Doppler heart tests for £99

Cheshire – Sunday 21st July

Very kindly subsidised by the National Whippet Association Sarah Pirie Heart Fund.

Contact the Breed Health Coordinator Jo Whitehead joclarewhitehead@yahoo.co.uk to book or message the Whippet Breed Council Facebook Page.

Original source – Whippet Breed Council

Whippet cardiology update – May 2024

In late April 2024, a meeting with the UK Kennel Club Health Team, Veterinary Cardiology Society cardiologist (Hannah Stephenson), and UK Whippet Breed Health Co-Ordinator (BHC – Jo Whitehead) was held. We would therefore like to provide an up-to-date cardiology summary for the breed and make recommendations clear.

Heart testing data for Whippets in the UK has now been collected for more than 15 years. Around 2000 auscultation test certificates have been collated. Approximately 25% of these certificates record that the dog tested had an audible murmur. The cause of the murmur (be it innocent or due to a heart problem) can only be determined if the dog goes on to have an echocardiogram/doppler. Most of those with a recorded murmur have either never had an ECG, or their results have not been sent to the BHC.

The breed continues to advise that all breeding stock are heart tested by auscultation before breeding and further encourages that if a murmur is detected, a Doppler scan is conducted. Low-grade murmurs should not be ignored.

Pulmonic Stenosis (PS).

Jo Whitehead is to gather data on known PS cases and will be forwarding details to Hannah Stephenson. There appears to potentially be a genetic predisposition in Whippets from some bloodlines. It was suggested that the possibility of developing a genetic test for this condition is explored. If geneticists and the cardiology board believe this to be feasible, it will involve collecting DNA from known PS-affected Whippets and their relatives.

This would be a significant breakthrough for the breed.

Any dog with Pulmonic Stenosis (however mild) should not be bred. Although mild PS is unlikely to have significant effects on that dog’s own longevity, it could easily pass on PS to its offspring, in a much more severe form. A dog that has been operated on for PS and can now technically be ‘cleared’ on auscultation should never be bred from.

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD).

MVD has been more often seen in older Whippets with little effect on longevity and doesn’t usually progress significantly.

Young dogs diagnosed with MVD or significant MV regurgitation should not be bred from.

Suggestions made that the breed encourage testing in dogs aged 8+ so that the progression and prevalence of MVD can be understood.




• Auscultation test before breeding.

• Doppler test before breeding if a murmur is detected on auscultation.

• Regular re-tests throughout the life of the dog

• Encourage testing of dogs aged 8+

• BHC will be approaching people to discuss follow-up results and also participation in the development of a genetic test for PS

• The Breed Council website will keep an up-to-date list of dogs tested clear by auscultation/doppler confirmed innocent murmurs.

Within the previous two-year period (should go live within the next couple of months).


• With the support of the Sarah Pirie Heart Fund (NWA) and the newly formed Breed Health Fund – money will be available to


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