Reference intervals and echocardiographic findings in Leonberger dogs

J. P. Stack, R. C. Fries, L. Kruckman, D. J. Schaeffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Leonbergers are large-breed dogs believed to be predisposed to dilated cardiomyopathy, yet the normal echocardiographic measurements of these dogs are unknown. The aim of this study was to describe echocardiographic findings and propose breed-specific reference intervals (RIs) for Leonbergers. Animals: A total of 42 clinically healthy dogs were involved in this study. Materials and methods: This study was designed as a cross-sectional study of 42 Leonberger dogs undergoing complete transthoracic echocardiographic studies at a national show. Reference intervals were determined using robust method with bootstrapping. The effects of age, sex, and body weight (BW) on linear and volumetric dimensions were evaluated by regression analysis. Intra- and interobserver variability were evaluated by coefficient of variation from 10 of the studies. Results: There were significant linear correlations with BW for many of the cardiac variables evaluated. However, despite the statistical significance, most regression equations had small slopes, necessitating large changes in BW for small changes in two-dimensional echocardiographic variables. As such, this study resulted in breed-specific RIs irrespective of BW. Trace mitral insufficiency (n = 18), trace aortic insufficiency (n = 15), or both (n = 1) was identified in 81% of dogs in this population. Coefficients of variation were <9% for all two-dimensional, volumetric, and motion mode measurements. Conclusions: This study describes echocardiographic findings and provides RIs, which may be useful in echocardiographic evaluations of Leonbergers and may aid in early identification of heart disease within the breed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-32
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Veterinary Cardiology
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Aortic insufficiency
  • Aortic valve dysplasia
  • Canine
  • Cardiovascular
  • Mitral valve dysplasia
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Reference intervals and echocardiographic findings in Leonberger dogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this