Medicine is essential to treating heart valve disorders. Diuretics may be used to reduce fluid retention, but other drugs of choice will be based on the final diagnosis. While it is possible to surgically replace or repair damaged valves, it is expensive and has limited availability. An alternative treatment to surgery is a method called balloon valvuloplasty, which may be performed by a specialist after a referral from your veterinarian. Intensive care hospitalization will be necessary for medical treatment of your dog if it is suffering from congestive heart failure.
Your dog will need to be rechecked about every three months or more to see if there are continuing signs of chronic heart failure and to adjust the treatment accordingly. Chest X-rays, an electrocardiogram (EKG – to measure the electrical activity of the heart) and echocardiography will very likely be performed at the follow-up appointments.
Your veterinarian will discuss precautions and home treatment with you, but generally, dogs that are diagnosed with AVD need to be restricted to a low-salt diet and exercise should be restricted.
Because this is a genetically based disease, if your dog is diagnosed with it, your veterinarian will strongly advise against breeding your dog. Spaying or neutering is indicated.
A record of body structures using an x-ray
The fold of membrane found between the left atrium and left ventricle
The act of making an opening narrower.
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
a) A cavity in certain animals b) Term refers to a rear chamber in the heart or a cavity in the brain
A record of the activity of the myocardium
Fainting; the respiratory and circulatory systems are suspended for a time
A procedure that is used to evaluate the health and structures of the heart
The amount of pressure applied by the blood on the arteries.
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
The dilation of the ventricles of the heart
To make something wider
The widening of something
The superior chamber in an animal's heart.