(WXYZ) - On Sunday, October 7, some veterinarians are going to the dogs in Detroit. Veterinary cardiologists on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour will stop with a soundproof medical unit to perform free dog heart examinations at the Michigan Humane Society's Mega March for Animals at Hart Plaza.
In addition to providing free heart health screenings, veterinarians will be available to answer questions for dog owners about heart disease – a common ailment that is almost as prevalent in dogs as it is in humans. About 11 percent of the approximately 78 million dogs in the United States have heart disease, and that figure increases to as many as 60 percent among aged dogs and certain predisposed breeds. Yet, a national survey shows that more than half of dog owners are unaware that their dog may be at risk of heart failure.
"Early diagnosis and treatment of heart failure can significantly prolong and improve the quality of a dog's life," says Dr. Sarah Achen, a Detroit veterinary cardiologist on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour. "We look forward to reaching out to local dog owners to educate them about heart disease in dogs and the treatment options. By emphasizing the importance of annual veterinary examinations and early diagnosis of heart disease, we hope to help more dogs live longer and better lives."
Dr. Achen will perform free dog heart screenings from inside a special mobile exam room from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 7 at the Mega March for Animals at Hart Plaza. She will use a stethoscope to listen for heart murmurs and other irregular sounds as well as generally assess whether or not the dogs show any signs of heart disease. No appointment is necessary.
The veterinarian also will educate dog owners about the most common symptoms of heart disease: reduced willingness to walk or exercise, difficulty breathing, coughing, loss of appetite and weight loss. You can get more information by visiting www.YourDogsHeart.com .
Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour Stop/Free Dog Heart Exams in Detroit:
When: Sunday, October 7, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Mega March for Animals, Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza
Why: To educate dog owners about canine heart disease