHF) affect millions of dogs worldwide," said Lara Sheeley, senior brand manager for BIVI. "These diseases dramatically reduce the quality of life for dogs and ultimately lead to their deaths.

The Million Heart Challenge is our way of helping to educate pet owners about CHF and supporting promising new research while having some fun along the way."

About 10 percent of the nearly 75 million dogs in the United States have heart disease, and that figure increases to as many as 75 percent among aged dogs and certain predisposed breeds. Yet, a national survey shows that more than half of dog owners are unaware that their dog may be at risk of heart failure.

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