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Under the Code of Conduct Club Members are asked to heart test their dogs in the 12 month period before breeding. This is done either through their own vets if they have a Cardiologist in the practice, or more often it is done through the Irish Wolfhound Regional Heart Testing Scheme.
Heart testing is more than a vet listening to the dogs heart rhythm with a stethoscope - A full heart test goes includes
Ultrasound scan of the heart.
Only this three part exam will show that the dog's heart has a clean bill of health. Tests like this are available via the IW Health Group Regional Heart Testing Scheme at an affordable cost for all IW owners - not just breeders.
A breeder should have the test forms supplied by the cardiologist which show the date of the test and any results. SEE AN EXAMPLE CERTIFICATE
Heart Testing cannot guarantee that the dog might not develop a heart condition later, but it does mean that the breeder is only using clear dogs at the time of breeding.
Pet Owners are also encouraged to heart test their dogs on an annual basis and are always welcome to take advantage of the subsidised testing offered by the Regional Scheme. This currently stands at £40 per dog whereas seeking a private consultation with a Cardiologist would be several hundred pounds.
Testing your Wolfhound yearly means you have more chance of picking up potential problems before they become dire, and allow for early treatment to give the dog a better chance of a longer life. Also, your dog could contribute to the health research into heart disease as they want both healthy and affected dogs in the research program and this is done by a simple cheek swab.
Please do not be embarrassed to ask a breeder for sight of the white heart testing certificates for both the sire and the dam of a litter.
Look for dates for heart testing in your area on the Irish Wolfhound Health Group Website :-