Whippets Have Unique Echocardiographic Values


CHF Grant 02661: Investigation into Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs

Publication: Stepien RL, Kellihan HB, Visser LC, Wenholz L, Luis Fuentes V. Echocardiographic values for normal conditioned and unconditioned North American whippets. JVIM. 2023 Mar.

What can we learn?
Previous studies have indicated that weight or body surface area-based echocardiographic reference ranges may not apply to sighthounds due to their distinct body conformation and/or degree of athletic conditioning. Other studies have shown that athletic conditioning for endurance racing or other sports may result in cardiac hypertrophy that could be misinterpreted as abnormal. While collecting data on apparently healthy dogs that may be at-risk for diet-related dilated cardiomyopathy, investigators examined echocardiographic data on 100 healthy North American Whippets and found significant differences between conditioned and unconditioned dogs.

Because pet Whippets in peak athletic condition examined for this study had larger hearts than less conditioned Whippets, practitioners must consider breed-specific echocardiographic reference ranges when analyzing heart health.


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