WSU Vet College seeks overweight canines for free cardiac assessment

PULLMAN, Wash.—When it comes to comparative medicine, what we know to be a fact in humans may not hold true in other species, like dogs.

For instance, can overweight dogs have unhealthy hearts as a result of the excessive body fat?

We know maintaining an ideal body weight and fat percentage is important to human cardiac health but what about dogs? If they carry a few extra pounds, do they get the increased cardiac risk condition known as metabolic syndrome like people do?

These seemingly simple questions and more are the goals of another new study underway at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Veterinarian Melissa Tropf is seeking canine volunteers for a free cardiovascular exam and cardiac ultrasound.

Eligible dogs must be overweight for their size but weigh less than 25 lbs.

“Ideally, we’d like owners to shoot a photo of their dog and email it to us after making contact so we can determine their dog’s eligibility and save an unnecessary trip to WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital,” said Dr. Tropf.

Dogs accepted in the study will receive a free cardiovascular examination, echocardiogram, ECG, blood pressure measurement and a complete blood and urine work-up, too.

Interested owners with a plump pooch should contact Raychel Fairchild at or by calling 509-335-3209.

Additional information is available online at


Charlie Powell, Public Information Officer, call or text 509-595-2017,