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Heart Failure Due to Valve Defect in Dogs




This is a progressive disease with no single treatment plan that will work for all patients. Individualized treatment will be recommended on the basis of your dog's current health status, how far the disease has progressed, and what existing complications need to be treated to stabilize your dog. Your veterinarian will discuss all of the available treatment options with you so that you can make an informed decision on how to progress. In some patients little or no treatment is required, with only regular monitoring, while others may need to be admitted for immediate emergency treatment. In still other patients, extensive medical treatment, or even surgery, may be recommended. Medical treatment will be focused on the primary disease as well as any other complications that need to be addressed immediately. Surgery to replace the defective valve may be attempted for some patients but you may need to search for a surgeon skilled in this specialized surgical technique.


The results of surgery are not promising at present, though the success rate has improved with the advancement of surgery techniques and improved surgery skills in this area of medicine.


Living and Management


Initially, absolute cage rest may be recommended. Once your dog's health has stabilized it may be allowed to have slow leash walks. You will also need to closely observe your dog's behavior, calling your veterinarian as soon as any unusual symptoms or behaviors are noticed.


Due to the progressive nature of this disease, a high level of commitment and care is required on your part for the successful management and treatment of the condition. Your veterinarian will give you a detailed plan for the administration of medications, exercise, diet, and any other vital information for treating your dog at home. Dogs that are affected with atrioventricular valve endocardiosis generally need an individualized sodium restricted diet plan during treatment.


You may need to visit your veterinarian every week during the first month of treatment. At each visit your veterinarian will check your dog's progress with standard laboratory testing, including radiographs and ECG. You will need to familiarize yourself with the drugs that have been prescribed for your dog and be especially vigilant about the time and frequency of dispensing these drugs. Follow your veterinarian's guidelines strictly regarding your dog's at home health management.


Long-term prognosis depends upon many factors, including the age of your dog, the current status of the disease, concurrent diseases, and management.



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