Understanding Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) in Dogs

A dog with Mitral Valve Disease (MVD).

Understanding Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) in Dogs

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) is one of the most common acquired heart conditions in dogs, particularly in older small breeds such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It’s a condition where the mitral valve in the heart, which separates the left atrium from the left ventricle, becomes thickened and starts to leak. This leakage can lead to a range of symptoms, including coughing, difficulty breathing, fainting, and exercise intolerance.

The Importance of Early Diagnosis

Early detection and proper management are crucial for improving the quality of life and extending the lifespan of dogs with MVD. Veterinary specialists in cardiology, like Dr. Scott Forney, with Animal Cardiology Specialists of NV, are well-equipped to provide the necessary expertise for diagnosing and treating such heart conditions. He has advanced training and experience in dealing with intricate cardiac issues in animals. He can perform detailed diagnostic tests, such as echocardiograms, to assess the severity of the disease and develop a tailored treatment plan.

Treating Mitral Valve Disease in Dogs

Treatment for MVD and other heart conditions in dogs might involve a combination of medications, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle modifications to manage symptoms, slow the progression of the disease, and improve the overall well-being of the animal. Regular follow-up appointments with a veterinary specialist are typically recommended to monitor the condition’s progression and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

It’s worth noting that seeking specialized care from a veterinary specialist is an excellent approach when dealing with complex health issues in pets, as it ensures that your furry friend receives the best possible care tailored to their specific needs. 


*Pictured: Sasha, a Tibetan Terrier and Shih Tzu mix who is currently being treated for MVD with medication, exercise, and a proper diet.  


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/25/2023). Photo by Geoff Oliver on Unsplash