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Mitral Valve Disease in Dogs

mitral valve disease dogs

Mitral Valve Disease Overview

Mitral valve disease is a condition where the mitral valve in your dog’s heart fails to form a tight seal. The loose seal allow blood to move in a backward direction, which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to vital organs. Also referred to as endocardiosis, chronic valvular disease, and chronic valvular fibrosis.


The primary symptom of mitral valve disease is a heart murmur. As the disease progresses symptoms may include more audible murmurs, physical weakness, intolerance of exercise or an increased respiratory rate. Eventually, fluid can start accumulating in the lung of the dog, leading to difficulty breathing and coughing.


Diagnosis of mitral valve disease can involve one or several techniques. Here are the most common ways your veterinarian will diagnose your dog.

  • Physical Exam
  • Auscultation
  • Pulse and Heart Rate
  • Chest X-Rays
  • Blood & Urine Tests
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Ultrasound

Commonly Affected Breeds

Approximately 1 in 10 dogs will suffer from heart disease during their lifetime. And of those affected, 75% will be diagnosed with mitral valve disease. It is more common in small dogs than large breeds and it’s a hereditary disorder so it affects some breeds more than others. It is most predominant in the following four breeds.

Treatment Options

Treatment for mitral valve disease relies heavily on drugs. These include specific medications to ease the burden on the heart, diuretics for removal of excess fluid, medication to help regulate blood pressure, and other medications to help relieve the symptoms of heart failure. Additional therapies include a low-sodium diet and exercise restriction. The goal of treatment is to improve the dog’s quality and length of life.

Cost of Treatment: $1,000 to $5,000

Pet health insurance helps pay for these treatments so you don’t have to worry about being able to afford veterinary care when your dog needs it the most. We encourage you to buy pet insurance for your dog while he or she is young and healthy to avoid being claims being denied due to pre-existing conditions.


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List of Heart Conditions in Dogs

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