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Is your dog at risk for heart disease? Find out with a free screening this Sunday

April 2, 2009 |  6:33 pm

Tent Did you know that heart disease in dogs is almost as common as it is in humans? While doggie heart problems don't necessarily manifest themselves in the same way as human ones do (dogs aren't susceptible to sudden heart attacks), our canine friends can develop heart problems just like we can. 

Symptoms can include a reduced willingness to walk or exercise, difficulty breathing, coughing, loss of appetite and weight loss -- but many pet owners simply aren't aware of the dangers or the treatment options available.

L.A. dogs are in luck this weekend, however: veterinary cardiologists with the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour roll through Pasadena on Sunday.  From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Alice Frost Kennedy Dog Park, vets will perform free dog heart screenings, a process that involves listening to dogs' hearts with a stethoscope for heart murmurs and other irregular sounds and assessing dogs for other signs of heart disease. 

"Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure can significantly prolong and improve the quality of a dog’s life," says Ruth MacPete, a San Diego vet who's involved with the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour. "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."

Kennedy Dog Park is part of Vina Vieja Park at 3026 E. Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena. For more information, check out YourDogsHeart on the Web.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Vetmedin

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