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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Advances in the therapy of congestive heart failure in dogs and cats

Häggström, Jens; Höglund, Katja; Ljungvall, Ingrid

Abstract

Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs, and different forms of cardiomyopathy in cats, may lead to signs of congestive heart failure (CHF). Traditionally, signs of CHF have been treated with a diuretic together with other adjunct therapy, such as digoxin, but very little data from clinical trials was available to support treatment strategies. During the last 20 years, an important paradigm shift has occurred in the demand for data to support our clinical decisions in dogs and cats with heart disease. Today, several drugs have in clinical trials been shown to improve outcome in small animal CHF patients, as indicated by improved quality of life and increased survival time. Not only have the growing number of drug trials provided information on drug efficacy, but these trials have also provided important information on prognostic value of clinical tests and a deeper understanding of disease progression. This article reviews current treatment alternatives from asymptomatic to progressed stages, associated with severe clinical signs of CHF, in dogs with MMVD or DCM and in cats with cardiomyopathy.

Published in

European Journal of Companion Animal Practice
2014, Volume: 24, number: 1, pages: 4-20