In the case of insufficiency of the mitral valves, the valves close incompletely during systole (tension and expectoration phase of the heart), so that the blood flows back into the left atrium.
Mitral valve regurgitation is usually caused by non-inflammatory diseases of the inner lining of the heart. It is noticeable that the majority of large dogs (St. Bernard, Great Danes) suffer from cardiomyopathy at the same time.
Often the disease is noticed in young dogs only by chance, and can remain symptom-free for a long time afterwards. In older dogs, however, slight lung function disorders and coughing can occur, especially during physical exertion. Right heart overload occurs in the late stages. The animal is much more restless at night, after light physical exertion and after excitement. In the further course, if the insufficiency is not treated, severe cardiogenic pulmonary edema can occur, during which death can occur.
As long as the disease is in the early stages and the dog is not yet coughing, the prognosis is favorable and the progression can be slowed. The congestive heart failure in large dogs only progresses slowly. The prognosis is therefore favorable here too.
Since around every tenth dog, and every fourth dog from the age of seven, suffers from a heart defect, it is advisable to go to the vet for an early diagnosis check. With this you can quickly find out whether your dog belongs to the risk group.
DCM Heart failure Tricuspid valve insufficiency Endocrine organ disorders