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DCM Screening

Moor Cottage offers a screening program for a type of heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).This is an early screening blood test and therefore this offer is not open to dogs with a previously diagnosed heart condition.

Certain large and giant breed dogs over the age of three years are more at risk of developing DCM. At Moor Cottage we believe that early detection of this disease is important, as it can allow us to start treatment of earlier.

There are two phases to DCM:

  1. Firstly, a long 'silent phase' in which the heart has the disease and is slowly deteriorating but there are no outward signs.
  2. The second is a shorter 'overt' phase, where the heart can no longer cope and starts to fail. This is where clinical signs of the disease start to develop and can include coughing, weakness, breathlessness, lethargy and/or collapse.

As dogs in the first silent phase of the disease show minimal or no clinical signs it is difficult to detect the disease in this stage based on clinical signs alone. We can only detect the disease in this phase if we perform specific screening tests to assess the heart itself.

A simple three step detection process is now available:

  1. The first step is a consultation and clinical examination by one of our veterinary surgeons (£41.20)
  2. The second step is a blood sample, to detect excessive levels of pro BNP: a substance that is released into the blood stream when the heart muscle becomes stretched as seen in dogs with DCM
  3. The third step (if the pro BNP is elevated), is a non invasive ultrasound scan of your dog's heart, based on blood results which we will discuss this with you, as appropriate

The cost of this screening blood test is £117.42

If your dog is over three years and classed as an ‘at risk’ breed, we would like to invite you to book an appointment with one of our veterinary surgeons to take advantage of this screening.

Obviously we hope that your pet will have normal levels, but early detection of heart disease means that we can start appropriate treatment sooner helping your pet to live a happy longer life!

Please contact Reception on 01344 450345 for more details and to book an appointment.