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Heart Valve Malformation in Dogs



If your dog is suffering from congestive heart failure, depending on how severe the disease is, it will to be hospitalized for intensive care. There are medications available, but this often depends on exactly which heart valve disease your dog has. Diuretics may be used to reduce fluid retention, and vasodilators can be used to dilate the blood vessels, and an antiarrhythmic drug, such as digoxin, may be used to control the heart rate.


The long-term prognosis for atrioventricular valve dysplasia is guarded to poor, depending on the severity of the condition.


Living and Management


Your dog will need to be rechecked about every three months 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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