Category: Client Handouts
1) Breed Predispositions: – most common in large and giant breed dogs: Dobermans, Boxers, Great Danes, St. Bernards, Scottish Deerhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Afghan Hounds, Dalmations, Portuguese Water Dogs – also seen in smaller breeds: English and American Cocker Spaniels, Whippets, English Bulldogs and others. Genetic component suspected.
2) Definition: DCM is a condition in which the left ventricular chamber of the heart becomes dilated, stiff and non-compliant and loses it ability to contract (pump) effectively – somewhat like an overstretched rubber band. DCM is often a silent killer. Heart murmurs are typically soft and not present until late in the disease process. Abnormal heart rhythms are frequent and often life threatening – commonly resulting in sudden death in some breeds. The condition often progresses to left and right sided heart failure. Early medical intervention can help. Therefore, early screening … Read More »
Stage C Chronic Degenerative Valve Disease is defined by a patient that is actively in left sided heart failure or has previously been in heart failure and is now controlled with medications. The process starts when the mitral valve on the left side of the heart becomes leaky from old age, degenerative changes. The green circles in all the images represent the left atrial chamber. The shortest arrow in the upper photo to the right, labeled “A”, represents the direction of normal blood flow from the left atrium into the left ventricular chamber. The arrow heading into the red structure (aorta), represents normal blood flow from the heart out to the body via the aorta. The last arrow pointed into the left atrium (green circle) represents blood leaking back across the valve when the heart contracts (regurgitation).
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Your dog has been diagnosed with Stage B2 Chronic Degenerative Valve Disease (CDVD). The valves in the heart normally act as one way gates to keep all the blood moving in a forward direction. The arrow in the upper photo to the right, “A: Normal Heart”, represents the direction of normal blood from from the left atrium into the left ventricular chamber. The valve opens, blood flows in the left ventricle, the valve closes, the left ventricle contracts and all the blood continues to move through the heart in a forward direction. CDVD is a condition in which the mitral valve on the left side of the heart undergoes degenerative changes and no longer creates a tight seal when the ventricle contracts. These changes allow blood to “regurgitate”, or leak back into the left atrium. The changes in … Read More »
Stage B1 Chronic Degenerative Valve Disease (CDVD). CDVD is a condition in which the valves regulating blood flow through the small chambers of the heart (atria) and the larger pumping chambers of the heart (ventricles) undergo degenerative changes and no longer create a tight seal when the ventricles contract. These changes allow blood to “regurgitate”, or leak back into the atria (see image to the right). The blood flowing across the leak creates the murmur that we hear. Some dogs have a leak only across the mitral valve on the left side of the heart, and some dogs have leaks across multiple heart valves.
Stage B1 refers to a patient that has developed a leak across its valve, but the condition has not yet caused enlargement, or “remodeling” of the heart. Stage B1 is therefore considered an early and mild form … Read More »
Resting respiratory rates (RRR) are a valuable tool for determining if your pet is developing fluid in its lungs secondary to left sided congestive heart failure. In fact, elevated resting respiratory rates are the earliest, and most objective sign of left sided congestive heart failure. If the disease process is recognized at this early stage, appropriate therapy can be initiated before the onset of a stressful and often costly respiratory crisis. For more information on this technique, click Monitoring Resting Resp Rate. You can also download a free APP on your smart phone by searching “your dogs heart resting respiratory rate” in your APP store. For more information click HERE. Please note that the APP works the same for cats as it does for dogs.