Diagnostic Tests

Besides listening to your dog’s heart for evidence of a heart murmur, your veterinarian may recommend some other tests to help diagnose your dog’s condition.


Common tests include:

  • Radiograph—commonly known as an x-ray, to allow a veterinarian to view your dog’s internal organs, such as the heart, and identify abnormalities
  • Blood testing—to assess your dog’s cardiovascular health through:
    • Identification of a cardiac biomarker called NT-proBNP that signifies stretching of the heart’s chambers
    • Analysis of chemistry and complete blood count (CBC) to evaluate different elements of your dog’s blood
  • Blood pressure test—to find out if your dog’s blood is flowing properly or if there is resistance in the bloodstream
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)—to evaluate the electrical activity of your dog’s heart to measure and diagnose abnormal heart rhythms
  • Echocardiogram—an ultrasound evaluation of your dog’s heart that can assess valvular function, identify leaking valves, and measure cardiac output 


Please remember that your veterinarian will determine which tests are necessary for your dog. Not all tests are required in all situations.

Facts about heart disease brochure

Facts about heart disease brochure

Learn more about canine heart disease…and help protect your dog’s heart.