Dogue de Bordeaux Club of Australia

Heart Testing

What you need to know…

Heart testing MUST be performed by a Registered Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology. There is only a handful of these Specialists in Australia. Unlike with Hip and Elbow scoring, dogs must NOT be sedated for Heart Testing as this alters the findings. None of the few specialists will sedate the dog for Heart Testing, if the dog was sedated, the test is void.

Dogs need to be 12 months of age to ensure accurate testing. Due to the fact that often puppies can be totally clear of any murmur from diseases such as SAS and therefore appear clear of disease, but as they grow (and the heart does also) the fibrous ring remains the same size. Causing the dog to exhibit symptoms of disease.

Once the Cardiologist has examined the dog for evidence of cardiac disease via Echocardiograph, they will supply a Cardiac Certificate of Examination. This will include the dog’s details and the Echocardiographic Examination findings.

Details to note:

Structural Changes:         You want to see no structural changes

Aortic Velocity:                 Normal being <2m/sec

Pulmonic Velocity:           Normal being <2m/sec

Vascular Changes:           You want to see no vascular changes

The Cardiologist will write a Certification Statement being one of the following:

  1. The above animal has no echocardiographic evidence of cardiac disease
  2. The above animal has echocardiographic changes, which I consider to be of no significance with regards to breeding
  3. The above animal has an echocardiographic abnormality, which I consider makes it unsuitable for breeding purposes.

With the short life expectancy and increase in inherited diseases such as SAS being seen in the Dogue de Bordeaux, it’s important to ensure heart testing is completed where ever possible. This is something our club members do regularly, with the exception being frozen semen of a deceased animal, where testing obviously isn't possible.