ST. JOSEPH, Mo., June 2 This June, Sacramento dog owners will find that getting their pets' hearts checked is a walk in the park. Veterinary cardiologists on the Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour will stop with a soundproof medical unit to perform free dog heart examinations on June 5 at the 17th annual Doggie Dash fundraiser to benefit the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
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 nearly 75 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. Ruth MacPete, DVM, a San Diego veterinarian, media personality and pet author who will travel with a local 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."
Veterinary specialists will perform free dog heart screenings from inside a special mobile exam room from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Sacramento SPCA Doggie Dash in William Land Park. They 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 veterinarians on tour will also make sure that dog owners are aware of the most common symptoms of heart disease: reduced willingness to walk or exercise, difficulty breathing, coughing, loss of appetite and weight loss. Dog owners can learn more at www.YourDogsHeart.com, a proud sponsor of the Sacramento SPCA Doggie Dash.
About the Sacramento SPCA Doggie Dash
An estimated 4,000 animal enthusiasts will gather both with and without their canine companions to raise funds for animals sheltered at the Sacramento SPCA. For 16 years, two- and four-legged participants have attended this event, creating a tradition in Sacramento and transforming Doggy Dash into one of the most anticipated events of the year.
At Bark at the Park Festival, held in conjunction with the Dash, attendees will enjoy a Pup Show, high-flying disc contest and the ever-popular pug races. The family-friendly Doggie Dash event also includes Camp Kindness KidZone; pet-related business booths; demonstrations by K9 police dogs and the Sacramento Flyball and Haute Dawgs Agility Group; as well as a disc toss and fetch contest.
To learn more or to register for the Doggie Dash, visit http://sspca.convio.net/site/TR/Events/General?pg=informational&fr_id=1040&type=fr_informational&sid=1020. Registration fees are $30 for individual participants. Registration fees for team participants are $35 per person. Online registration closes June 2 at 11:59 p.m., but participants may still register at the event beginning at 7:30 a.m. on June 5.
About Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs
The Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour is designed to educate people about congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs.
While there is no cure for CHF, clinical study results have shown that dogs with the condition live nearly twice as long and enjoy a higher quality of life when diagnosed and treated during the early stages of heart failure.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and more than 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2009, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $17.7 billion (12.7 billion euro) while spending 21% of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development. For more information, please visit http://us.boehringer-ingelheim.com.
Mobile Dog Heart Health Tour Stop at Sacramento SPCA Doggie Dash When: Saturday, June 5, 2010; 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Where: William Land Park's Village Green area, at the corner of Sutterville and Freeport Blvd. in Sacramento Why: To educate dog owners about canine heart disease and support the Sacramento SPCA Who: Veterinary cardiologists will perform free dog heart screenings.
SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.