Life Expectancy of a Dog With Mitral Valve Insufficiency

by Naomi Millburn
    Chihuahuas are prone to mitral valve insufficiency.

    Chihuahuas are prone to mitral valve insufficiency.

    Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Mitral valve insufficiency is a canine medical condition characterized by heart failure. It routinely affects elderly canines. Mitral valve insufficiency is also known by the name of "mitral regurgitation." The disease is prevalent in a variety of specific dog breeds, particularly smallish ones such as Lhasa apsos and pugs. Despite that, pooches of any breed are potentially susceptible to this heart disease.

    Mitral Valve Insufficiency

    Mitral valve insufficiency is the state of the valve that serves as the barrier between his left ventricle and left atrium not shutting sufficiently or working properly in general. Doggie hearts have four separate units -- pairs of atria and pairs of ventricles. A lot of circumstances can trigger the condition, including valve infection and the slipping back of the valve. Mitral valve insufficiency is frequently linked to the presence of heart murmurs.

    Life Expectancy

    Mitral valve insufficiency usually affects smallish doggies but also those of middle age. This heart disease is common in senior pets. When it comes to guessing a dog's life expectancy after confirmation of mitral valve insufficiency, factors such as intensity of the condition come into play. It's also important to analyze how quickly the ailment was identified in the first place. No two dogs with mitral valve insufficiency are the same. Some of them survive for for or six years totally symptom-free. With proper management, some can live for a few comfortable years -- usually in situations in which the problem was rapidly noticed. On the other hand, dogs with mitral valve insufficiency often quickly pass away as soon as they begin exhibiting indications of heart failure.

    Symptoms

    Some key signs of mitral valve insufficiency are rapid heart rate, panting, feebleness, coughing, low energy, fatigue, problems engaging in physical activity, antsy nighttime behavior, weight loss, labored breathing, sleeping troubles, unusual noises coming from the heart, elevated respiratory rate and fainting. Veterinary guidance is imperative for dogs with mitral valve insufficiency. Veterinarians use various methods for diagnosing the condition, including electrocardiograms, radiographs, blood work and examinations of the urine.

    Veterinary Management

    Mitral valve insufficiency doesn't have a cure, although many dogs who suffer from it do well on medicines that minimize some effects and slow its advancement. Common veterinary management options for mitral valve insufficiency include everything from feeding foods with decreased sodium content to the employment of diuretics. Veterinarians often recommend feeding balanced diets as well as ensuring dogs get ample physical activity and have optimal weight -- things that promote longevity in some dogs with mitral valve insufficiency. Proper use of medicine is vital. With premium management, dogs who exhibit heart failure indications may survive for 2 to 3 years after diagnosis.

    Photo Credits

    • Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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