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      Canine Degenerative Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease: Natural History, Clinical Presentation and Therapy

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      Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice

      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Myxomatous mitral valve disease is a common condition in geriatric dogs. Most dogs affected are clinically asymptomatic for a long time. However, about 30% of these animals present a progression to heart failure and eventually die as a consequence of the disease. Left atrial enlargement, and particularly a change in left atrial size, seems to be the most reliable predictor of progression in some studies, however further studies are needed to clarify how to recognize asymptomatic patients at higher risk of developing heart failure. According to the published data on the natural history of the disease and the results of published studies evaluating the effect of early therapy on delaying the progression of the disease, it seems that no currently available treatment delays the onset of clinical signs of congestive heart failure (CHF). Although the ideal treatment of more severely affected dogs is probably surgical mitral valve repair or mitral valve replacement, this is not a currently available option. The results of several clinical trials together with clinical experience suggest that dogs with overt CHF can be managed with acceptable quality of life for a relatively long time period with medical treatment including furosemide, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, pimobendan, and spironolactone.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice
          Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice
          Elsevier BV
          01955616
          July 2010
          July 2010
          : 40
          : 4
          : 651-663
          Article
          10.1016/j.cvsm.2010.03.008
          20610017
          © 2010

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