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Canine mitral valve disease, atrial fibrillation and congenital defects

With the publication of new American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of mitral valve disease (MVD)1, therapy and diagnostic recommendations have been updated from the initial and original 2009 consensus.

MVD accounts for up to 75% of all heart diseases seen in practice. Most dogs that develop a murmur secondary to MVD will do so years before the onset of congestive heart failure (CHF), for those that progress to CHF.

In one study, approximately 70% of dogs with asymptomatic MVD were still alive at the end of the 6.5-year observation period2. This means the majority of small-breed dogs with MVD either do not progress or progress slowly over years; therefore, management strategies and decision-making need to be stratified based on risk of progression.

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