In addition to providing free heart health screenings, veterinary cardiologists will be available to answer questions for dog owners about heart disease, a common ailment.
About 11 percent of the approximately 78 million dogs in the United States have heart disease, and that figure increases to as many as 60 percent among aged dogs and certain predisposed breeds, according to the website. Yet, a national survey shows that more than half of dog owners have never even heard of heart failure in dogs.
"Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure can significantly prolong and improve the quality of a dog's life," says Dr. Karen Sanderson, a veterinary cardiologist on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour who founded Rocky Mountain Veterinary Cardiology and also owns Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado (VRCC) in Englewood.
A spokesperson for YourDogsHeart, Robyn Caulfield, said the tour has stopped in more than 25 cities and 15 states across the country since 2009. She said veterinary cardiologists on the tour have examined more than 7,000 dog hearts and found a previously undetected murmur or other irregular sound in 20 percent of them.
The national telephone survey taken in February 2013 also found that:
* Almost a quarter of dog owners – 24 percent – said they think heartworms in dogs and heart disease in dogs is the same thing.
* About half (49) percent admitted they have never discussed their dogs’ heart health with a veterinarian.
Veterinary cardiologists on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour will perform free dog heart screenings with stethoscopes 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. No appointment is necessary.
This week's schedule:
Friday, 3 to 7 p.m., Englewood Recreation Center, 1155 W. Oxford Avenue.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at "Pawtober Fest" at Bear Creek Regional Park, 1045 Lower Gold Creek Road, Colorado Springs.
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (St. Joseph, Mo.) sponsors www.YourDogsHeart.com. It is a member of the Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim group, one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies.
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