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 at least 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:         No structural changes are preferable

Aortic Velocity:                 Normal being <2m/sec

Pulmonic Velocity:           Normal being <2m/sec

Vascular Changes:         No vascular changes are preferable

The Cardiologist will supply 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.

The Cardiologist may also supply imaging of the heart, with readings and state at the end of the assessment "fit for breeding"

Heart Disease is sadly widespread in the Dogue de Bordeaux, with Sub Aortic Stenosis (SAS) and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) being one of the leading causes of death in the breed. Many heart defects are genetic. The only way to be sure a Dogue de Bordeaux does not have heart disease AND WILL NOT PASS IT ON TO THEIR OFFSPRING, is by an echocardiogram.

ALL RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS SHOULD BE HEART TESTING. The only way to reduce the incidence of heart disease in the breed is for breeders to do their due diligence, test and not breed with dogs with Heart Disease. NOT suggest to unsuspecting puppy buyers that testing is unnecessary. Onus also falls to puppy buyers to do their research and NOT BUY FROM BREEDERS WHO ARE NOT HEART TESTING.

With the short life expectancy and due to the 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.

If you have any questions, feel free to email the club.