Call 01793 528341 
- Open 7 days a week

Mitral Valve Disease in Dogs

Added on 16 November 2017



Mitral valve disease (MVD) is the most common heart disease in dogs. 

The disease is encountered in all breeds, although it is most common in small to medium-sized dogs. In MVD, the valve between the two chambers on the left side of the heart becomes thick, lumpy, distorted and leaky. With each heartbeat, blood is forced through the damaged valve in the wrong direction. MVD is a progressive disease that gets worse over time.

The Clinical Signs of MVD are graded:

  • Stage A - No heart disease detected
  • Stage B1 - Heart disease present without any change to heart size
  • Stage B2 - Heart disease present with increase in heart size but with no signs of congestive heart failure
  • Stage C - Heart disease with increased heart size and congestive heart failure

A dog with a leaky, damaged mitral valve can live for many years without showing any symptoms apart from a Dog MVD and exciting new treatment optionsheart murmur.  However, for many dogs, the leak gets worse over time.  As more blood flows the wrong way through the heart, the murmur gets louder and more pressure is put on the heart. To compensate, the heart must grow larger and pump harder.  Eventually, there comes a point when the heart cannot cope with the additional strain any longer and fails to pump enough blood around the body. This is known as heart failure.

Signs of heart failure include:

  • Increased breathing rate
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting/collapse

Exciting new developments in the treatment of MVD

Until recently no benefit could be proved in treating before signs of heart failure became evident (congestive failure). Therefore, all we could do was monitor small-breed dogs with murmurs and start treatment when signs were noticed. However, an excellent new study has clearly shown that once in any heart enlargement is detected, treatment with a drug called Pimobendan can markedly improve the overall survival time of dogs with MVD (by up to 15 months!). These findings will be greatly beneficial for both pets and their owners.

How do I know if my dog may benefit from this treatment?

If your vet detects an acquired murmur with an intensity of at least grade 3 out of 6 then it is likely that an echo examination would be beneficial in determining the stage of disease. You will be advised to book an appointment to see our cardiologist with a view to at least an echo examination.

Sometimes it transpires that the patient is not yet at Stage B2 so a follow-up examination should be performed after a number of months. If Stage B2 disease is diagnosed then it is likely that treatment will be advised in order to take advantages of the associated benefits in quality of life and longevity.

Read about Heart Murmurs in Dogs

Make an Enquiry

Your Information

Eastcott Veterinary Clinic and Hospital is a trading name of Linnaeus Veterinary Limited. Registered address: Friars Gate 1011 Stratford Road Solihull B90 4BN. Registered in England & Wales Company no. 10790375. We will not share this information with other companies for their marketing purposes. For more details on how we use your information please see our privacy policy.

The personal data submitted via this form will be retained only for the purpose of responding to your question or concern, and will not be used for marketing purposes.

You must be 16 years old or older to submit a form.

We may use your information to send you reminders about products and services you have already purchased from us by SMS, email or post. These may be sent when your pet is due for a vaccination, flea or worming treatment or when your pet is due for a check-up recommended by your vet.

If you would not like to receive these reminders please tick here:

We would like to send you our newsletters and contact you about promotions which may be relevant to you by post, email and SMS. If you agree to being contacted in this way please tick the relevant boxes;

Newsletter
Copyright © 2021 Eastcott Veterinary Clinic and Hospital  |  All Rights Reserved
Eastcott Veterinary Clinic & Hospital
Edison Business Park
Hindle Way, Off Dorcan Way,
Swindon
Wiltshire,
SN3 3FR

Telephone: 01793 528341
email: enquiries@eastcottvets.co.uk