Heart Testing

What is Heart Testing?  

Heart testing is a screen performed on healthy dogs and cats.  It is usually done to help with selection of the strongest animals to breed from.  However it can also be performed  to assure an owner that their pet has no heart problems at that time, particularly if that breed is predisposed to cardiac disease.

Where can it be done?

Limited heart test appointments can be made in the weekday cardiology clinics by contacting vickyironside2@gmail.com.  In addition some heart testing Sundays are arranged, but these are usually fully booked ahead of time using a waiting list. 

What does it involve?

For many dogs only examination and listening with a stethoscope is recommended by The Kennel Club. 

In certain dog breeds echocardiography (often called Doppler/heart scan) and or a 24 hour ECG is also included in a specific heart testing scheme. These include Newfoundlands, Great Danes, Dobermans, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Irish Wolfhounds. 

For all cats the echocardiography is required. 

Costs (all are inclusive of VAT)

The charges differ slightly between practices but the cost of the examination and a certificate is approximately £65.  If echocardiography (Doppler scan) is also performed in dogs, the total cost is around £265.  For cats a faster and less costly scan is available to screen for HCM  (£150) and it is the same cost for the new echo doppler heart test in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Making an appointment

Heart test appointments must be arranged via Vicky Ironside and not directly with practices.  Please Email your heart test request and address to vickyironside2@gmail.com

How to prepare for an appointment

The dog or cat needs to be micro- chipped (this can be done on the day of the heart test).

 Please bring the pedigree registration documents with you to the heart test.  Please do not give your pet breakfast on that day.

Further Information

Much detailed information about heart testing can be found on the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society website - see link below.


The Kennel Club website has a section on Health Testing and Screening which has information about all the tests for different breeds.

GCCF has information about HCM testing in cats including the negative register