Mar. 18, 2013
Older small breed dogs can get free heart checkup
Owners of older cocker spaniels, dachshunds, cavalier King Charles spaniels, Malteses, miniature poodles, Norfolk terriers and Yorkshire terriers are invited to Cornell March 22-23 to receive a free canine cardiology screening.
The event is part of a project to study mitral valve disease in small breed dogs.
“We are looking for dogs with normal hearts that are older than 10 years of age,” said Sydney Moïse, clinical cardiologist and professor of medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We will be listening to all dog’s hearts and performing limited screening with echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart).” Dogs with known heart murmurs or heart disease are not eligible.
The screening will take about 20 minutes and will include taking a blood sample for DNA. An abbreviated cardiology report will be sent to the owner stating if the dog is or is not affected by mitral valve disease.
“The results of this screening will provide healthy control samples for a genetic study that will give us information that has the potential to help us treat and hopefully eliminate the most common cardiac disease in the dog,” said Marta Castelhano, director of Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s DNA and Tissue Bank and one of the lead investigators of the study. “This partnership with pet owners, clinicians and genetic scientists is a promise of hope for future generations of dogs.”
Established in 2006, the DNA Bank houses more than 10,000 DNA and tissue samples collected, with owner permission, from animals visiting the Cornell animal hospitals for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Investigators use this resource to relate the genetic information present in the DNA to the medical information of these animals to find the underlying contributive, protective or causative genes to a specific disease.
To preregister for the screening, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the dog’s breed and age or call 607-253-3060 and ask to speak with Jennifer Sinceno or Susan Garrison.