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I’m a vet and these four dog breeds are at higher risk for heart disease – here’s how to recognize the signs of the disease


A British vet has revealed four dog breeds that are prone to heart disease – and what you can do if your pooch is among them.

Content creator @ben.the.vet shared the list in a video on TikTok, where he has more than 208,600 followers.

She often creates clips sharing helpful information about how to care for animals responsibly and the various health issues that different species and breeds face.

Discussing heart disease in dogs, Ben said: “I’ll start with Dobermans because it’s a really shocking statistic that over 58 percent of Dobermans over the age of seven have dilated cardiomyopathy.

«This is a disease where the muscle in the wall of the heart begins to weaken, eventually leading to heart failure but also a high risk of sudden death.»

In a TikTok video, Ben the Vet (pictured) listed four dog breeds that have a higher risk of heart disease

He noted that, unfortunately, there are often no signs of a problem and that «a dog can just die in the park.»

Ben advised people with Doberman Pinschers to talk to their vet about screening their dogs from an early age – ideally two or three years old.

He explained that this is because if caught early, medication can be given to delay the onset of any problem.

Moving on to the next breed, the vet introduced boxers.

He explained, “TThe reason I included them is because there are several different heart conditions that are unfortunately considered high risk.

“One is a congenital problem with aortic or subaortic stenosis, where a narrowing re-creates where blood flows from the heart to the rest of the body.

«Most cases are mild and there are no clinical signs, only a heart murmur can be heard when examined by the vet.»

«But in severe cases, it can lead to collapse during exercise and even sudden death.»

Breeds listed by the vet (pictured) included Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Golden Retrievers.

Breeds listed by the vet (pictured) included Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Golden Retrievers.

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However, he continued, it’s something that breeders are very aware of, and in some countries (including France) «its prevalence has been shown to decrease significantly because breeding dogs have been screened».

Ben added: «They also have a three per cent prevalence of pulmonary stenosis, which is a narrowing of the outlet from the heart to the lungs, and are also at high risk of dilated cardiomyopathy, which is the same condition that affects Dobermans.»

The third breed he listed was the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he said: “I’ve talked about them a lot before, (they’re wonderful little dogs, (but they have) terrible hearts.

“By age 10, up to 90 percent of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have mitral valve disease, a condition where one of the valves in the heart begins to degenerate and become leaky.

«This is usually detected initially with a heart murmur, but eventually it can lead to the dog going into heart failure, developing coughing and breathing abnormalities, and unfortunately it is the cause of death for many Cavaliers.»

He noted that there are medications that can help slow the progression of the disease, but that depends on what stage the dog is in.

Ben advised people with cavaliers with murmurs to discuss this with their vet if they haven’t already.

Among the mentioned breeds were Dobermans (pictured).  According to Ben, more than 58 percent of Dobermans over the age of seven have a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.

Among the mentioned breeds were Dobermans (pictured). According to Ben, more than 58 percent of Dobermans over the age of seven have a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.

The fourth and final breed he featured in the video was Golden Retrievers.

«(It’s not) because they’re at massively high risk of any particular heart problem, but there’s a condition called pericardial effusion, which is generally very rare, but in one referral center they found that a third of the dogs they saw with this condition were golden retrievers, which is really interesting.”

Explaining what a pericardial effusion is, Ben said: “It’s a condition where fluid builds up in the sac around the heart.

«It often builds up slowly, gradually leading to a point where the heart can’t pump blood very efficiently, and this can result in the dog getting weaker and weaker and eventually collapse.»

Ben concluded, «I have only seen two cases of this condition and interestingly both were golden retrievers.»



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