A total of 47 dogs tested in 3 days at the Bonaforte Kennel - Wolfhounds at the heart of all we do

The latest heart testing session at Broadholme House Farm,  which took place over 3 days from 18-20th April 2015, broke our own Kennel record for the number of dogs tested.  Dr Serena E. Brownlie PhD BVM&S MRCVS Cert SAC, worked tirelessly heart testing 47 dogs in total.  What a team effort from all our helpers and supporters who made this possible.  We would like to express a huge vote of thanks to the owners that made the time and effort to bring their dog along for testing, your role and support on heart testing days is so important  Although the majority of owners are now very familiar with heart testing their hounds, for some it was the first time they had seen the process in action and we are delighted that they did not find the experience too daunting.  

Super-veteran tests clear and dancing on the table!

As with any event where owners gather along with their hounds, there were many highlight to the 3 days; one of which was the gorgeous Zena (Hermine von der Sillerquelle) testing clear at 8.5 year of age. Zena was also placed 2nd in Veteran Bitch class at Crufts 2015 under breed judge, Goran Bodegard. One of the joys of testing sessions at the Kennel is seeing some of our wonderful Wolfhounds coming back and visiting us again, with their equally outgoing owners and this weekend we were treated to a visit from the Bligh family with the lovely Ava (Bonaforte’s Enchanted). Ava became very excited when she was reunited with her brother, Bertie and her sister, Doozey and she couldn’t contain her enthusiasm and at one point jumped onto the patio table! 

There was also a slightly tearful reunion when Laura’s owners, Vera and Charles, met the owners of one of Laura’s daughters. Laura sadly passed away in the New Year due to a soft tissue sarcoma, but her legacy lives on through her beautiful offspring.  Although the loss of a hound is always a painful experience, at the Bonaforte Kennel the bereavement is shared by many and in that way the owners all find comfort and support from each other, especially when they can share the joy of seeing siblings or progeny and laugh about their antics.

Another moment that we had a giggle about was Bertie having his first heart test and when it came to having the ECG carried out we needed him to lie down. Bertie didn’t understand at first what Serena and the girls wanted him to do, but remembering that Carla had taught him to ‘get on his mat’, the girls reiterated the same command however he slowly looked around and couldn't find his mat!  Once his mat had been found,  Bertie promptly plonked his bottom down on it and rolled over to have the ECG! However, this incident, although very comical, did prove useful as it showed that owners can help by preparing their hounds for  heart testing.  If you could teach your hound to lie down on a bed or piece of vet bedding on command, that would be so helpful, in what can be a stressful situation for some.  We would suggest that you then bring their "mat" to the next heart test session, it will be familiar, a comfort blanket in an environment where some of our hounds are unsure as to what is expected from them.  Patience, Practise and Perseverance at home will pay dividends at heart testing. 

Finally, again from all of us at Bonaforte, a long list of thank you’s; to Dr Serena Brownlie for doing all the testing, to Siobhan Simpson for coming over to take cheek swabs for the team at Nottingham Vet School, to the Bonaforte staff/helpers for assisting owners and dogs and, once again, to you fantastic owners that bring your dogs to be tested - keep them coming!  Look out for our next dates in November 2015. 

The complexities of heart disease can be very confusing for us all  and so it is probably worthwhile owners refreshing themselves on the differences between heart anomalies, heart disease  - Please  see the article at at:http://www.bonaforte.com/heart-disease-in-irish-wolfhounds/