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Heart Valve Narrowing (Mitral and Tricuspid) in Dogs




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.


Living and Management


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.



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