Tools of the trade: Cardalis app

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app to monitor heart disease in dogs

by Dr Madhurika Bhagwat, Doubleview Vet Centre, Scarborough, WA

Cardalis is an app to monitor a dog’s respiratory rate. As heart disease can cause a dog’s breathing rate to increase, it assists clients in measuring their dog’s respiratory rate. We recommend that they use it when their dog is asleep, as this app is intended to calculate a resting respiratory rate. If a dog has heart disease, it causes fluid build-up in the lungs and the lungs work harder to get the same amount of oxygen. Even when they’re at complete rest, the breathing rate increases.

app to monitor heart disease in dogs

What’s good about it

The Cardalis app is very user friendly. When you start, a clock appears, and you tap an icon every time your dog takes a breath. There’s a video that shows the user exactly what to do. After 30 seconds or a minute, it has recorded the number of taps and calculates how many breaths your dog is taking per minute. This information is recorded and charted.

If the rate is over 30 breaths per minute, it gives an immediate alert directing the client to contact a vet and seek veterinary advice. No specific advice is given via the app; it’s not a replacement for veterinary advice. The progress chart can also be emailed to the vet if required. The new version allows you to set reminders for medications. 

If a dog comes in for a normal check and we hear a heart murmur or it has heart disease, we recommend the client use this app. Usually we start with once a day for 10 days then go to fortnightly or monthly.

What’s not so good

When it was first released, it was a bit glitchy but, in the newer Beta version, most problems have been resolved. The app is only designed for use with dogs—it’s not for cats or any other animals.

Where did you get it

The Cardalis app can be downloaded from the Apple app store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.

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