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Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) screening in large dogs.

DCM is a heart muscle disease which results in a weakened pumping ability. There are 2 phases to the disease – phase 1 shows no signs, the dog appears happy and healthy but the heart is deteriorating slowly. Phase 2 is shorter but is when signs of DCM are beginning to show (including panting and a reduced exercise tolerance) due to the heart starting to fail.

Certain large breeds of dog over the age of 3 seem to have an inherited predisposition & an increased risk of development. Seen as it is very difficult to tell which dogs have the problem in the first stage of the disease we are running a new screening programme for the breeds that have a higher risk of developing DCM. The screening programme includes a free blood test to measure the levels of a substance called proBNP. ProBNP is released into the bloodstream when the heart muscle stretches excessively, such as in dogs with DCM.

To discuss DCM or to book in your dogs blood test feel free to call our Wolverhampton branch on 01902 424725.

The following list includes the breeds which could be at an increased risk of developing DCM:

  • Doberman
  • Great Dane
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Boxer
  • Newfoundland
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • St Bernard
  • Irish Setter
  • Labrador
  • Greyhound
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Standard Poodle
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Afghan Hound
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Boxer
  • Briard
  • Bull Mastiff
  • English Setter
  • Golden Retriever
  • Greyhound
  • Weimaraner
  • Italian Spinone
  • Leonberger
  • Mastiff