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Heart Testing

What is Heart Testing?

Heart testing is a screen performed on healthy dogs and cats.  It is usually done to help with selection of the strongest animals to breed from.  However it can also be performed  to assure an owner that their pet has no heart problems at that time, particularly if that breed is predisposed to cardiac disease.


Where can it be done?

I can heart test at any of the practices by Vicky Ironside.  For many dogs only examination and listening with a stethoscope is recommended by The Kennel Club.  In others echocardiography (often called Doppler/heart scan) and or a 24 hour ECG is also advised.  For all cats the echocardiography is required.  Only 1 or 2 heart tests can usually be performed in normal cardiology clinic.  Please enquire by Email for larger numbers.


Costs (all are inclusive of VAT)

The charges differ slightly between practices but the cost of the examination and a certificate is approximately £50.  If echocardiography (Doppler scan) is also performed in dogs, the total cost is around £250. For cats a faster and less costly scan is available to screen for HCM  (£144) and it is the same cost for the new echo doppler heart test in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels


Making an appointment

If booking an appointment, please mention that it is for a heart test and there is no need to have a letter/referral from the usual vet. 

For dogs stethoscope only, please ask for a standard 30 minute appointment per dog.

For Cavalier King Charles Spaniels having the new echo doppler test please ask for an hour appointment for 1 dog or 90 minutes for 2 dogs. 

 For all other dogs having echo doppler please ask for 1.5 hour appointment but this may not be possible, in which case a 30 minute appointment with a scan later in the day may be offered. 

  For cats, please ask for a 60 minute appointment for 1 cat heart test or 90 minutes for 2 cats. 


How to prepare for an appointment

The dog or cat needs to be micro- chipped (this can be done on the day of the heart test).

 Please bring the pedigree registration documents with you to the heart test.  Please do not give your pet breakfast on that day.


Further Information

Much detailed information about heart testing can be found on the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society website - see link below.


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