Two years ago Aaron Peterson opened up his heart to Max, a now 8 year old 187 lb Mastiff. Max came from Big dogs, Big Paws; a rescue that specializes in finding homes for large breed dogs. As Max got older, his breath began to indicate that he was in need of a dental cleaning. That is when Aaron called High Plains Veterinary Hospital to set up an appointment for a free estimate. At the estimate, Dr McKenney discussed with Aaron that Max was at a higher risk to go under anesthesia for the cleaning than most dogs because of his size, his breed, and his age. She suggested to him that we pull blood that day for a Cardiopet ProBNP; a blood test that checks for lowered heart function due to heart failure or damage. The more stressed a heart is, the more it releases the chemical read in this test. Max's test results came back indicating that his heart was under extreme stress, so he DID have heart disease. Dr McKenney started him on Benazepril and cancelled the dental surgery, and set up to recheck Max in three weeks to see the progress of the heart medication. Three weeks later, Max was feeling better, had more energy, and was coughing less! Aaron added years onto Max's life by deciding to test his heart before anesthesia.