Thursday, September 13, 2012
Mitral Valve Disease
During our vet visit with Oskar, the vet advised that Oskar's "heart" murmur was a bit more pronounced. This condition is called mitral valve disease. 80% of heart disease seen in dogs is mitral valve disease & is found to be more common in small dogs. Early signs of a leaking valve is usually a heart murmur. Blood goes backward through the leaking valve into the left atrium. Thankfully, a heart murmur does not mean heart failure is imminent, but as time goes on, the leak becomes more severe. The earliest sign of heart failure is hacking cough, lack of stamina, and/or gagging. A leaky heart valve can be replaced in humans, but usually not feasible in dogs. There are drugs that will improve heart function. Thankfully, we are to monitor Osk & see if he begins to show pronounced symptoms. Until then, no treatment is required at this time.