Dilated Cardiomyopathy is an inherited disease affecting the Standard Schnauzer breed. The disease is characterized by a swelling of one of the heart’s ventricles (lower chambers). The left ventricle is affected more often than the right. This weakens the ability of the heart to pump blood and consequently the heart becomes larger and the beats become weaker. Affected dogs may not exhibit any signs for years, however, eventually, start exhibiting symptoms of ill health including: Lethargy, loss of appetite, coughing especially during exercise, gasping for breath, fainting or collapsing and progressive abdominal swelling. Although these signs can signify the onset of heart failure, they are also shared with other conditions and therefore testing is vital for the diagnosis.