Heart disease can affect any dogs, but certain breeds are more predisposed than others. There are two main types of disease: "congenital" which is present from birth, and "acquired" which develops with age. In general, the smaller breeds are more likely to develop heart failure from degenerative valve disease ("myxomatous mitral valve disease"), and larger breeds the heart muscle wasting disease "dilated cardiomyopathy". Congenital diseases include "patent ductus arteriosus" (PDA), "pulmonic stenosis" and "aortic stenosis". For more information on these diseases see the client information sheets section.
Many diseases have a hereditary component, and for this reason there are schemes for heart screening available for certain breeds (e.g. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for Mitral Valve Disease, Boxer and Newfoundland for aortic stenosis and DCM). Discussions are in progress for more formalised schemes for these and other breeds. Please feel free to contact us for further information regarding particular breeds.