Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. Release: Dogs, Owners and Vets are all Winners in the Million Heart Challenge

Published: Jun 21, 2011

ST. JOSEPH, Mo., June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dog lovers have big hearts. Now they can turn their passion for their pets into action by participating in a program that funds new research for canine heart disease and perhaps win a vacation at the same time.

In the online Million Heart Challenge, as soon as one million visitors click on the website, Boehringer Ingeleheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), will donate $15,000 to the American College of Internal Veterinary Medicine (ACVIM) to support independent canine cardiology research. BIVI also will give away two vacations one to a pet owner and one to a veterinary professional who participate in the Challenge.

"Diseases such as congestive heart failure (CHF) affect millions of dogs worldwide," said Lara Sheeley, senior brand manager for BIVI. "These diseases dramatically reduce the quality of life for dogs and ultimately lead to their deaths. The Million Heart Challenge is our way of helping to educate pet owners about CHF and supporting promising new research while having some fun along the way."

About 10 percent of the nearly 75 million dogs in the United States have heart disease, and that figure increases to as many as 75 percent among aged dogs and certain predisposed breeds.(1,2) Yet, a national survey shows that more than half of dog owners are unaware that their dog may be at risk of heart failure.(3)

To participate in the Million Heart Challenge requires only a few minutes and computer clicks:

  • First, visit the website at
  • Second, click on the "Show Your Heart" button on the home page. Each click puts the program one step closer to the goal.
  • Third, share the challenge with friends to enter the vacation sweepstakes. (Be sure to read the complete sweepstakes rules on the website.)

"Canine heart disease is a critical challenge to dog owners, veterinarians and manufacturers such as BIVI," Sheeley said. "The Million Heart Challenge is a way to work together toward our common goal of prolonging the lives of the dogs we love."

For more information about congestive heart failure and other heart diseases, please visit

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (St. Joseph, MO), is a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation based in Ridgefield, CT and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 42,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

For Boehringer Ingelheimand its employeescarrying a good share of social responsibility is an important component in its business culture. Both global commitments in social projects and properly caring for all its employees are included. Respect, equal opportunity, and the balance of career and family life form the basis for mutual cooperation. And, environmental protection and sustainability are always the main focus during any of Boehringer Ingelheim's undertakings.

In 2010, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of approximately $16.7 billion (about 12.6 billion euro) while spending almost 24% of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

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For more information, please visit:

1. Atkins C, Bonagura J, Ettinger S, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of canine chronic valvular heart disease. J Vet Intern Med. 2009;23(6):11421150.

2. Guglielmini C. Cardiovascular disease in the aging dog: diagnostic and therapeutic problems. Vet Res Commun. 2003;27 Suppl 1:555560.

3. Quality of Life and Extension of Survival Time, Effect of pimobendan or benazepril hydrochloride on survival times in dogs with congestive heart failure caused by naturally occurring myxomatous mitral valve disease: The QUEST study.

SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

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