Dog heart health tour to provide free heart exams

Mobile exam room stopping at Puptown dog park
August 30, 2009 (PRESS RELEASE)

WHAT: The Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour is stopping in Chicago to provide free heart health screenings in a mobile exam room. Veterinary cardiologists will listen to dogs' hearts with a stethoscope for heart murmurs and other irregular sounds and generally assess whether or not dogs show any signs of heart disease. No appointment is necessary.

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.

WHY: Heart disease in dogs is almost as prevalent 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.

WHO: The makers of Vetmedin - a break-through prescription drug recently made 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.

WHEN: Sunday, August 30, from 1 to 7 p.m.

WHERE: Puptown Dog Park - 4921 N. Marine Drive in Chicago, 60657

HOW: To learn more about canine heart disease, visit

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