This spring, some dog owners in Las Vegas will find that getting their pets’ hearts checked is a walk in the park. Veterinary cardiologists on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour will make its first stop on April 1 with a sound-proof medical unit at the Barkin’ Basin Dog Park to perform free heart examinations of area dogs.
In addition to performing free heart health screenings, veterinarians will be available to answer questions for dog owners about the common ailment.
Heart disease in dogs is almost as common as it is in humans. About 11 percent of the nearly 75 million dogs in the United States have heart disease, and that figure increases to as many as 60 percent among dogs over age 5 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.
“Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure can significantly prolong and improve the quality of a dog’s life,” says Ruth MacPete, DVM, a San Diego veterinarian, media personality and pet author who will travel with a local veterinary cardiologist on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour. “We look forward to reaching out to local dog owners to educate them about heart disease in dogs and the treatment options. By emphasizing the importance of annual veterinary examinations and early diagnosis of heart disease, we hope to help more dogs live longer and better lives.”
On the tour – which will stop at dog beaches and parks throughout California as well – veterinary cardiologists will perform free dog heart screenings from inside a special sound-proof mobile exam room. They will use a stethoscope to listen for heart murmurs and other irregular sounds as well as generally assess whether or not the dogs show any signs of heart disease.
The veterinarians on tour will also make sure that dog owners are aware of some of the common symptoms seen with heart disease: reduced willingness to walk or exercise, difficulty breathing, coughing, loss of appetite and weight loss. Dog owners can learn even more at www.yourdogsheart.com.
Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour in Las Vegas
When: Wednesday, April 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Barkin’ Basin Dog Park – Alexander Road & North Tenaya Way
About Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs
The makers of Vetmedin(R) – a break-through prescription drug now available in the United States to treat canine heart failure – organized the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour to teach people about congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs. CHF leads to excessive water and salt retention, causing fluid build-up in the lungs.