Beat Goes On With Mobile Canine Heart Exams



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The Mobile Dog Heart trailer will visit Minnesota, Colorado and California over the next few weeks.

The Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour, sponsored by YourDogsHeart.com and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., will make its next stop Sept. 14 in New Brighton, Minn., as part of the 2013 BART Duathlon.

The annual project has checked more than 7,000 canine hearts in 25 cities and 15 states since the screenings began in 2009.

Other upcoming stops include Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 19, Englewood, Colo., on Sept. 20, Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sept. 21, and Carmel, Calif., on Oct. 5.

In addition to listening to each dog’s heart through a stethoscope, a veterinary cardiologist will be on hand to answer questions about canine heart health.

"We look forward to educating local dog owners about heart disease in dogs and the treatment options,” said Andrew Beardow, BVMS, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVIM, a Boehringer Ingelheim veterinary cardiologist participating in the tour.

The most common symptoms of canine heart disease include waning interest in walking or exercise, labored breathing, coughing, loss of appetite and weight loss.

"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,” Dr. Beardow said.

If an abnormality like a heart murmur is discovered during an exam, the dog owner is referred to the animal's veterinarian or the nearest veterinary cardiologist.

Boehringer Ingelheim, a St. Joseph, Mo.-based animal health company, reported that 20 percent of the dogs examined through the program over five years have been diagnosed with heart irregularities.

On average, about 60 dogs are seen at each stop, but as many as 125 have been examined, Beardow added.

The screenings are free and appointments are not necessary.

For times and locations, go to YourDogsHeart.com.

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