A leading Cambridgeshire animal hospital is helping puppies with heart murmurs get off to the best possible start in life. 

Linnaeus-owned DWR Veterinary Specialists in Six Mile Bottom has screened over 25 puppies since it launched the service last summer, with around half needing treatment after early detection of their congenital heart defects. Without the early diagnosis, these puppies could have died or developed symptoms of heart disease such as heart failure. 

Laurent Locquet, consultant in cardiology at DWR Veterinary Specialists, said: “A murmur can signify a congenital heart defect that, if detected when a puppy is young, can usually be treated and they can be back to an improved or normal life in no time. 

“However, if not treated these murmurs could develop into serious problems secondary to this congenital heart defect, including laboured breathing, heart rhythm disturbances and even sudden death.

“Vets can refer puppies to one of our specialist cardiologists to do a number of tests such as an echo cardiogram and possible additional other heart-based assessments if necessary. This can give pet owners peace of mind about their puppy’s heart.” 

Hattie is one such puppy who has been screened and whose owners can now look ahead to a happy life together with their beloved pet. 

Karin, Hattie’s owner from East Hertfordshire, said: “When we attended DWR Veterinary Specialists for Hattie’s scan at the murmur clinic, the vet who saw us was so kind and gentle with Hattie. 

“She reassured us the murmur was a simple flow murmur and that no further action was required. We were so relieved I burst into tears.

“I can only praise the speed with which we got our appointment after our vet referred us and also the kindness and professionalism of the service we received.

“At one-year-old, Hattie is now thoroughly enjoying her foundation agility training and I feel so reassured that it is safe for her to do this despite the fact she was diagnosed with a murmur.”

DWR Veterinary Specialists offers specialist-led care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, diagnostic pathology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, interventional radiology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, physiotherapy and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on DWR Veterinary Specialists, visit www.dickwhitereferrals.com or search for DWR Veterinary Specialists on social media. 

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