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Research article2009Peer reviewed

An update on treatment and prognostic indicators in canine myxomatous mitral valve disease

Häggström, Jens; Höglund, Katja; Borgarelli, M


Mitral regurgitation caused by myxomatous mitral valve disease is the most common cause for congestive heart failure and cardiac-related mortality in dogs. Typically, it takes several years for the disease to progress from mild, clinically silent myxomatous mitral valve disease to severe disease with signs of congestive heart failure. A proportion of dogs will never progress into congestive heart failure before they die from other causes or old age. Some variables have been shown to be predictive of onset of congestive heart failure and they might be useful to identify dogs that need more frequent monitoring and eventually treatment. Results from several controlled clinical trials are available concerning medical treatment of dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease with or without congestive heart failure. These trials provide estimates of treatment effects and also allow identification of other variables with prognostic value for the outcome after the onset of congestive heart failure. Use of prognostic variables together with qualitative and quantitative results from clinical drug trials may aid the clinician and owner to plan and decide on optimal management of the myxomatous mitral valve disease dog. The purpose of this article is to review the current knowledge of prognostic variables and therapy for this common condition in dogs.

Published in

Journal of Small Animal Practice
2009, Volume: 50 suppl. 1, pages: 25-33