There are several ways to diagnose mitral valve disease in dogs. The Doppler flow method may be used to obtain BP readings. This technique is not affected by the use of headphones. However, other factors such as the age, anxiety level, and weight of the dog will affect the results. This disease compromises left ventricular systolic function due to structural changes in the myocardium. Longitudinal fibers are often affected before circumferential fibers. Another test, called Tissue Motion Annular Displacement (TMAD), is used to evaluate longitudinal fibers in the heart. However, this method has not been studied in dogs with MVD.
Left atrial functional variables
Left atrial functional variables in dogs with MMVD are not well understood. While two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) is useful for assessing LA longitudinal deformation, few studies in this species have used this technique to assess LA function. In this study, the authors evaluated left atrial strain rate and strain area in 150 dogs with MMVD. The authors concluded that the STE-derived LA strain rate and LA area were not useful in predicting cardiac death in dogs.
The two most important parameters to assess left atrial function are LA-FACtotal and LA-FACact. The former is used to assess mitral regurgitation severity, while the latter measures the magnitude and velocity of mitral regurgitation. The two are used in conjunction to assess the hemodynamic consequences of MR.
Tissue doppler imaging is an excellent tool to assess left atrial function in dogs. This technique allows researchers to measure atrial motion and a number of other physiological parameters. The ratio between early diastolic mitral inflow velocity and early diastolic motion of the parietal mitral annulus is particularly useful in evaluating LV function.
LV assessment is important for assessing the severity of the disease. LV remodeling is a complex process that involves complex mechanical and molecular responses. It results in a gradual increase in end-diastolic and systolic volumes.
MMVD in dogs usually produces a left apical holosystolic murmur. However, some dogs may present with the condition without audible murmur. Echocardiographic imaging allows the diagnosis of MMVD. The affected valves will appear nodular and thickened. The anterior mitral leaflet is affected more than the annular region.
In a retrospective study, a total of 27 dogs with stage B2 MMVD were included. LA function was evaluated before and after pimobendan initiation and for up to six months after the treatment. In addition, LA active fractional area change and LA/Ao were calculated. These values were then used to calculate the contraction strain index and peak atrial longitudinal strain rate.
Increased LACI is associated with greater risk of death. This association persists after stratifying the data based on severity of mitral regurgitation. Further, when using propensity-score matching, a difference of P=0.02 is observed between increased LACI and lower mortality.
Mitral valve repair surgery
If your pet has degenerative mitral valve disease, you may wonder if surgical repair is an option. Most veterinarians treat this disease with medications, but in some cases surgical repair may be required. To help determine if this surgery is an option for your dog, you should schedule a consultation with a veterinarian. In addition to performing the necessary screening tests, your veterinarian will also explain any risks that may be associated with surgery.
Although open heart surgery is a common treatment for mitral valve disease, it is expensive and not available for all dogs. Fortunately, there are new techniques that may offer a less expensive and less-invasive alternative. However, only a handful of places offer this procedure.
The process of developing a new treatment for mitral valve disease in dogs starts with research and verification of a need. In Pariaut’s case, the team met with a veterinarian to learn about the disease. After learning about the disease and its possible treatment options, the team learned about the procedure and viewed veterinarians in action.
Surgical mitral valve repair reduces the enlargement of the heart in dogs with mitral valve disease. In most cases, the left atrium shrinks back to its normal size after the surgery. The procedure can be done on dogs with a mild case of mitral regurgitation, or with a more severe case. Some dogs may still need ongoing therapy such as blood thinners and medications.
After anesthesia, the surgery is completed with a Type I clamp. All dogs survived the procedure, and all surgical incisions healed properly. Overall, this procedure is similar to that performed on pigs. During the recovery phase, the dogs receive heparin-based saline to reduce the risk of clotting.
Small breed dogs are most likely to develop MMVD. It is the most common form of acquired heart disease in dogs. About 30% of small breed dogs will have the condition at some point in their lives. Mitral valve repair surgery in these dogs is a lifesaving procedure.