May 6-7, 2022

South Jordan Equestrian Center       11400 So. 2100 W.      South Jordan, UT  


The SLDPC is holding an echo/holter clinic with Bryon Eason, DVM, DACVIM cardiology. Dr Eason, of Olympia WA, has practiced in several states and Canada, and has lectured in China on various cardiology topics.

This is a great opportunity to get your dogs tested at a very reasonable price, less than half what many local vets charge. Early detection and treatment can add years to your dog's life. DCM often has no observable symptoms until it is advanced to the point where treatment will add at the most a few months to a dog's life.

NOTE: Our clinic filled up quickly last year, we had to turn people away for the first time since we have run the clinic-- PLEASE sign up early to guarantee your spot.

Echocardiogram and Physical Exam $245, Holter Reading $50, Auscultation $45

Payment in full is required to hold your place.

Make checks out to SLDPC and send to:
Barbara Kuhnel
1971 Downington Ave.
Salt Lake City UT 84108

Please include a note with your dog's breed, whether you are showing, and what time you prefer. The final schedule will be determined after the show schedule is posted.

For more information about heart testing and our clinic, email

Afghan Hounds
Bernese Mountain Dogs
Bull Terriers
Bullmastiffs (congenital)
Great Pyrenees
German Shorthair Pointers
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
Golden Retrievers
Samoyeds (Pulmonary Stenosis)
Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Afghan Hounds
Dande Dinmont Terriers
Doberman Pinschers
Great Danes
Great Pyrenees
Irish Wolfhounds
Scottish Deerhounds
Cocker Spaniels
English Cocker Spaniels
Neapolitan Mastiffs

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Labrador Retrievers (Tricuspus Valve Dysplasia)
Sussex Spaniels (Pulmonary Valve Stenosis)

* This isn't a complete list. Send us an inquiry if your breed isn't listed


SUB-AORTIC STENOSIS-- Deciphering a Heart Murmur

First described in dogs in the 1960s, subvalvular aortic stenosis was not easily diagnosed until basic echocardiography, or ultrasound, began being used in veterinary cardiology in the late 1970s. Two-dimensional echocardiography, which creates an image of the heart, combined with doppler echocardiography, which determines the speed and direction of blood flow, was introduced in the 1980s.

Today, doppler echocardiography is used to view a ring of tissue below the aortic valve that causes the stenosis for which the disease is named. It also detects the turbulent blood flow through the aortic valve that causes the heart murmur. Doppler technology measures the velocity of blood flow and uses this number to estimate the pressure gradient across the lesion, which is critical in making treatment decisions and determining the prognosis for an individual dog.

Even with doppler echocardiography, dogs with uncertain or mild disease can be hard to detect, which is why a board-certified veterinary cardiologist is required to interpret the results of an echocardiogram test for cardiac health clearances. Young puppies could have innocent murmurs not caused by a heart defect that may go away as the heart matures, and athletic dogs may develop physiologic murmurs unrelated to SAS.

A study to determine the cardiac morphological effects of endurance training on Alaskan sled dogs found that the more conditioned the dogs, the higher the incidence of physiologic murmurs.(1) The incidence of heart murmurs was 15.8 percent in unconditioned sled dogs, 27.8 percent in lightly conditioned dogs, and 39.6 percent in highly conditioned sled dogs. The researchers concluded that in sled dogs, as exercise increases, the heart rate decreases, which causes an athletic heart murmur associated with improved athletic performance in dogs subject to regular exercise programs.

The best age to screen for SAS is around 16 weeks, although puppies showing abnormal signs or having a loud murmur should be tested sooner. Though early testing can help identify an affected dog, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) mandates that dogs be 1 year of age prior to ruling them free of SAS. The age requirement relates to SAS being the only congenital heart disease that cannot be ruled out during puppyhood. This problem occurs because the abnormal tissue that causes SAS may begin to develop between 3 and 5 weeks of age but will continue progressing into young adulthood. OFA requires an echo- cardiogram for dogs with murmurs for cardiac health clearances; however, if a dog does not have a murmur at 1 year of age, the dog can be certified free of SAS by a veterinary cardiologist without an echocardiogram.

Read entire article at: Getting Serious About SAS



DCM is a disease of the heart muscle that results in weakened contractions and poor pumping ability. As the disease progresses the heart chambers become enlarged, one or more valves may leak, and signs of congestive heart failure develop. The cause of DCM is unclear in most cases, but certain breeds appear to have an inherited predisposition.

Early in the disease process there may be no clinical sign detectable, or the pet may show reduced exercise tolerance. In some cases, a heart murmur (usually soft), other abnormal heart sounds, and/or irregular heart rhythm is detected by your veterinarian on physical examination. Such findings are more likely as the disease progresses.

As the heartís pumping ability worsens, blood pressure starts to increase in the veins behind one or both sides of the heart. Lung (pulmonary) congestion and fluid accumulation (edema) often develop behind the left ventricle/atrium. Fluid also may accumulate in the abdomen (ascites) or around the lungs (pleural effusion) if the right side of the heart is also diseased. When congestion, edema and/or effusions occur, heart failure is present. Weakness, fainting episodes, and unfortunately, even sudden death can result from heart rhythm disturbances (even without "heart failure" signs).

Dogs with heart failure caused by DCM often show signs of left-sided congestive failure. These include reduced exercise ability and tiring quickly, increased breathing rate or effort for the level of their activity excess panting, and cough (especially with activity). Sometimes the cough seems soft, like the dog is clearing its throat. Poor heart pumping ability and arrhythmias can cause episodes of sudden weakness, fainting, or sudden death as noted above. Some dogs with DCM experience abdominal enlargement or heavy breathing because of fluid accumulation in the abdomen or chest, respectively. More advanced signs of heart failure could include labored breathing, reluctance to lie down, inability to rest comfortably, worsened cough, reduced activity, loss of appetite, and collapse. Signs of severe heart failure may seem to develop quickly with DCM, but the development of underlying heart muscle abnormalities and progression to overt heart failure pr+ ````obably takes months to years.

A cardiac exam by a veterinarian can detect abnormal heart sounds (when present) and many signs of heart failure. Usually chest radiographs (x-rays), an electrocardiogram (ECG), and echocardiogram are performed to confirm a suspected diagnosis and to assess severity. Echocardiography also can be used to screen for early DCM in breeds with a higher incidence of the disease. Resting and 24-hour (Holter) ECGs are sometimes used as screening tests for the frequent arrhythmias that usually accompany DCM in some breeds, especially boxers and Doberman pinchers.

Asymptomatic (subclinical) cases of DCM may be treated with enalapril or another ACE inhibitor to slow progression of the changes leading to heart failure. Other medications and strategies are also used as signs of heart failure develop and/or if rhythm abnormalities are present. Therapy is always tailored to the needs of the individual patient. Since this disease is not reversible and heart failure tends to be progressive, the intensity of therapy (for example, the number of medicines and the dosages used) usually must be increase over time.