Treating Heart Disease in Dogs

Mitral Valve Disease in Dogs.

Mitral Valve Disease is the deterioration of the mitral valve, which is the valve located between the left ventricle and left atrium of the heart.  It is often an early indicator of heart disease. Untreated it could lead to heart failure. Mitral valve disease is more common for small dogs rather than for large dogs and is more common in older dogs.

Diagnosis of heart disease in dogs

  • The first step is to use a stethoscope and listen to the heart. We listen to the heart’s rhythm and listen for any irregularities.
  • We also ask a set of questions related to heart disease.  These questions will include asking about the dog’s energy level, breathing and appetite.
  • If we need more information, we might consider an Xray and use other diagnostic tools.

Determining the Extent of Dog Heart Disease.

Some of the things that we might look at to determine the extent of the disease may include:

  • A side view chest X-ray measuring the heart size, looking at whether the size has increased or not?
  • A heart ultrasound measuring the heat size and reflux percentage
  • Sleeping respiratory rate (breathing rate)
Heart Disease

Treatments of Canine Cardiac Disease

Treatment will depend on whether the disease has progressed to clinic heart disease or not.

Before Clinical Heart Disease in dogs

  • Pimobendan – is Calcium sensitizer, a positive inotrope, inhibits Phospho Diesterase
  • We use it before clinical signs if there are X-ray signs of a large heart .
  • Prolonged quality of life by about 15 months (Javma 2016)

When there is Clinical Heart Disease in dogs.

  • ACE inhibitors like Enalapril or Benazepril
  • Diuretics like Furosamide or Spirolactone
  • Occasionally Digoxin
  • and exercise restriction

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