Terry Heath (Administrator) Tel. 01324 720201

Heart disease may be either congenital (the dog was born with it) or acquired (a problem occurring later in life).Congenital heart disease usually results in a heart murmur which can be heard by listening to the heart sounds with a stethoscope. This is because an abnormal opening  (like a hole in the heart) or abnormal narrowing of a valve at the great vessels exiting the heart causes turbulence of blood within the heart itself or the great vessels and the turbulent flow is detected as a cardiac murmur. In many cases, the loudness of the murmur (which is graded out of 6 on a scale 1 - 6), is correlated with the severity of the heart disease. Many puppies have murmurs which they grow out of called innocent murmurs - these tend to be very low grade. If these are still present when the puppy is over 12 - 15 weeks old, many veterinary surgeons will want to rule out heart disease.

Many athletic dogs also have innocent murmurs called flow murmurs, resulting from the turbulence of blood leaving the heart. Obviously, there can be a problem distinguishing mild congenital heart disease (which may be significant if the animal is bred) and these innocent murmurs.


A number of bull terriers have been identified with a congenital condition known as mitral dysplasia. The mitral valve is leaky in this condition and when the main pumping chamber, the left ventrical, contracts, instead of all the blood leaving into the aorta, some leaks backwards into the left atrium causing a murmur. This is known as mitral regurgitation. Very rarely, the mitral valve can be narrowed as well as being leaky in some cases - this means it is difficult to let the blood pass from the left atrium (the collecting chamber) to the left ventricle (the pumping chamber). This is called mitral stenosis.

Other bull terriers can be born with a narrowed aortic valve, making it difficult for blood to leave the left ventricle. This is called aortic stenosis. In some cases, both mitral dysplasia and aortic stenosis occur together.

Bull terriers with mitral dysplasia may be affected very mildly to very severely. Many dogs will lead normal life styles and be very active. Some may have problems as they get older, possibly because of concurrent acquired valvular disease called valvular endocardiosis. A few dogs will develop heart failure manifested as coughing, breathlessness, tiring easily on exercise and occasionally, fainting.

However if there is any degree of heart disease present, it is possible this will be passed on to offspring if the dog is bred from.

If a heart murmur is detected in your dog, you must discuss it with your own veterinary surgeon. He/she may decide to investigate the problem further or decide to refer your dog to a veterinary cardiologist.

INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY:- Joanna Dukes-McEwan BVMS, MVM, PhD, DVC, Dip ECVIM-CA(Cardiology), MRCVS RCVS & European recognised Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology

Updates 1

given by Derek Cowan

16/08/15 07:00

Raising money for

Animal Health Trust

Animal Health Trust

Charity Registration No. 209642

The Animal Health Trust is a charity specifically dedicated to improving the health and welfare of dogs, cats and horses by addressing the problems of disease and injury - the largest threats to animal welfare today. With the help of its supporters, it can achieve this by advancing veterinary science and providing specialist clinical services for all companion animals.

Raising money for

Run by Animal Health Trust

Charity Registration No. 209642

Donations 76

Big thnx for ur great work! <3

Donation by Masaryks bts on 03/12/15


Donation by Terry Heath on 16/08/15


Great work terry. All the best mark, Alison. Jem & alfie

Donation by Mark legassick on 12/06/15


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donated y Mrs Anne McIntosh

Donation by Terry Heath on 04/03/15


Another welcome coin collection from Ann McIntosh. Thanks Ann - you're a star!!

Donation by Terry Heath on 12/01/15


Donation by Lorraine and Mike Hurst Thanking you very much

Donation by Terry Heath on 12/01/15


Sale of items for the fund by Mrs Tricia Ryan

Donation by Terry Heath on 30/10/14


Coin collection from Mrs Ann McIntosh Thanks Ann

Donation by Terry Heath on 04/10/14


Donated by Bull Terrier Welfare UK for our care of Angel at Holloville. Thank you

Donation by Terry Heath on 04/10/14


Donation by Emily Wallace on 27/08/14


Donated by Dave ogle and Loounch the bull terrier from sales of t shirts all the way from USA thanks Dave x

Donation by Jo on 09/07/14


+ £7.25 Gift Aid

Donations from visiting friends

Donation by Terry Heath on 14/06/14


Another coin collection from AnnMcIntosh- thank you Ann

Donation by Terry Heath on 14/06/14


Donation by Terry Heath on 15/04/14


Every little makes a lot - please donate - your little means as much as mine!!!

Donation by Terry Heath on 23/03/14


Coin collection and donation from Ann McIntosh Thank you Ann

Donation by Terry Heath on 23/03/14


Cion collection and donations from Ann McIntosh Well done Ann

Donation by Terry Heath on 19/02/14


Donation from Tricia Ryan - Another mickle makkin a muckle!!!

Donation by Terry Heath on 12/01/14


Donation from Ann McIntosh -. Many a mickle maks a muckle - Englich translation - Lots of little makes a lot!!!

Donation by Terry Heath on 06/01/14


Collectiomn of coin from Mrs Ann Mcintosh to be donated to the BTCSF heart fund. Thank you Ann for such a good idea!!

Donation by Terry Heath on 23/12/13


Sale of items donated for the BTCSF

Donation by Terry Heath on 03/11/13


Donation by Terry Heath on 03/11/13


Donations 'save a staffie - Scotland' £20 and Jo & James Borrat £40 Bark in the Park fun day

Donation by Terry Heath on 02/11/13


Sale of goods - thanking you

Donation by Terry Heath on 22/08/13


+ £11.75 Gift Aid

Donations and sale of goods. Thank you for that

Donation by Terry Heath on 12/08/13


+ £9.00 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£3,838.72
  • Offline donations£0.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£3,838.72
  • Gift Aid£303.21

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